Web 2.0 Day One - A Personal Glimpse

Not sure this is appropriate for the silkworm blog but this is my site and so anything goes here!

I've been at the Web 2.0 conference all day (see the silkworm blog for my blow-by-blow accounts of the workshops). I stopped blogging at the full sessions this afternoon, leaving that task to Paul (here, here, and here) who was much more diligent than me!

I enjoyed Barry Diller's session! For a man of his age (all of 63!) he seemed completely switched on and very engaging He came across as very personable which I found strange for a co-founder of Fox! The rest of the participants were out of place and inappropriate for the Web 2.o conference. No disrespect meant to obviously very smart and influential people - but they just weren't the kind of people I came to see. For example, Philip Rosedale, founder of the immersive environment Second Life, seemed to expouse the antithesis of Web 2.0. Rather than embrace the economics of abundance, Paul's system actively impedes the free and open exchange of bits. To participate in Second Life you have to buy virtual real estate from his company - real estate that costs them almost nothing to provide. They are maintaining an artificial scarcity in land, objects and facilities.

Last of all was Omid Kordestani from Google. This was another disappointing session - Omid held the party line throughout and even ducked a pertinanent question from Tim O'Reilly on the usage rights behind the Google Maps data. "I'll be happy to discuss with you offline" was the unacceptable response. Can you believe this guy was here to participate in the new Web conversation?

After a short visit back to the hotel todrop off the laptop we returned for the MSN sponsored dinner. I was lucky enough to share a table with Ross Mayfield from SocialText and the guys from KnowNow who are relaunching themseves as a new startup (didn't they do that in 2000? Ah it's enterprise RSS this time!). We were joined by Rohit Khare, who originally founded KnowNow based on his thesis on pub/sub technologies.

Once Microsoft appeared on stage the fun began! We were watching Ray Ozzie (cool), Yusuf Mehdi (who?) and Gary Flake (cool when he was at Yahoo, but now...?) being interviewed by John Batelle and Tim O'Reilly. Of course, our table quickly started a game of buzzword bingo and we were being very loud and raucous whenever an interviewee said "long tail", "synergy" or "AJAX" amongst others. We held out for the slam dunk of "social" but it never came! Can you imagine talking for an hour at the Web 2.0 conference and not mentioning social even once! Poor, poor, poor.

The best quote from Microsoft (Ray Ozzie, I believe): We believe that in any system the enterprise owns the data first. Secondly the use owns some data too. What kind of message is that? Who owns the data I create in Web 2.0? Me of course!!!

Our table gained a few hard stares from the panel, and some cheers of support from our neighbours - I blame Rohit entirely!

To top the evening off, we were cleared out of the dining room without a pudding or even a coffee. Oh dear, must try harder. At least the subsequent Google party had free drinks with electric icecubes... pictures to follow at some point! But, now to bed to recharge the just-in-time blogging engine. Bye!

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