Web 2.0 Conference - Betting on the Hype

I met Stewart Butterfield of Flickr at the conference and he, Ethan Stock (of Zvents) and I had a great conversation about the hype surrounding Web 2.0.

Stewart thinks that the hype around this is overdone and that by next year the name is going to have to change. I personally think that things are going to be bigger than ever and that there will be way more hype around it. Ethan has blogged the bet over at Onotech unfortunately, Ethan doesn't use permalinks so I can't link directly to his post.
I also had an interesting conversation with Mark Pincus on the subject of hype and his comment was that he saw a bunch of scrappy entrepreneurs going out and making it. He'd call it hype if people were bidding up the price of office space and engineers. He'd also call it hype if there were a bunch of people at the conference walking around who had nothing to do with the tech industry.

Special Thank You to Toni Schneider from Yahoo

I want to say a special thank you to Toni Schneider who is the VP of Developer Relations at Yahoo. I had a quick hallway conversation with him and the nex day it turns out that all the Yahoo API information has been updated on the site.

Thanks Toni - it's very much appreciated!

Web 2.0 Conference - Talking to 37signals

This is a little off topic from Web 2.0 and APIs but I thought it was worth writing about. I had a great conversation with Jason and David from 37 Signals at the Web 2.0 final reception. I had just heard his excellent talk on doing less and we had a good discussion about how far you could really take it.
I made the point that specs were important because they allowed you to think through problems before you started coding and they countered with the fact that you couldn't find all the problems at the spec stage and that I was just wasting time.
All in all I think I'm going to keep my specs but definitely look at lighter weight ways of doing it and will seriously look at prototyping directly in HTML so that we can get a better feel for the usability of the things that we create.

Web 2.0 Conference - Pierre Omidyar

John - Disclosure that Pierre invested in my company. Sergei Brin just popped over and we talked about how he got to where it is. Sergei and Larry are still very active but you stepped back. Why did you make that choice?

Pierrre - From the very beginning Ebay was something that I was doing on the side. I knew I would build it to a certain point and then turn it over. It wasn't about whether I thought I could scale it but I wanted to bring in new blood and professional management so that they could take over the core and put it in new directions. I'm a big believer in bringing in people with reverse points of view. I don't need to be in every decision.

At the same time how do we take the learning from Ebay and put it in other areas.

John - You started a foundation like all young moguls. Tell us about that.

Pierre - We did a lot of learning. We started a foundation and invested in non-profits. We started thinking that if you want to have an impact, why do you think you can only do that by working in the non-profit sector. Really had this notion that when you look at Ebay when you think about it after 10 years, in the most generous terms there are 150 million people who have learned to trust each other. Helps people have bigger degree of trust.

We re-organized to Omidyar network to help find business opportunities. It's a little different than VC business but we're a mission based fund.

John - What is the mission? There are cynics in the room.

Pierre - We are about self empowerement. Political, business etc. Ebay put tools in people's hands to put things in a level playing field. There's skin in the game. Economic empowerment that is unprecedented.

John - What are the contours of the fund? Money? Who from? Who's been invested in?

Pierre - $400M of my money. Treating it like a new VC fund that will be deployed in 5 years. 30M in the last year. A third in for profit companies. Looking for businesses that can only be successful if they foster individual self empowerment. Business can be a force for good.[Crowd applauds]. What the people in the room are doing is that. You're building tools to create technology that brings tools to individuals.

I think about Adam Smith and how he thinks about economies. I was struck by his analysis. Given the right environment, the pursuit of self-interest leads to an increase in the general welfare. You can look at the profit that is generated is a way of looking at improving general welfare.

[He talks about why business is good]

What is the enviroment that needs to exist for this to be true?

John - How do you tell if the company will be consistent with those values?

Pierre - Is there a level playing field? Is it open access? Does it foster communication and connection? Do the participants have a sense of ownership in what is going on?

Then look at the business model. Is it a model that can only be successful if it maintains those values. If you're trying to create a business about trade and it requires trust and is predicated on that, then the business can only be successful with a social benefit.

John - How long have you been doing this?

Pierre - A year and a half.

John - Depending on the investor there can be a little rigor or a lot of rigor. Where do you fall on that line?

Pierre - Very rigorous. It has to be a mission fit for us. It naturally limits the raw # of investment opportunities.

John - How do you measure the social impact?

Pierre -there's a lot of work on measuring social impact. How many people did we feed is an easy measure. Unfortunately it's hard to measure the big impact things. If the environement is right and the business can only be successful if there is a social impact then evidence of the success of the system is profit.

John - Are we getting to another bubble? Joe Kraus is saying that he's seeing bootstrap fratricide. Perhaps there will be venture fratricide. Everyone will compete for the niche.

Pierre - I think what's really interesting about the environment now is that tech has advanced to such a point that they can invent innovative things they need less capital to do that. That will mean that there are more people after the same opportunity. The more people that are engaged the better the result will be.

John - Can you invest as much as you want?

Pierre - Because of our constraints it is a challenge to invest as much as we want.

John - As an investor, entrepreneurs are concerned that Google will be akin to Microsoft that Google might go do it and cut off the VC funding. Do you ask this question? Are you concerned?

Pierre - If you're any company like Google you do have to be careful. We want to foster innovation. The best way to address that is to talk about Ebay does. There is an API program with 20k individuals who are part of that program. 45% of listings comes from that program. Ebay is trying to foster innovation outside of the company's walls.

It's great that we're really bright but there are people outside who are innovating as well. We want to foster more and more.

John - Are you pleased with how Ebay is doing as part of the criteria you have?

Pierre - absolutely. It's been 10 years and people have found that there are more things in common than different with people. If I went to a non-profit they couldn't accomplish increasing trust.

Question - You talked about your criteria around. Do you invest in multiple teams that go after the same concept?

Pierre - we look at ability execute in management team. I have less concern about we can only invest with one in this space. It might concern you if your investor is investing in your competition. There are some practical concerns around that. The reason that we're doing it though is that we believe that you're going to make the world better.

Question - What about the environment that exists?

Pierre - I think it's critical that there has to be competition for things to improve society. There have to be no externalities that are not priced into the product. The commercial sector can make the world a better place. Public sector must properly regulate to make sure that commercial sector does their job.

We want to work with government to help make that clear to them.

Question - I'm fascinated by companies that can do good as part of the business. How does it scale? how does social good scale with money?

Pierre - An org that focuses primarily on social good instead of ROI has more difficulty scaling than for profits. That's why I've chosen to focus on finding a business that can maximize profit only by doing the social good. There's the full confidence that as they are providing return to share holders that they are making the world a better place.

Question - What do you do about disasters?

Pierre - haven't looked at disaster preparedness. I think there are great challenges there.

Question - John a lot of people want to know about what business is starting. Pierre - how does that investment jive with teh social impact.

