Alexa, Jelly, and Web 3.8

Forget Web 2.0! That is so 2005! Now we have Web 3.8. Wow!

What is that? Remember ‘six degrees of separation’? Well, according to Biz Stone, the guys who came up with that theory have done more research and found that in this digitally connected era, the degrees of separation have reduced to just 3.8.

Rich Roll interviews Biz Stone in an intriguing interview where Biz explains his newest website and system – askjelly. Biz Stone is one of the guys who co-founded Twitter. Oh – that Biz Stone!


Askjelly is a systemised knowledgebase that uses people for answers instead of text-based information on the Internet. As Rich and Biz spoke I realised that Librarians might finally be out of a job. The famous quote by Neil Gaiman: ‘Google can bring you back 100,000 answers. A librarian can bring you back the right one.’, might finally be defunct. Biz has found a way to crowd-source the subjective questions.

So I put askjelly to the test and posed the question: “What will happen to Librarians in the age of knowledge-bases, ‘jelly’ and AI?

And shortly thereafter I received two thoughtful replies:

From CallKathy:


And from Chris:


Biz’s theory is that there are not really unique questions, and that someone on this planet will have the answer for you.

He then went on to show how this technology works with Amazon’s Echo and Alexa and it evoked similarities to the AI robot in the movie Her.

Rich Roll has kindly listed a lot of the relevant articles and links in the show notes of his podcast information and it’s well worth a look.

As for the success of #askjelly and the future of Librarianship – only time will tell.



Don’t you love acronyms? They are useful if you know what they mean and if you are communicating with others who know the same ones. They exist across the range of human subjects and are specific to their own topics. If you don’t know what an acronym stands for then they are as useful as if someone spoke to you in a foreign language.

EOM is commonly used in emails in the local government organisation where I worked for the last four years. And in that time I never knew what it meant. It’s significance seemed unimportant, so I was never prompted to ask.

End Of Message! Superfluous perhaps. It was commonly used in the subject line of an email when there is no content in the body of the email. For example, “Email subject: Leftover sandwiches in staff room. EOM”

On my last day I received a phone call from a local newspaper reporter asking me questions about why I was leaving. I told him that it was because I was going to care for my father who is failing quickly with Mesothelioma. I reminded him that he needed to go through the usual Council communication channels. Prompted by his enquiry I wrote a media release and sent it through to the Council media person. It had not occurred to me that this would be of any interest to the local community. It was published in the newspaper under the cute heading “Portland Library Manager turns the page“.