Web 2.0 Expo: Wednesday morning keynotes

Unlike other conferences I’ve been to, they seem to have a lot of keynotes. Strikes me as a little odd. The only real person who do a “true” keynote would be O’Reilly, since he coined this term in the first place. He did that yesterday, and didn’t really say anything different (at least from what I’ve read).

[I hope I got all these names right. They didn’t all display them when they hit the stage.]

Running a video which looks like it was taken over the last couple of days. Kinda hokey.
Brad Forrest (O’Reilly), Jennifer Pahlka (TechWeb) hosting/emceeing

Battelle/Andreessen Interview

  • Introduced John Battelle, CEO Federated Media, who is in turn introducing Marc Andreessen
  • Looks like an interview. Man, Andreesen’s gotten old. I remember when he was a student. (Mind, I was a student at the time. I guess I’m old, too.)
  • Question: Did you realise what Mosaic might become?
    • No. Didn’t know what kind of world that it would create.
  • Question: At what point did you know you were on to something?
    • When it went viral during the beta testing. It wasn’t until they founded Netscape that they really knew.
  • Believes that most traditional media companies (e.g. newspaper) are totally unprepared for the swing in the industry (i.e. Web 2.0 affecting business models)
  • The issue of Microsoft deciding in 1995 that they were going to build a competitor to Netscape
    • Andreessen responds that Microsoft used the code that he wrote at the University of Illinois (as part of Mosaic), which he finds “exciting”
  • Question: What do you think of the current landscape?
    • Big surprise is how many of the early ideas have lasted, such as JavaScript, cookies (which “Vint Cerf cooked up over a weekend”), the back and forward buttons (which are now appearing in operating systems)
  • Mild slam at Microsoft: industry has said it’s not about the PC, it’s about the web platform (the “cloud”). Microsoft just recanted and said it was about the “mesh”. Both Battelle and Andreesen nodded: it’s the “cloud” with a different name.
  • Most kids today communicating through social networks — through the browser — which no-one saw coming years ago
  • Microsoft: “wonderful company”
  • Very pragmatic view of Microsoft buying Yahoo: feels that it’s a natural progression, although it is a bit sad that the company will likely loose its independence
  • Thinks that there is a “coming nuclear winter”
    • The credit crunch is wreaking havoc within the industry; could bring back the same crunch after the dotcom crash
    • Every part of the economy is tightly linked, and the crunch will start affecting marketing budgets
  • Big conversation on basis of Ning (platform for social platforms)
  • Believes that if Microsoft and IBM hadn’t standardised the PC platform, this industry wouldn’t be where it is now
    • Also believes that the mobile industry is being held back for exactly the same reason — no standardisation

Jonathan Zittrain

  • Jonathan Zittrain unable to attend, showing only a video on his book: The Future of the Internet and How to Stop It.
  • Some vague mention of “in the interest of reducing the carbon footprint of this conference”; c’mon, the only way to reduce the footprint is NOT TO HAVE IT

Mitchell Baker, Mozilla

  • Wild hair style
  • Wants to talk about the user experience
  • Shouldn’t have to worry about the mobile web — it should be just one web
    • Device independence, allowing any device to see exactly the same thing
  • One web is important. Okay, we get it. Next point, please.
  • “Browser” is a bad metaphor. We don’t browse the web, we create it. We mash it. We do everything but merely look at it.
  • Need an open web development platform — plug for Firefox
    • Pushing perhaps a little too hard for Firefox, IMO
  • Firefox now runs properly on mobile devices
    • Fenik (Fennick? Fenick? It’s a Brazilian fox) is a specific produce release
  • “Mobile” also a misnomer. Devices aren’t mobile, people are. If a device is mobile without me, that’s a problem.

Ari Balogh, Yahoo CTO

  • Lots of stats. We know Yahoo is big. Really big.
  • Yahoo! Open Strategy
    • Rewiring to create development platform to open assets to all developers, everywhere
    • Customer experience will be social throughout
  • SearchMonkey development beta now open
  • People will be able to add their own applications/components to their Yahoo! sites (e.g. front page)
  • Social is not a destination, it’s a dimension
  • SearchMonkey is the first part of this; the rest of the Y! OS (open strategy) framework will come later this year
  • Pretty slick stuff — has a lot of potential and ability

Ofer Shaked, Current.tv

  • 70% of Current watchers have a computer in the room where they watch TV
  • Minor redesign greatly increased the social feedback
  • Reviewing popular media

Steve Pirwin(?), MySpace

  • Seems a bit odd to be talking about MySpace instead of Facebook, or possibly the “next Facebook”
  • 85 GB of bandwidth, 11% of online minutes in US are on MySpace

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