Pierre - I'm going to let management speak.

John - Aggregate high quality blogs. Like a music label. 4 people. I won't hype it. I think it'll be fun and I am very pleased that Omidyar network would agree. It's a very small amount of money that will stretch.

Pierre - Web 2.0 is about putting tools in people's hands. Making the tools widely accessible. Let people share and collaborate. Collecting people together is fantastic. More rich connections than ever before. This will change the world. I applaud all of you for making that happen.

Question - I founded a social enterprise to build online social networks. There is whole ecology around networks building around open source platforms.

Pierre - There's an ecology of business around communities of interest. People can pursue their self interest and it's really exciting. I'm a big fan of markets and competition. I want to focus on create the right kind of environments and rules that have the right characteristics. It will inevitably lead to really great results.


Web 2.0 Conference - Konstantine Guernike

How do you take your network of business relationships onto other sites.

People are looking to recruit there, do due diligence etc.

Did a mashup with jobs. 3 big monster, hotjobs, career builder. How many got it through a connection. This is how it really works.

Do a search on Career Builder. Use the linked in sidebar to connect you. The linked in sidebar seems pretty cool.


Web 2.0 Conference - Scott Cook

Take the complexities of life and make things simple.

We were the first people to take accounting and make it simple.

We watched people use turbotax to do their own taxes.

A good example is that someone wrote a check to a charity and we asked if it was cash or non-cash. Well she thought it was non-cash because it was cash.

Now it says Did You Give Money? Then has an explanation. Then a link for more help. Then a link for video.

Key was to use English to drive usage.

[Then went through a demo of some of their Enterprise stuff. Sorta boring. Mostly interesting that it's a usability win.]

Experiment is putting social network into Intuit. [Marc Canter needs to talk to these guys]

Medical billing is a big problem. They launched a big medical expense problem.

[Very cool!]


Web 2.0 Conference - Mark Phillips

I met Mark earlier in the conference and he's a really cool guy. I'm glad he's doing the stuff he does.

Mark - Edutainment is implicitly learning through gameplay. We all do it. I call this serious gaming. I'm going to take you to virtual Baghdad. Level of fidelity is just getting off the ground. The military is taking the gaming community really seriously.

This is the marine corp deployable training ground. They can rehearse a battle while on a ship going to a deployment.

Games themselves are closed systems. In the DoD everything is open. Game X plays with Y which plays with Z. We don't have to market. CNN does the marketing for us.

If you think war simluations are away then think again. The new soliders are from the twitch speed generation. Gamers are the majority. The future combat system is all about land and air based robotics.

DoD is building a Global Information Technology Grid. They want to build virtual cities. They are doing mashups. They are providing weather in the cities, putting traffic in. Want to provide suspension of disbelief.

Challenges. Need realtime webservices. Things need to be real time and real fast. Things are distributed but aren't computing enough. Data is key and the door is locked.

Here comes the demo with Forterra which is a demo of Iraq.

Looks very cool. Basically like Half Life 2 quality. It's a virtual tactical training center. Avatars have natural gestures. 1KM of virtual Baghdad for checkpoint training. Everything is happening in realtime.

Gestures are very important. Suspension of disbelief. Very cool VOIP happening. People are all around the country.

Running a checkpoint operation.

Car comes up. Asked to step out of the vehicle.

The avatars are really talking it looks very cool. It's really realistic how they do this.

One of the Iraqi's pulls a gun and they shoot him and have to evacuate. At this point the audio cuts out.

[I think it's a great way to train people on procedures and hat to do]

They use sattelite imagery to build the buildings. He is flying around in a helicopter.

Was interesting that things were early days. The differnce between what happens here and what games are is that the folks who play that do it for real.


Web 2.0 Conference - What do teens want?

One of the best panels I heard...

Safa Rashtchy + 5 teenagers (I don't know the spellings or names so please forgive me).

Safa - If you want to know what the next big thing is. Ask people. The age group of 12 to 24 year olds is 25% of media consumption. They spend 30% more time than the next age group. Important for you to understand what they want.

Daniel Labeaux - Junior in high school. I usually stay on the phone all day. I spend a few hundred dollars a month on ring tones, games and downloads.

Shawn Spidiacci - I'm a senior. I get home from crew and go on the computer I go on myspace and talk to people on instant messenger.

Sethi hyatt - 17 from belmont. Spend time on myspace and livejournal. Keep updated with friends lives and parents lives. My dad is retired.

Sasha Volkov - Freshman at Cal - Spend an hour or 4 hours online I do facebook and myspace. Mostly I use it for resarch.

Jake Rumblock - Senior. I spend time researching with google. Spend some time on myspace and play some playstation too.

Safa - Let's start with myspace. You don't ask them to use myspace. Do you know anyone who doesn't use myspace.

Daniel - they started and they

Safa - how much time do you spend on myspace.

Shawn  - I wait for people to leave me a message. When I go to sleep I wait if there are any notifiers and then I check myspace.

Sethi - 99.9% of my time on myspace because all my friends have it. I nkow one person who doesn't use myspace. I use it to keep in contact with people I do know.

Shawn - I know about Facebook and it's a big college one but I have a lot of friends on there that I know of.

Sasha - once you get to college myspace isn't a big deal anymore. Facebook is what's important. it's much easier than myspace.

Safa - Where do you go to search, whether it's homework etc.

Daniel - Google - type in what I need to find.

Shawn - I use google to search and use google images. I use powerpoint for presentations. When I look for music I got itunes and then I goto bittorrent website. OINK.

Sethi - Use google for images. Usually webcrawler or Ask Jeeves.

Safa - why do you use ask?

Sethi - I can type in an actual question and that's more convenient.

Sasha - I use Google. I goto itunes to check things out. I have thing called DCP++. If you exceed bandwidth it shuts you off. I've gotten 50 songs in a day. I don't pay for music anymore.

Jake - I use bittorent to get Chappelle show. If you leave things on overnight you get amazing amounts of media for free which is sweet. I use Google because I like having just the single box and not the directory.

Safa - Let's talk a little more about music. Who has an ipod (4/5) How much of it is downlaoded or free.

Shawn - I like the idea of downloading music for money but bittorrent is so easy. You can get the whole album in 30 minutes. I'd rather wait 30 minutes. My computer crashed. I went to my friends iPod and used a program off of download.com you override the iPod security to get the music.

Sasha - I have hundreds of songs and I've paid for 10. It's been a while.

Sethi - I have never paid for downloading a song. When I do download stuff for my ipod I go to my friends because they paid or their internet connection is faster. I get all different music from my friends.

Safa - Tell me about these companies as I say their names.

Daniel - I like AOL instant messenger. I use it 24/7.

Safa - Instant messaging

Shawn - Use AOL because my friends are on it. I use Yahoo too.

Sethi - I use AIM and depending who uses it I use MSN.

