Web 2.0 conference

Some random impressions from the Web 2.0 Expo this week in San Francisco.

O’Reilly and CMP did an excellent job.  This was the first conference, which John Battelle describes as an expansion of the Web 2.0 Summit that this team created.  Content-wise, they covered a lot of territory.  Kinks to work out, but they’re aware of them.

I appreciated the option of attending on an exhibit hall pass, which provided access to the keynotes and a few breakout sessions.  This is nice for entrepreneurs, companies with a small training budget, people who can’t commit three full days and evenings and those of us who just wanted to check out the approach before committing budget.

A lot of people have blogged about the embarrassing, irritating,
offensive example the Spock co-founder used in his presentation.  More
on this in the next post.

Still hearing the term "disruption," and I still don’t like it, even though it’s here to stay.  It’s a negative way to describe an organic, necessary and positive aspect of the advance of technology, innovation by innovation.  Of course, I don’t have any suggestions yet for a new term.

One of the best developments out of this era [Web 2.0] is the evolution of enterprise-scale technology solutions.  Companies can now create what I call, in my own non-techie way, hybrid systems — combining traditional hardware/software tools with web-based applications — to fuel higher productivity and collaboration.  A great example is Suite Two.  More on this in a subsequent post.

One of my favorite encounters was with Chris Pirillo.  This week, he started streaming video from his website.  He’s developing even more relationships as a result — lots of people logging on and talking with each other via the chat room — and with Chris while he’s "on camera."  Chris showed me how it works, live.  It’s fun.  Plus, I really like how Chris is establishing rules of the road without being heavy-handed about it.  Everyone seems to be remembering their manners without stifling opinions or conversation.

Since Chris’s laptop was running out of juice, Johnny Ham of ustream.tv loaned him his — which has a camera built into the screen.  Nice example of the collaborative feeling of the entire conference.  Johnny’s technology is responsible for San Francisco’s latest hot topic, JUSTIN TV.  Don’t know whether to thank Johnny for that or not.  And, Dave Winer is testing the technology, too.

While the sponsors probably want to expand attendance, this was the
perfect size for me.  It was in the smaller Moscone West, so it felt
more intimate.  Which leads to my next point.

Like any conference,
the thing I liked the most was breaking out of my circle to meet new
people, who, in brief conversations, can share a lot of insight and
actually teach you something.  Goes double for this one, because it was about technology.  Also, the breakouts were relaxed and
content focused, which also encouraged conversation with the speakers
and panelists. 

Some new faces [for me]:  Mark Schulze of Quantcast; Gregg
, Ruby on Rails evangelist; Jeremy Pepper; Luis Jose Salazar of
Microsoft Office Live; corporate training advisor Dan Baldwin; Matt
Corgan, John Fitzpatrick and Douglas Pope of hotpads.com; Marc Levin; internet strategist Stephanie Agresta; Terre Layton.

The lovable familiar faces:  Sylvia Paull — featured in May’s FAST COMPANY, Kaliya Hamlin, Susan Mernit, Marissa Levinson.

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