Robert Scoble kicked off today’s Geo-Loco Conference in San Francisco by claiming we’re in the third stage of the web. This is a claim he’s made before, but today angled it as a cautionary tale for the early leaders in any given tech revolution.
The first stage was search, where companies like Yahoo and AltaVista ruled the land before Google came along. The second stage was social, where over the past five years, an exploding portion of our online time has been dominated by social media — starting with MySpace (or friendster if you want to go back further), then moving to world we now live in, dominated by the F word.
The third stage that we’re now entering blends search and social but also infuses mobile and location. This is the stage in its current (early) form, dominated by Foursquare. But we’re in such early days that we need to look back at the AltaVistas and Friendsters to know that it’s too early to declare winners.
“Those guys didn’t have it sewn up, so let that be a cautionary tale to Foursquare and Gowalla and others in this space,” said Scoble.