Sash - I use AIM but I use MSN for friends in brazil.

Jack - AOL instant messenger. I used to use the browser. I met a lot of people on MSN.

Safa - tell me about your cell phone.

Daniel - sidekick 2 from tmobile. I use AIM on the phone.

Safa - Yahoo.

Daniel - I use Yahoo to search or chat.

Shawn - Yahoo for me didn't exist didn't really exist because I didn't like their search or the layout of their webpage.

Sethi - I don't use Yahoo much but I made my friend an email account.

Sasha - I have an email account there for an internship but I don't really use it. I go as an alternative if Google isn't helping me.

Jake - Email is prety cool on Yahoo. One thing that I really like is News. In terms of region it helps to get news from Cuba there.

Safa - Tell me about Ebay

Jake - I used to buy baseball cards and videogames. I have used it 5 times. There's always that risk that someone is going to rip me off.

Sasha - Use it occasionally. My mom uses it. I'm afraid of being ripped off. I buy from Amazon for books and music.

Safa - anyone else use ebay. Amazon?

Shawn - I bought school books and CDs off Amazon.

Safa - Let's assume I give you each $100. You can spend it online or offline. Go to a bar ( laugh )

Shawn - Put it away to save it for a surfboard. I'd buy the surfboard at a used search shop. I wouldn't go online because I want to see it and touch it.

Daniel - Cellphones. Spend the money on ringtones and Games. I spend $50 and $60 on games.

Sethi - I get concert tickets or shoes. I buy shoows at Tru in San Francisco on haight street. I don't like paying for shipping and handling.

Sasha - I spend on food and clothes. Dorm food is horrible.

Jake - I spend it on burritos and gasoline. Gas is too expensive.

Safa - Shopping online this time. Buy a new phone online. Where do you go?

Daniel - I go to tmobile online. I like tmobile.

Shawn - I go to verizon becuase I don't know where else I would go. It gets a vcast on a phone but that seems cool.

Sethi - I goto sprint because family has sprint and friends do.

Safa - Let's say you want to buy a cd player.

Shawn - shakes head. CD player?!

Safa - digital camera

Shawn - I look at sony or look at download.com and look at reviews. I buy things on Froogle because you get cheap stuff.

Daniel - Probably go to Sony. I would serach for it and see what comes up.

Sethi - I don't know. I would go to best buy.

Sasha - I'd do a search for what's out there and best. I'd go to ebay or amazon.

Jake - Compare the major places that sell like Amazon, Ebay, circuit city and then froogle.

Safa - Think about the web and things you do with it. Think about 5 years from now. What do you wish you could do with the web that you can't do now.

Jake - Get rid of all that spyware. Please. Get on that please.

Sasha - I want to read books online. I don't pay for things. The more free stuff that you can come up with.

Safa - Who watches TV and how much.

Daniel - I watch TV a lot. Lay around at home watching TV. I spend the same amount of time on TV as online. I am online and watching TV at the same time.

Shawn - I don't have a lot of time to watch. I use the computer. My family is addicted to it. Can you stop watching that.

Sethi - I don't watch that much TV. I'm on the computer a lot. I watch maybe 1 show. I watch law and order svu or 24.

Sasha - I watch the cooking channel.

Jake - I am addicted to really bad TV. Laguna Beach, OC, Chappelle Show. Office. Daily Show. I watch cable news sometimes. With Fox News you have to know your enemy.

Question - I'm from FreeWebs. Feedback is awesome. We have about 15 million members. We've noticed you're very finicky. When you say sites like myspace put ads everywhere does that turn you off.

Shawn - Google does a lot of ads but they're really behind the scenes. Myspace has ads in so many spaces. When you have those pop ups it makes no sense. Hit they guy to get an ipod.

Sasha - Ads are so obnoxious. No one pays attention to them. Google is the best. It's too cluttered in other places.

Question - People are trying to build the next generation of portable devices. What do you want on that device? Phone + video + music?

Shawn - Do it. that sounds awesome. Put that all in one. Video iPod would be awesome.

Sasha - you should do that. TV shows.

Safa - would you pay $3 per video?

Sasha - I'd pay if it was quality. I'd pay if I couldn't avoid it.

Question - In your daily life where do you go for news or finding out what's going on?

Shawn - go to reuters. podcast npr. cnn. multiple news sites because I don't trust anybody.

Daniel - I go to newspaper sites. cnn.

Safa - does anyone read the newspaper (2/6)

Shasha - MSN or CNN. Video clips are really good.

Safa - Tivo? Skype?

No One knows skype

Question - What more would you like out of IM?

Shawn - you're just putting ads on it, I hate it. I'm trying to talk to my friends.

Daniel - I like to have ti on video so you can have IM when you see like a web cam.


Web 2.0 Conference - Prosumer Media

Mena Trott , Mark Fletcher, Rich Skrenta

Mark - I started bloglines to scratch my own itch. It's really turned out to be true.

Rich - We're all about directing people to great content. The folks at newspaper companies are savvy about the net. It might be in FEMA.org, Weblogs inc. There's more and more content everyday and people need to be directed to that.

John - What do we do about the

Rich - if you put up a website then you want traffic. Google is a great site but there are going to be a lot of other sites with a lot of traffic.

John - I remember reading a blog post that you made about big or small.

Mena - It stemmed from a conversation wtih Jason from 37 signals. You don't need capital or servers. In defense of big (100 people in Six Apart). There is a reason to be bigger, you need accountability. We wanted to do something to create a real impact. The day we took funding we wanted to do something more than that.

What's Web 2.0 - after this week it seems like consolidation. I like where we are.

John - I use all the products here. Let's ask the Google weather question? What do you think about the google feed reader?

Mark - I think you're joining the list of companies that have a feed reader. It validates those companies. We get the response that Bloglines changes the way people use the internet.

John - In someways Google is a competitor and a partner.

Rich - Google is a great partner and helped us make money. Google does that with Ad Sense. When I was at Sun they wouldn't let me use powerpoint on my laptop. We all compete with Microsoft but we can still use their stuff.

John - Competition is pretty direct with Blogger right?

Mena - We are competing with all the big players.

John - thre's something about the creation by the individual and the sharing of that creation. Do you believe that the companies that you guys are running will create a shift for people? Do you think there will be a populist shift?

Mena - I want a tool that people find easier to use. My mom doesn't want to publish but she needs to communicate.

John - Are you in the media business or the communcation business?

Mena - It's the communication business.

John - you've built businesses that sit on top of a roiling platform of conversations. What do those conversations look like in 10 years?

Rich - We're really early. With prosumer media we're going to follow the same trend as with web pages. In the next 2-5 years we're going to go from 1 million bloggers to 10 million bloggers. How will you find people that you want to read?

Mena - Live Journal is for things that are private, for private audiences. blogging doesn't have to be a performance art.

