At the physical level, the WWW is nothing more than a bunch of servers linked together.
We are used to think of the net a bit more abstractly, as content hyperlinked. Interconnected data, of heterogeneous type (text, images, video,...). But, the abstraction layers can (and will ) go up, lending to this spectacular creation of the human mind a more "anthropomorphic " face.
One possible direction is the following: think of interests, topics, hyperlinked to one another.
What are their link?
People are their links.
By sharing different interests, they glue them together in a vast semantic network.
That ocean of topics of (possible) interest is Interest Space.
People live in Interest Space like aquatic creatures, they swim and quite often aggregate by sharing with others an endlessly growing variety of topics.
It is about time we learn how to navigate this vast ocean with some good compass..
A few years ago I participated in a fascinating effort sponsored by DARPA, known as Augmented Cognition or AugCog.
The idea was not entirely new, especially to SF aficionados (it is enough to think of Vernor Vinge for a remarkable forerunner of related speculations). When I started thinking of web social nets, it occurred to me that there should be a branch of AugCog entirely devoted to social intelligence. Well, there is, and is called, surprise!, Augmented Social Cognition (ASC).
Now, there is probably no better definition (albeit a bit technical for most folk ) than saying this:
MergingPot is a ASC web 3.0 tool, that strives at once to speed-up and enhance the quality of social interaction on the Net.
Why is it needed?
1) because we all need a little help on the social intelligence side, don't we? Not many amongst us are blessed with a social IQ of a great leader, a great showman, a great actor
2) because it is sad to see the vast amount of social information on the web vastly untapped, at least from the point of view of users.
I just wish to conclude with a personal statement: Web 3.0 will be characterized by its preponderant usage as an arena for a new level of intelligent social interaction. It is already getting there, it only needs a little kick...