Web entrepreneurs puzzle on how to cash in on their ‘revolution’

PARIS, Dec 12, 2006 (AFP) – For the companies and individuals inhabiting the web’s ever-evolving ecosystem, three big revolutions have taken place almost unnoticed by outside observers.

The first, they argue, was the initial phase — or what they call “Web 1.0” — when corporations like the BBC, Disney and established newspapers set up virtual shop and reached out to Internet readers and viewers.

The second — “Web 2.0” — saw Internet users becoming content providers themselves, through blogs, citizen journalism, homemade videos and collaborative sites such as Wikipedia.

Now, they say, the time has come for Web 3.0 — where both sides will be involved in a complicated tango that is at once a mating dance and a competition.

And the question they are all asking is: What will this new phase bring?

The hope, according to many influential players on the web who gathered at a big European conference on the issue held this week in Paris, is money, and lots of it.

But there is also a small fear, perhaps fuelled by Google’s staggering 1.65-billion-dollar purchase last month of the popular YouTube video hosting site, that expectations are too high, and that the coming Dar