John - Is there going to be audio/video feeds?

Mark - Hard to skim video or audio like you can text. There will be video and audio but not in great numbers. Text is king for the forseeable future. Internet is a communication system. 20% of all email on the internet goes through Yahoo Groups. We'll continue to come out with more mediums to communicate.

Mena - Everyone is trying to figure out how many bloggers there are. No one really knows how many bloggers there are. Activity is the real issue. How do you get people to be engaged and keep doing what they're doing. That's what we're focused on.

John - Spam. An earlier presentation from Dave Sifry we saw spam spikes. The tragedy of the commons forms. Is it a threat or will it be managed.

Mark - We have a natural filter. We only crawl sites that users read.

Rich - Where spam is a problem is email. I get 4000 emails a day to my email account because of spam. The existing search engines became overtaken with spam. Google had a great relevance trick that cut through the spam. Employing automated techniques is key.

Question - I'm a religious bloglines user it hasn't changed much and it doesn't itself take advantage of features that other sites do. I'm concerned that once companies get bought innovation stops. How are you going to continue to innovate once you get bought?

Mark - We gotta stop sitting around drinking scotch and smoking cigars. The challenge for us and many companies is for one of scaling. We've doubled users in the last six months. Yesterday we sucked in 2.8 million blog articles. Before the acquision we didn't have a great architecture. We focused on the core experience. If we don't have that we're dead anyways. We've got most of that solved but you will start seeing us innovate again.

Question - Topix competes well with Google News. We have 50,000 users of blogs and they're on your service. How can we monetize it. Where does that put you? What is the revenue strategy.

Mark - Business model hasn't been settled on yet. It hasn't been a focus for us. Lots of different ways to go. Uncle Barry - no Mister Diller. You our content providers and partners we don't exist without you. I don't know when the decision will be made.

Rich - I'll say flat out that we want to have a good relationship with you. If we're not sending you the pageview there's got to be a benefit to you.

Question - I've met so many intelligent and entrepreneurs here. The only business model seems to be acquired. How do you grow the business and we don't have a business model or business plan. What do you tell people in the room that there's no business model besides use adwords.

Rich - We self funded so we really cared about revenue. We innovated around technology and product that we have an ad engine that optimizes that. We wouldn't have built it unless we needed to. The hygiene is important.

Mena - If we wanted to flip we should have done it two years ago. We're going to create a software services company. It's a long game.


Web 2.0 Conference - Sergey Brin

John - It's been a long strange trip. How are you handling moving from Stanford to where you are now. How's your head?

Sergey - I think the biggest factor contributing to Google's success is luck. We were lucky to start grad school at Stanford. We worked on the web and search because it was interesting or promising but not because it was a big business opportunity. We found we had something useful and wanted to do something impactful. We talked about opensourcing everything. We really needed money to pay for the computational resources.

It's been an exciting wild ride. Getting used to it a bit.

John - Google's come up once or twice. Respond to the conversation with Terry Semel where he said how much the technology is extraordinary but let's judge Google as a portal, Google is #4.

Sergey - I read some stories and that makes Google the underdog. At the Google cafe the food is pretty good and we try to improve it. If you rank Google as a cafe we're not in the top 100.

John - Yusuf said Microsoft was the underdog which gives us permission to do things we couldn't do before.

Sergey - If we're # 4 then how can we be the underdog? I think that I'm excited to be viewed as the leader in technology. We're not the #1 company in terms of doing big business deals or creating platforms. But from technology and development we're a leader.

John - You own search and there's an extraordinary price associated with that. Are you comfortable with that? Is there an expectation with that.

Sergey - I'm not a valuation expert. In terms of search marketshare I'm delighted that so many people use the product and that it spreads through word of mouth. Primarily the reason people come and stay with Google is the search experience.

John - One of the reasons you're so successful is a clean blank box. Is that going to continue.

Sergey - I hope we continue to be clean. There are other kinds of products. It's arisen out of need. I don't know how many people have gmail accounts (everyone raises hand). It came from a frustration that people in the company had and there are some pretty interesting things there. How many people have had their quota's grow by a factor of 100. There are areas that are overlooked by the industry much like Search was in the late 90s. I think that we have a lot of technologies and distribution that helps and we'd be foolish not to make an impact if we can.

John - Google as the Weather. In the early 90s, people would worry about Microsoft doing their same ideas. You announced a feed reader today. How do you make decisions about what to do next? What about the ecosystem around you?

Sergey - I don't know what's going to happen with the feed reader. They are all about to get a lot of calls from other people like Yahoo etc. There will be more investment spurred because of this. The other thing we really care about is enabling other businesses. We think Ad sense is the right ad platform. We knew we could do banner ads. We were going to use that and then we started to do Google Ads. Earthlink, AOL, ASK uses Google Ads and thousands of other non search sites use it too. When we did that we wanted to expand advertsing base but we were also worried about great content disappearing. There were sites that were shutting down and search would be less useful with less content. We have helped sustain online businesses.

John - Barry Diller, Terry Semel and Johnathan Miller all talked about content being important. What's your view of that? Is google going to be involved in the same way that others are in content creation?

Sergey - We believe in sending people to other sites. We don't feel the need to create the content ourselves. If you look for Google stock quote you go to Finance site on Yahoo. We are really not about trying to create our own content, we're about sending people off. They may watch video on Google but we didn't create it.

Question - There has been a lot of buzz around Google Office? Are you interested in that a lot of stories being written.

Sergey - I don't think that taking existing applications and porting them onto the web necessarily makes sense. I'm not saying that's what office is. I think that the web and web 2.0 give you the opportunity. We don't have any specific plans that.

Question - We heard the other night that clickfraud is not a problem. Especially as it relates to the syndicated network is clickfraud is not a problem?

Sergey - It's something we work on. We spend a lot of effort but there's already a lot of protection. We have fraud teams like credit cards. It's really quite rare. A lot of our advertisers care that they're getting conversions and gettings sales. They know the exact ROI that they're getting. The ad system is fairly complex and it's not so simple to negatively impact an account. That doesn't completely protect people. On the whole I think it keeps it at a very low level.

Question - What areas are you going to focus on? What's safe to invest in?

Sergey - I think that areas we enter are not poor investments. In general we have several kinds of projects, ones that are core and we will be strategic about. A lot of things you see are bottom up projects that surprise. Google Maps or Google User are not successes that execs think were a good idea. They have come up with some things that really pan out well. Some of the most successful Google projects are not those directed from Google management.

Quetsion - They ended up being the things that seem to be directed as a portal even if they're not. It creates the illusion of a plan even if there's not.

Sergey - There's still a lot that's missing. I think that our teams are dissatisfied with existing services.

Question - When Terry Semel was up there 5% are search, 40% is communication and 40% is content consumption.

