Web 2.0 Expo musings

This week I attended the Web 2.0 Expo at the Moscone Center in San Francisco. It was an interesting scene both in the content presented and the attendees themselves. Like any event of this size, the speakers, panels, and sessions are hit-and-miss, in my case with duds-vs-great about 50/50. Some observations in no particular order:

  • Yahoo seems to be pushing forward with a very big and consumer-focused product line. Google is pushing the infrastructure and apps. I don’t think Google and Yahoo are really as competitive as it may seem.
  • Google’s basically got a thing where if your app runs on python, you can run it on their systems.   That’s just wild.
  • Yahoo threw a great party with free kegs, and thanks to all the little startups who’s free beer I enjoyed.
  • Inarticulate 20-somethings may be getting millions handed to them, but they are impossible to listen to for 23 minutes.
  • The company that created FunWall and SuperPoke closed a fifty freaking million dollar round of funding.
  • Microsoft was treated like a now-dethroned bully who got his comeuppance, with any Microsoft-related joke or jab getting laughs. Ipods, Iphones, Macbooks were de rigeur. Woe for the MSFT product pitchman who has to face this group.
  • MySpace was treated like a wildly-successful-but-immature younger brother : with equal parts envy and contempt.
  • Clay Shirky was amazing, as was the guy who does the Fake Steve Jobs blog.
  • Tim O’Reilly and Jonathan Schwartz were not as interesting as I thought they they’d be.
  • Facebook and Twitter, et al. may be toys, but when you look at the numbers – the users, the downloads, the “tweets”, it’s pretty staggering.
  • 90% of the business represented make their money on ads, or selling services to companies that do.
  • The general trend is away from the ‘web site’ as being a basic and uniquely identifiable entity. It seems that without a social and participatory element, a lot of projects aren’t worth doing right now.
  • Technically the cutting edge seems to be pretty stable – the focus has shifted away from language and platform and towards processes and methodologies.
  • If you are serious about a web startup and getting funding you still do need to be in the Bay Area.
  • If you are serious about your career as a web developer you still do need to be in the Bay Area
  • I am not sure why but I found the levels of Iphone, BlackBerry and Laptop usage to be a little annoying.  You paid to do this thing in person, why not actually be there?
  • There were a lot of Germans and a lot of hipsters.
  • There were a lot of people who were younger than me working on cooler stuff.
  • San Francisco is a great city to visit, but is kinda sketchy sometimes, in a way that SD isn’t.
  • SF appears to be overrun with hipsters.   It is a little bit of a mini NYC scene over there.
  • 8 hours of conference and then 6 hours of dinner and drinking is not sustainable for more than a couple days.

8 thoughts on “Web 2.0 Expo musings

  1. Tanya Glaven

    The company that created FunWall and SuperPoke closed a fifty freaking million dollar round of funding.
    -no shit!?

  2. ArtLung

    Great writeup hoss! I love me some Clay Shirky. I bought his book a few weeks ago and I *wish* I was that insightful.

    Maybe when I grow up.

  3. Pingback: ArtLung Blog · Clay Shirky at 2.0 Conference

  4. Paulo

    Thanks for the call, jerk!

    And to set the record straight — I was using a Mac way before it was cool. Go me…

  5. Varg

    If you happen to see Steve Jobs tell him after the 25-teenth update to iTunes it finally got so slow that it stopped all together and screwed up my registry. Then I switched back to Winamp.

    Kater was using Mac before it was cool.

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