Web 2.0 Expo – Day 1 & 2

IBM gave out candy if you tweeted (or didn't) #sweettweet.  My tweet on top middle.

IBM gave out candy if you tweeted (or didn't) #sweettweet. My tweet on top middle.

Today, I attended day two of Web 2.0 Expo. See day. While I didn’t attend the main conference on day 1, there are a couple comments in here about it.  Many of the presentation files are available.

Day 2 Keynotes

They had a live tweet stream of all items tagged #w2e.  Apparently on Tuesday people posted some less than appropriate things.  Edited to add link. Today the tweet stream was curated (are we in a museum?) and only appropriate ones showed on screen.  Or as the speakers said, the stream was censored.

  1. There’s a #hashtag for that. – I had seen the swine flu part of The Onion speaker’s talk at a previous Ignite event.  It was still funny.  He gave many more examples.  Since this is a twitter topic, I’ll let you check out the speaker’s twitter page for more details.
  2. How we get past “free” and learn to exchange value again – Douglas Rushkoff talked about how money was created as a scarce and controllable resource in the Middle Ages.  It continued through the Industrial Age so the rich could stay rich without “doing anything.”  Corporations support this currency system by extracting value.  He also talked about how if something is free, you must leverage what isn’t.  (Write for free; get paid to talk.)  Looking to the future, Douglas speculated about power being won by companies that index content or control the index and that the next big thing is a non-cash electronic payment system.
  3. Making sense of Google Wave – After plugging her free preview PDF book The Complete Guide To Google Wave, Gina Trapani introduced Wave.  With that: she said, Wave:
    • is a protocol
    • is e-mail if e-mail were invented today (e-mail is a messaging paradigm based on postal mail)
    • does not strive to replace e-mail
    • is a collaboration tool
    • is meant for use in small groups of people you work with (public waves are overwhelming)
    • can have multiple clients like Twitter if someone writes them
    • does not support Internet Explorer – Google calls this “forward thinking” what’s forward about not supporting the most widely used browser?
    • targets power users, not “applications for dummies”
    • takes time to learn – like Photoshop
    • is too unstable to use for writing the PDF book not exactly a ringing endorsement
    • is good for threaded conversations
    • can show realtime movements on a map to others in your Wave
    • can easily start a group conference call when you need to go verbal
    • is currently in the invite only Beta.  Web 2.0 Expo attendees get an invite which comes with 10 invites. First 10 people to ask me for one get them.  I know I look forward to playing with it.
  4. Beyond Facebook and Twitter – Anil Dash described a few lessons learned of Web 2.0 that governments are applying: wisdom of crowds, cloudes, every problem is a scaling problem and there are more experts outside than inside.”
  5. Interview with John Barthwick from Betaworks – The classic O’Reilly style sit on the chairs interview.
  6. Confessions of a public speaker -Scott Berken author of a book by the same name said public speaking is the original social medium.  He pointed to three timeless technologies (at least in techie circles) – talking, writing and beer – all of which provided areas for communication.  Before ending by suggesting an exercise (he suggesting asking “what’s the best story about your product” rather than listening to a marketing pitch”, he made three interesting comments:
    • You can tell a good or bad story with any technology.
    • Failures to communicate cannot be resolved by technology.
    • Technology can only get you so far.  “The world is pretending the breakthrough is in technology; the bottleneck is really in art.” – Penn Jillette

Birds of a Feather

I liked the Wednesday Birds of a Feather much more than the Tuesday ones.  I attended two sessions on both days.  Each day, one had a decent number of people and the other was almost empty.  However, the Wednesday ones had more of what I call “prepared discussion” while the Tuesday ones were more presentation driven.  Since the spirit of Birds of a Feather is supposed to be about discussion, I was surprised by the amount of presentation involved.

Web 2.0 Open

Like Birds of a Feather, Web 2.0 Open also focuses on participation over presentation.  I only attended one of their sessions today, but they did a great job.  There were a lot of people in the room, they were engaged and there were references to discussions earlier in the day.

Other things I learned at assorted talks or things I think were especially clever

  • Open source is people getting together and doing something.  Crowdsourcing is a company trying to get people to do something for it.
  • We all write for a living – e-mails, tweets, etc
  • “Sending cat pictures to friends” is becoming a cliche.  I’ve been hearing about it for over a year now.  In case you haven’t heard about it – I can has cheezburger
  • UX stands for user experience
  • Sony Ericson has a phone/camera with facial recognition.
  • “Social Mining” and “Sentiment Monitoring” are terms.  They are what they sound like.
  • People may say bad things about your product whether you are on social networking sites or not.  The difference is you can respond/react properly
  • Social media isn’t free.  It still takes time to market.
  • Page views are an early matrix.  Financial metrics should be used for ROI which come after that.
  • Facebook is starting to become profitable from ads.  Twitter is still leaking money.
  • IBM talked about the “virtuous cycle or reuse” (aka positive feedback loop) – each mashup you create makes creating the next one faster due to more widgets in your catalog.  This seems like it applies to any type of common component.
  • IBM shows how they use social networking on their own internet with live examples.
  • Wolfram Alpha showed many interesting examples using their knowledge engine.
  • If everyone gets a phone, do you wait for someone to mail you a letter?
  • You can waste time with any technology – such as Minesweeper when PCs first had it.
  • On Twitter, your popularity increases your credibility which increases your status.
  • Four online behaviors are lurking (private), staying in touch (people you know), connecting (people you want to know) and brand building (very public)

Check back tomorrow for comments on the final day of Web 2.0 Expo.

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