Sergey - The % is fair. We have focused on where we can focus on things where people spend time. Email is where people spend a lot of time and we could make it more efficient. There are obviously ways that communication could be improved and there are a lot of good ideas.

Question - From a personal level did video search on google address what you wanted to do.

Sergey - People understimate the quality of information in video. Some of the best quality content we have is in video form because so much energy was devoted to it. Making it searchable will really unlock the value.



Web 2.0 Conference - Mental Images - Rolf

So Rolf shows a lot of movie clips of cool special effects. We've all seen these before in theateres so not super interesting.
Photo realism in industrial design and architecture. Some cool photo level quality images of cars that have been rendered.

He talked about challenges to 3d on the web and how it works currently (which is badly).

At this point I really have to say... SHOW THE COOL DEMO. This is supposed to be a Show Me session and giving us a bunch of slides about this doesn't really interest or capture my attention.

Ok finally we get to the demo. Now that's cool. You can scroll around and see all aspects of the model. Really really cool stuff. It's a little slow because of the bandwidth but it's some pretty cool stuff that I can't wait until we have this over there web.


Web 2.0 Conference - Future of Entertainment Panel

I was bummed I missed the beginning of this but needed to chat with Fred Wilson for a little while.


Mark Cuban
Reed Hastings
Michael Powell
Evan Williams

John - Here is my server. I'm going to put up my video on it. Is that going to work?

Mark - No way. We started with VHS and moved to DVD. Now we have hi-def cameras. Your expectations are changing. We have to have higher quality. Comcast is not going to lay more fiber, Fox isn't going to put more satellites up. We don't have the delivery mechanisms to keep up.

John - All my expectations are destroyed now. I thought we'd have everything. Why is Korea ahead of us?

Michael - 80% of Korea lives in high rises. US is different technology problem. We think of infrastructure policy like broadbrand in the same way as we do about oil. It's more than that. It's

I disagree with Mark about expections and the things that people put value on. More consumers are willing to accept a drop in reliability vs. ability to be mobile. My child thinks that he should have free cell phone service. He is ready to spend $40 a month on ringtones.

John - I hope someday I won't have to ask this question in a few years. Why do have content producers suing their customers?

Mark - How many studio head jobs are there? 10? The #1 job of the head of a team is to keep your job. It's a good job. As long as there's piracy it's never their fault.

Michael - Hiring lawyers and suing is harder than being creative. Industry is missing that consumers want to be

John - Did they see Netflix as competitive. Were there barriers?

Reed - We don't use special licensing. A physical good is easy to license.

John - Do you agree that IP transport won't replace US Postal service for delivery?

Reed - If you could deliver at night and cache you could get multiple hours of delivery and it would be a better experience than they get now.

John - Can you sketch for me what isn't being done that should be done to get to where we want to be?

Michael - Everything is far from perfect. Policy problem is that it assumes that telephone company should be a monopoly. So for 100 years you have laws and customs around this.

Depending on how you provide your service (even if it's the same service) you are treated differently. Tearing down these differences is key to advancing. Government should get out of the way. Government should think of it all as bits.

Mark - Yeah it makes perfect sense

John - Why didn't that happen when you were in office

Michael - Some of it did. Wifi. We won't tell you how to use the license. At the end of the day, the congress needs to move on it.

John - Always congresses fault... In order for people to be prosumers they need to get content that they can remix. It's illegal to do that right now. You can unleash a lot of talent to let people play with this stuff.

Reed - We're about to find out. They're only illegal in the US. DMCA prevents you but doesn't stop you in Canada. We haven't seen creative efforts outside of US yet..

Ev - Content will come from a lot of places. I question that you need to remix to create good content. Some of the most important content to people is stories from friends and relatives. You can do this today. You can say that it's not media but it really is. People are choosing to consume this because of personal connection and interactivity.

Mark - Is it a labor of love? If it is then great. but how do you create a hit?

Ev - Sure they won't be hits. But they could sit next to the hits. Bloglines has both NYTimes and blogs from friends at the same point.

John - What do you make of Yahoo, IAC creating content.

Reed - Blogs etc. are great, they're not going to attack TV shows but rather extend it.

John - Something about Terry Semel and Barry Diller who are icons in Hollywood are declaring intention to create content for Internet. What does that mean?

Mark - I'm going to start a soap opera called the Spot and I think it'll do really well... It's really about $20 CPM for audio and video. Advertisers like rich media.

Michael - I'm bullish on the technology power. There are more people in the content development space and we should see better content with more competition.

Mark - I think there's a huge place for user generated content. I don't think that the internet will be the only delivery mechanism. My DVD player will have a USB port and I will start shipping content on hard drives.

Question - what's going on with Netflix and Tivo? There's no technical problem. When will I get it?

Reed - It's not a technical problem. It's a licensing problem. Even the studio owned franchise Movielink can't get all of the content. Itunes launched with 60% coverage. Movielink has much lower.

Question - [couldn't hear the question]

Reed - you've got regulatory approaches to keeping the internet open.I have better bandwidth than I had ever thought I'd have.

Question - How can we produce great content without spending millions of dollars. How do you see the convergence happening?

Mark - tools are there. how do you get it to an audience to a large enough audience to get your money back? We ended up buying channels and movie theaters.

Question - What does the Netflix longtail success mean for creating the next big little thing.

Reed - The cost to make a film has dropped a lot. To get your film known is hard. The economics are very challenging. People obsess about downloading but that's not where they spend money. It's not 60% of the cost to stamp dvds. Internet needs to help with demand creation. We can use DVD to build that out for now because licensing is easy.

John - Search engine is great at demand creation. Google and Yahoo help get it. Weblogs Inc. didn't have a marketing budget.

Reed - Movies the brand doesn't keep growing. Serialized content keeps going.

John - What about Star Wars Revelations? It just got found.

Comment - I think we're missing that something can be big enough and good enough. The volume from where money goes from blockbusters go vs. long tail.

Question - I love everything you say but are you willing to participate Open Source Media and software? Are you willing to get involved in that rather than embracing hollywood?

Michael - I don't think I'm doing penance. All day today I heard about proliferation of sources. The media rules are only about broadcasting and not about media. It's only one small and declining area of media. The real conversation is around empowering platforms that help move the content.

Web 2.0 Conference - Jason Fried

Jason Fried from 37 signals with a really interesting concept. Do Less. Get less money. Less people. Do less features.

Do less.  Don't do a functional spec. There are illusions of agreement with specs. Make mistakes as you go. Solve simple problems.

I agree with him in general that you should do less and make what's there work better.

I think he's dead wrong on the spec side because it IS important to figure things out on paper before you waste a lot of time figuring them out in code.


Web 2.0 Conference - Dave Sifry

18.9 million weblogs and doubling every 5 months for the last 36 months. No signs of slowing. 70,000 new blogs every day. 50% of bloggers are active 6 months later.
15 to 30% are updating weekly or more.

