Web 2.0 Conference Lacks Value

I was able to take day to attend the O’Reilly Web 2.0 conference in San Francisco this Monday. Overall, not only did the conference lack value but it also highlighted how entire Web 2.0 phenomenon lacks some grounding with reality. It’s was as if everyone in that conference didn’t experience the .com bubble bursting just a few years earlier. There was a lot of talk about “concepts” and “theories”, but very little talking about how it adds value to the market.

Here is a list of a few highlights and lowlights:

  • I attended a session on Wiki’s by the CEO of Mindtouch and was convinced that he didn’t even know how to use his product. When asked to demonstrate his product, he tried to highlight some text and just start typing.
  • There was a live “twitter” going on during the conference just in case you wanted to tell all the conference attendees that you were in the bathroom.
  • In a session on called “Architectual Patterns and Models for the new Internet” by a Technical Evangelist from Adobe, I was convinced that the same architectural challenges face us in the “new internet” as compared to the “old internet”. I think this would be obvious to anyone actually building software rather an just evangelizing about it.
  • In the same session by Adobe, the speaker proclaimed the first use of Adobe Apollo to create a presentation. The presentation was buggy, mis-sized and at one point he had to go back to using the regular presentation tool. Uh. Is this valuable use of that technology?
  • During the keynotes, I was convinced that Jeff Bezos was going to punch Tim O’Reilly after asking a few controversial questions.
  • One of the most absurd scenes at that conference was Justin of Justin.tv and Robert Scoble of Scobleizer sitting outside of the keynotes hall with camera’s strapped on their heads blogging to their fans about they have camera’s strapped to their heads. Com’on! How crazy does that sound?

Now, I did come down with the flu mid-way through the show. I’m hoping that clouded my sense of reality and the Web 2.0 hype has some realists behind it.
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2 thoughts on “Web 2.0 Conference Lacks Value

  1. Randy

    I agree…at least for Monday. I attended Monday and Tuesday and found Tuesday’s sessions much more informative. Granted, I went to the show to see how we might make use of some of the Web2.0 concepts in enterprise software.

    Specifically, I attended good sessions on Effective Tagging, Blogging for Business, Adobe Apollo, and Coghead. The whole concept of incorporating social networking into the context of enterprise content management will be a very hot topic in my world. I really like Flex as a UI framework, and Adobe holds some interesting promise as a deployment mechanism.

    IBM was the only heavy hitter from the enterprise space who was exhibiting. That, coupled with the same general lack of enterprise commentary, definitely makes me think Web2.0 has yet to meet Enterprise 2.0.

    Oh yeah, I liked the Bezos – O’Reilly exchange. Hats off to Bezos for not bopping the host right in the nose.

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