A Day at Web 2.0

Thanks to John Battelle, was able to attend the Web 2.0 Conference today — wishing I could take more time off work for this — incredible group of thinkers and speakers gathered in one place to discuss the theme “The Web as Platform.”

Lots of loose notes and quotable quotes below.

David Sifry of Technorati: “Weblogs are the exhaust fumes of personal attention streams.”

Rael Dornfest: “The day I realized mobile computing had arrived was when I found out they were selling tiny USB keyboards designed to work like phone keypads and plug into a desktop PC – there’s a growing body of people who are more comfortable typing SMS-style into a phone than on a standard keyboard. It blew my mind.”

Digital chocolate: Bite-sized apps designed for instant gratification. One vendor sells a small phone app called “The Babysitter” which parents can run on their phones to hand to a child melting down in public.

More phones are sold every four days than Apple has sold iPods — ever.

The largest manufacturer of digital cameras is Nokia.


David Sifry of Technorati: “Weblogs are the exhaust fumes of personal attention streams.”

Median time from blog posting to it being indexed on Technorati is 7 minutes.

The slowest the blogosphere has doubled in size is 5 months.

English-language weblogs have just dipped below 50% of all blogs.

A new weblog is created every 7.4 seconds. But there’s a 45% abandonment rate after 6 months. 400,000 posts/day, or 4 posts/sec.

Number of posts/day has tripled since start of political conventions.

“link love.”

Only 31.2% of weblogs have RSS feeds [how can this be? I’ve yet to see blogging software that doesn’t generate RSS automatically…]

Attention.xml [is this really necessary?]


James Currier of Tickle:

#1) It’s all about me. Tell me about myself. People never tire of hearing about me. Self is #1 driver of all consumer products.

#2) Freud: Sex and work, work and sex.

#3) Your mind is different from your customer’s minds.

#4) Psychology changes over time. People wouldn’t use credit cards online for years. Or put photos of themselves online.


Mary Meeker of Morgan Stanley:

China is 21% of world population. In 1850, China generated 33% of world GDP – in 1990s, 2%. Now 4% and rising. 87M internet users.

South Korea has widest broadband penetration in the world.

The ringtone market is a $3 billion annual biz.


Marc Andreesen (co-founder of Netscape) and Dan Rosensweig, COO of Yahoo! (and a former boss of my boss at ZDNet):

Marc: Microsoft got in position of owning 92% browser marketshare and then not using it. MS browser innovation dried up in 1998.

Data owned by web services is the new lock-in. You can’t get your web shop business out of eBay. Can’t get your profile and address book out of the social networking services, or Monster, etc. Amazon won’t let you output all the book recommendations you’ve written for them. It’s a plantation/sharecropper relationship.

Dan: When the data is unlocked, the business falls apart. And it’s unavoidable. You don’t want the business to unravel.

Yahoo! is developing an API suite.

Digital life lets you switch services overnight. An avalanche of users switched to Google in very short time – there was no barrier to switching. Brand loyalty is gone. Data lock-in is all the web services have to retain customers (besides innovation).

Marc: We’re hearing again about the “NetOS” – the web as an operating system, which usually translates to “What will Google do?” Google is being led by the nose into direct competition with Microsoft. Pushing toward a climatic battle.

Dan: Yes, the NetOS concept has the potential to create a lot of value for users.

Dan: The web is the most selfish medium ever created. I want what I want when I want it, where I want it.

Dan: The ability to monetize has become stable and sustainable.


Also attended a session on “Music as Platform” which included DJ Danger Mouse of the Gray Album, a rep from Atlantic Records, a rep from iTunes Music Store, and others. Good stuff, but didn’t take notes – nothing earth shaking there, or maybe I’m jaded to the subject. Best moment was Cory Doctorow getting up and making a rousing comment on larger questions of rights, copyrights, personal freedoms. Everyone was so focused on $$$ issues, missing the larger problems here. Huge ovation for a standup comment.

Moving exhortation from Hank Barry of Hummer Winblad to call your senators and plead for them to defeat the Induce Act.

Music: Sylford Walker :: Deuteronomy

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