There are spikes in the blog numbers which are the result of blog spam. 8% of blogs are spam.

Tremendous growth in China and Chinese blogs.

Well over a million posts in the blogosphere every day. Spikes also caused by major world events.

Blogs vs. mainstream media - how many links are linking to the page as a proxy for attention. NY Times, Wash post getting largest attention.

Boing Boing, Daily Kos and Instapundit are top 3 blogs in his list.

Shift happened in January with mainstream media companies - We need to embrace them. He anounced an integration with people like Washington Post.

Almost a third of blog posts use tags or categories. Showed a fairly content free little video about the tag usage.

BlogFinder. Lets the community tag their blogs.


Web 2.0 Conference - Late for Semel

Got here a little late becuase of traffic and lack of sleep...

Terry - Joined Yahoo because he thought it was a great opportunity during the downturn.

John - Did you feel like what is this old hollywood hand doing in Silicon Valley?

Terry - I was looking for a new thing. I wanted to be part of what the young people are doing. When Jerry Yang first approached me I thought no. Then I went home and said this is a great company, great products, great people.

I read all the articles about this moron from Hollywood but this moron saw something worth investing in.

John - You got a lot of attention for hiring Lloyd Braun and opening an office in Santa Monica. Is Terry Semel trying to turn Yahoo into the interactive studio of the future?

Terry - In my old industry the technology innovation happened every few years, you got a dvd etc. that came along. Now you need to be a technology company. You need to have technology, content and distribution. 400 million users is distribution. Content is what Yahoo is all about. Technology is key.

The days of being just a technology company or media company are over. You need to be both.

John - People are scared that Yahoo is moving into their space. You just hired a journalist to go to a war torn area. That seems like CNN's job.

Terry - What Yahoo does is content. There are three ways to generate content. User generate content - 360 is important here, flickr is important. Great area for the internet, great area for yahoo. Look to partners who want distribution on Yahoo. Finally we want to create the framework that moves forward into new technologies.

Encourage you to create your own, to look to yahoo as a distribution platform and to pave the way to teh future.

John - Yesterday Barry Diller answered much the same way about creating content. Is he a formidable competitor.

Terry - I would imagine that his content relates more to his key businesses. We will compete in travel. User generated content is key here. Example of showing blogs and reviews.

John - What is Yahoo? There seems to be a lot of different businesses. News business sees itself differently. Yahoo recently had an incident where they provided information to China that resulted in the jailing of a journalist. Traditional news organizations say they'd never do that.

Terry - 99% of what we do in news is aggregate news. You can participate in news any way you want. When asked by a NY Times reporter how they judge news division, it will be different than TV. Will judge this 18 months from now.

I don't believe there is a company that publishes or distribute in China that doesn't follow the laws in China. I wouldn't confine this issue to China per se. There are many laws around the world that are different in different places. You face a moral and legal issue that you need to follow the laws of the country if you operate there. All companies have this issue.

John - is there a dialog you can haev? Can you protest? Is that impolitic?

Terry - You can make the governments adhere to the letter of their law.

John - You can lobby the government to change but companies don't do that.

Terry - Look at traditional media companies, most of the media has problems with piracy in China.

John - How important is China to your business.

Terry - 400 million people using cell phones and devices. You are better off playing by the rules. Part of the process is to expose people to the Western way. We can't automatically tell them to stick it. It was better for us to be there and hold them to the letter of their law.

John - Let's switch the topic to Google. What do you make of Google's strategy? What is Google's strategy?

Terry - \Google has done a great job in search. They were the pioneer. Yahoo is now full speed ahead. Others are coming into search as you heard from Microsoft. I think that's healthy. Whenever you have one of anything it's better for the user.

I don't want to minimize it but only 5% of the internet is related to search but a big percentage of monetization of search. Search doesn't have personalization, community or content. In order to accomplish this they said we need communications products, shopping, news or orkut. Well it looks like a portal now... how does it rate as a portal? Well as a portal it's rated #4. News is small compared to Yahoo, MSN. Shopping is very small. Mail is a good product but I'd got with WSJ and say that Yahoo's is better. Yahoo's mail audience is 10x the size of Gmails.

Good technology company. Trying to become a portal. Don't seem to have a real plan but maybe magic will happen tomorrow.

John - let's take the market perspective. P/E ratio much higher for google

Terry - 5% of pageviews = 40% of monetization right now. That means that 90% of pageviews have not been monetized well. Paying for things on the internet is growing. Communications and Content is where people are splitting their time.

I assumed that as content got better and become more engaging that there would be more clever ways to monetize those pageviews. No doubt that will happen.
[I totally believe this]

John - Google is going to get into more services that are more portal-like such as jobs. One might presume that they would scrape, aggregate etc. Will you give a feed of jobs to Google Jobs?

Terry - We have always been more open than they are. We see ourselves as an open platform where people can publish on Yahoo. We think the big change is not getting more and more unique users but it will be about deeper engagement as time goes on. All of personalization, all of our community, platform and search will be great. People will have a more valuable experience there. We're really well positioned for where we're going. Yahoo is very well positioned for where we're going.

[Umm... he didn't answer the question]

Question - I totally agree that Google would be rated as the 4th portal. What's the biggest strength that Yahoo has and Google's biggest weakness.

[very funny exchange where Terry asks if he works for Yahoo. Questioner says that he works for MSN - Awesome]

Terry - I don't spend a lot of time analyzing other people's weaknesses. That's not true. I do think about weaknessess a lot, I just don't share those thoughts.

Yahoo has a great diversified model. Advertisers are going to spending more and more online. Hard to judge it today, but we'll be in a lot of the areas.

Question - You talked about user generated content vs mainstream content. How important is the user generated content. Where will you make money in 5 years? User generated or mainstream?

Terry - We want to encourage and enable people to share and create on Yahoo. Let tehm do what they want to do. They want to let advertisers attach to their content so they get paid. Content will get more and more important on the internet. I don't think old media is going to be where people spend most of their time. As to which will be more important. 2 or 3 years ago what we used to call branded advertising or sponsored search which is more important. I have two children that are geniuses. Why do I have to choose one? If one is bigger than the other that's great. If they're both the same that's great too. I see content the same way.


Web 2.0 Conference - End of Day 1

Well ok - technically it's the beginning of Day 2 but I was having too much fun yesterday night to keep blogging.

Here's a summary of what happened:

Dinner where I sat with some interesting folks, Ward (the wiki guy) , Bjorn (from the eclipse foundation), Ethan (Zvents), Paul (wsfinder) and a few journalists and a venture guy. Great conversation ranging from how much BS the Microsoft guys were putting out on stage to what people's favorite development tools were.

