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Notes from Web2.0 Expo 2008 (SF)

April 28, 2008

This year felt a lot less hectic than last year. Crowds were noticeably smaller than last year, probably because of the economy. Discounting the crowd size as a factor, the buzz seemed more controlled and thoughtful than last year. The question has shifted, thankfully, from how do we make a mashup and put it on Facebook to how do we make the cloud smarter, easier to use and the same regardless of how you access it. Open standards are the rallying call of the day.

Tim O’Reilly’s keynote was nothing short of inspiring in my opinion. The takeaway: we are at a critical juncture in human technological advancement and we should all concentrate on how to use any and all of the various inputs around us in new and unthought-of of ways to get people useful information in real time, without regard to desktop vs mobile vs refrigerator. He’s encouraging us to all look at the big picture and do something amazing with the mountain of technology that surrounds us. Obviously O’Reilly loves the open source methods for doing these things, as should we all.

From Joseph Smarr’s Web2.0 presentation

Most exciting new technology (stack): OpenId, OAuth, OpenSocial, Google Social Graph API. I attended a great session hosted by Joseph Smarr of Plaxo where he talked being able to login to a site that you’ve never been to before using OpenId and having the site auto-populate your profile with content from your friends already on the site based on your social graph. The need to maintain a spreadsheet full of username and passwords goes away. The need to manually find your friends on the 27th social site you join is gone. The need to give your google login to an application so it can scrape your contacts is gone. You maintain control over how much of your information the site can use via OAuth. Permissions to use your data can be revoked at any time. Eventually everything works this way – one cloud working seamlessly from the user’s perspective with complete control over the profile data. There’s been a lot of coverage about OpenSocial and OpenId already this year, but to brainstorm about what these technologies could actually do together is exciting.

Mesh from Microsoft makes your data available ‘anywhere’ you want it and should be interesting. It was kind of funny how much prominence the mac user had in the promo video they showed though. Can’t wait to have my files synced everywhere I go. The little bit they talked about the smarts built into the technology sounded interesting as well.

How to make money by the pallet: Dash’s ability to glean (and then sell) specific search queries from in car GPS units to companies wondering where they should build their next franchise as demo’d with aggregated Starbucks searches along an Arkansas highway.

Posted by Josh Brewer

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