The stuff the Microsoft guys were putting was really terrible though. Don't get me wrong. I do like Microsoft and used to work there but their performance at the dinner was really off the mark for the audience. They just didn't say much. I told the journalist at NY Times and Barron's to make sure to note that are table was extremely disinterested in the Microsoft answers!

After dinner was the Google after hours cocktail hour. Thanks Google! It was great to catch up with old friends there from Jeremy @ Ebay to Kevin @ Yahoo.

Day 2 is going to be less blogging for me. I have a bunch of people that I need to meet rather than sessions to go to but I'll still be attending all the major stuff.


Cocktails and Dinner! Blogging break

Ok - I'm not sure how many folks are actually reading all this but I'm going to take a break from blogging for a bit and grab some drinks and dinner.

I suspect I won't be blogging for the rest of the night but will pick it back up again tomorrow morning.


Web 2.0 Conference - Omid Kordestani

John - Omid Kordistani figured out the business model for Google.

John - when you started in May of 1999 how was adwords?

Omid - It was non existant.

John - So what did you do?

Omid - I was first guy with a suit. Culture of hiring great people. How do we get the first folks in the door.

John - did you have a sense of what that was going to be?

Omid - I could tell when I met the founders that they were passionate about innovating. They would make the best of anything that they tried.

John - These ideas that Google is throwing up seems to be all targetted at a foe... What's your view of the fact that you're from Netscape and got eviscerated by Microsoft.

Omid - This area is very powerful. It's going to attract a lot of competition. We obsess about our users. We want to try new ideas. We only fail if we fail our users.

John - So are you saying you're not thinking about Microsoft?

Omid - We watch them but I think we'll fail if we focus on them.

John - Wallstreet, when you first read the S1 it was unusual. Seemed like a finger to wallstreet. A year and a half later do you feel pressure to meet the quarter's nubmers?

Omid - Absolutely but we felt this all along. I remembered worrying about making the quarter with Enterprise sales and how crazy that was. Yes the pressure is there.

John - Adwords, did people use adsense as their revenue stream? 3/4 search innovators use adwords as revenue stream.

What inning are we in? What % of the adwords potential market has been played out.

Omid - Larry says he counts when a query comes back. He says that it's not as good as they can and should be. Adwords can and will be improved.

John - Google is starting be compared to Microsoft in the 90s. Startups now need to answer the question - what are you going to do when Google does this? Is there a way to understand what business you're really in? You're doing so many different things.

Omid - This is something that we talk about. We don't want to be viewed as the Gorilla in the valley. We do have that sense of responsibility.

The VCs are saying that there's a lot of innovation in the valley.

Google is an innovation company. We are trying to be nimble.

John - I rean into Eric Schmidt and I asked how are you holding together. You're hiring more than 10 people today. How do you do this without blowing up.

Omid - We are trying to make it a science. We're in a mad rush to catch up with teh phenomena. Executive team looks at every hire.

John - What's next for Media and what's Google's role?

Omid - We don't have a choice. It's all changing. Podcasting changed everything for me. Google needs to make the information available.

John - Will google play a lead role like in Everybody hates Chris? Will that replace the upfront like television.

Omid - The ad models we have today won't keep wroking. Experimentation is good. Access to content is core to the mission.

John - Media companies, magazine companies fear you. They don't know that they  should trust Google.

Omid - Google doesn't sit around saying lets go crush a market. We say do what's best for the end user.

Question - As an publisher I want to get paid a percentage when a sale is closed. Is this a better way to fight click fraud?

Omid - We've made moves in that direction. If we think it's the best place to go we will move there. We are watching it now. We don't think click fraud is a big problem today. Click fraud exists but we're handling it.

Question - you've portrayed Google as a technology company. There's no sharing of information about what Google is working on. Why take that direction and when is that going to change?

Omid - The founders are academic and there is a lot of thinking about how to be a good citizen. [cop out answer but what could he say?]

Question - I have a question around the statement don't be evil. Google was saying don't sell your link status, but the people that were buying seemd like it was a double standard. Seems like a slippery slope.

Omid - When you have large networks. There is behavior that Google wouldn't stand for. We go after these things when we find them. It's not worth it to have a business that does not scale.

Question - Google Maps, license around data providers. You became an intermediary - how does it work with Navteq.

Omid - We do lots of contracts. I'm not sure about the specifics.

Question - All of a sudden we need to change the contracts because Google has become the distribution point.

Omid - Glad to talk about it offline. [Heh - tough question]


Web 2.0 Conference - Writely

It's a WYSIWYG editor through yoru browser. Lots of desktop metaphors.

So if I'm editing and close the browser it asks me if I'm sure I want to do that without saving?

Pretty cool. It lets people automatically have a great way to create web pages.

I think it's kinda neat. Seems very similar to a wiki like Jot or Socialtext.


Web 2.0 Conference - Phillip Rosedale

Linden Labs and Second Life

Even if we had a great interface that let you go somewhere, where would you go? Would you play doom?

Second Life is like the Matrix without the evil machines. What would you get if you could use computers to build the world around you from the ground up?

Could we all fly? How could we express ourselves?

Demo of common pictures from flickr on one side and second life on the other.

People can buy and sell land. People sell "skins" online.

You can sculpt things in realtime. 2M /month is the second life economy.

Strong sense of presence in second life.

[Seems like what Phillip Rosedale is showing is how cool second life is... one question is how many people have that much time to spend time virtually? Is this a good thing? Should people be creating value in real life vs. Second life?]

People raise money in second life etc.

There's a basic need to create and to manipulate that Second Life fulfills. [I agree with that. Very cool]


Web 2.0 Conference - Brian Ferren

Brian - I will talk fast. This is probably a better talk for a Web 3.0 conference.

What sucks now and will suck less for Web 3.0?

The computer revolution hasn't begun yet. We're in the doldrums. Good times ahead.

What's holding up the computer revolution? What will it take to really change things in a way that's profound and irreversible.

Can't help but think that Gutenberg said "Why isn't anyone buying my bible"

It's not processor power, connectivity, memory, display. Clearly they are huge areas we're clueless about.

Computers don't understand you. It doesn't even know you're there. The urinal has better context about you than the computer does.

The interface really sucks. It has been the dark ages for 25 years. This is going to e the new frontier.

In areas where people don't have a choice, there are custom interfaces. Pencils are better than mouse and trackballs. Faders etc. are way better than keyboards. For Games do it with a joystick.

Why does everything else go through a keyboard and mouse?

We all know we want intuitive and easy to use interfaces. There's no high performance task that's better done on a specialized interface than a general interface.

Kazoos are the analog to what the current interfaces are now.

This will be the breakthrough that lets people get to the next stage.

Standard interfaces are good but there's a reason why racing cars, helicopters and planes are different. The interfaces are better for specific tasks.

How do we break this mold?

Displays need to have the full range of vision. How small are the pixels? Small enough so that you don't notice it. The goal of the interface is so that users never notice.

Picture of a very cool down projected floor that shows a high performance system.

Picture of an earth interface that is a round display because the earth is round. Can navigate with a bowling ball type interface.

Picture of a touch table interface people use for architecture.

Picture of a real 3d interface that is physcially raised.

Picture of a motion capture interface.

Picture of a joystick control for an all terrain vehicle.

VERY cool stuff. How do I get a job there?

Web 2.0 Conference - Sky Dayton

SK Telecom in Korea bought Earthlink. Video about Sky Dayton going to Korea.

Very cool about how people watch video on their phones. People are dancing to music from their phones.

Key Points:

COMMUNITY - people see phones as essentially to a connected life.

Show TTL store - cell phone store.

It's a place for kids to study, hang out with friends. There's a cell phone cleaning station. Looks a lot like the apple store to me.

Cyworld is the largest mobile blogging service in the world.

Now cut to a commercial of a cyworld commercial. Seemed like there was a little bit of a technology glitch as the old clip showed.

OK - Commercial really shows that there's a girl with her 1000s of friends all to packing into into a car.

SATTELLITE  TV - its available on your phone.
Commercial - a phone with video on it. MLB and some music video thing.

MUSIC - 70% of digital music in Korea is sold on mobile phones. 1B market in 2009.

Kids can download music right onto their cellphones. They can share that. I think that is the future.

Commercial - People look like they're at a rave but in actuality are all dancing to their own music.

Next commercial is of someone plugging headphones into a melon to have music on demand. [I really don't know what that means though].


Web 2.0 Conference - Barry Diller

John - Why buy Ask?

Barry - Thought it might disintermediate our businesses. Not worried defensively now. Not in danger of being obliterated.

Is there an offense?

Search will keep evolving. There will be more and more convergence through the window.

John - You had discussions with AOL how was that price tag?

Barry - High. Although price is in the eye of the beholder.

Looked at Ask technology and could be differentiating. Jumped into the deal. There's protection on the downside in case of failure but saw the advertising wave as a big plus.

John - How do you gain share? What's success? What's failure? Single digits?

Barry - Staying single digits failure.

Chart - Google, Yahoo, MSN, AOL, Ask. Can we move to the left. We think we have a damn good chance.

John - What can you do? Everyone wants traffic of good intent. Drive everyone from Expedia?

Barry - We want to do thins that are differentiated. [But Barry - What is it?] We think it's there now. [umm....] See the page before you click on it. Can use 50 million people going through IAC to help in this effort.

We think everything is going to converge and that Ask is at the center of this.

Everyday think of things that you can do to get across to people.

John - there's a leader in this space Google

Barry - never heard of Google

John - they are gaining share. What comes to mind when you think of Google.

Barry - You mean the evil that I would do to them?

John - I don't mean personally

Barry - everything is personal. <laugh>

They were the first one to clean everything up. This was genius. They have a great product.

I was reading a book about Ford, a revolting man as it turned out, he was a genius. He said one car fits all and he owned the market. In the 20s and 30s no one could compete. GM could compete by saying that there was a new car every year for different people.

Will it continue to have 35% to 50% share over time?

John - Before you were an Internet mogul you were a media mogul. Yahoo is making noise in media space. Will you again be a media mogul by dint of being an internet mogul?

Barry - Absolutely will get involved in creating, financing, producing products in movie or video type form.

We all know that everything will end up digital. The idea of being distribution agnostic is very interesting.

There's going to be a role for editorship.

I see convergence. It's going to be one world.

John - One of the things that is changing is Rupert Murdoch buying myspace, what's your view of this piece of the media puzzle. What about user generated content and blogs. What's your view of that world?

Barry - User generated content - what's match.com? We provide the template but not (thank god) the product. There's not that much talent in the world and talent always rises to the top.

By the way there aren't many of them and while there may be audiences of 8-10 that are interested in someone's individual expression - that's where editorship comes in. People who are good at producing entertainment products aren't going to be displaced by the masses.

Funniest home videos won't win.

John - What do you make of murdoch's recent moves?

Barry - there's about a billion and change to talk about. It's just opportunism. He's either bought these things cheap or they're worthless. There's no in betweeen. Rupert Murdoch takes risk. Murdoch laughed when he said that he was betting the company. Most of his bets have come through.

John - What do you think of the Skype deal?

Barry - Is he crazy? <laugh> Right now it's not our kind of thing.

I do know understand what they're trying to do. You have to know what 18 things you're going to do to make revenue around it.

John - You ranted about Broadband in the US before. What are your thoughts on that?

Barry - we don't have a policy. It's benign neglect. Is it happening fast enough? no. We need a national policy. All of the extraordinary people here are hobbled relative to countries that are a fraction of our size.

John - What is net neutrality?

Barry - what we want to do is to keep what we now have. Sattelite, cable etc. Over the connectivity that we have you can press a button and everything goes everywhere. Old businesses were built on scarcity of spectrum. There used to be toll takers. You had to pay the toll. It would be terrible if you had to pay the toll on the Internet now.

Net Neutrality means that there should be a law that says you can do anything you want except get in the way of putting up a service. You can't charge them for some sort of advantage.

Opposing forces say it hasn't happened yet. Don't worry. Wait for bad things to happen before you pass the law. I think that level of naivete left me long ago.

Question - For future growth of IAC is that the proprietary control over distribution or broadening distribution.

Barry - We're a multi-business company. We can screw it up. If we innovate and keep investing and keep trying to figure it out then we should keep be fine.

We're only constrained by our sense of ideas etc.

Question - John said that you're a media mogul. If the conference has a theme it's the architecture of participation. You spoke dismissively of user generated content. Do you really believe that? What about Flickr and ourmedia?

Barry - One doesn't obliterate the other. What I'm talking about is mass entertainment. Pictures and blogs aren't going to take over people's time. When you talk about movies, games there isn't enough talent out there for it all to be self-publishable.

Question  - What steps do you see in short term for advertising to move into Internet? What do small players do?

Barry - If you have a good idea now vs. the old media world you have a much greater runway in front of you. Every day advertisers want to do things in the better and more modern way. If it's a good idea you can get it up and out. If it's a good idea it will resonate. Nothing really stands in its way.

[I don't think he really answered the question asked but it was an interesting answer]

Question - Heartened to hear you speak about Net Neutrality but seemed that you wanted to pass laws to stop it. I don't think laws will stop it. What about starting up more competition at the network system. Have you thought about that?

Barry - no. Telcos have an existing system. They want to move up the stack. Why shouldn't they. They want to be able to extract revenue from it.

What passes on that network needs to be neutral so that there's a level playing field.


Web 2.0 Conference - Keynote John Batelle and Tim O'Reilly

Tim and John. Is this all Hype? Tim says that he's been there already and hopes that it's not coming again.

[Personal take is that there's always a bubble to start main innovation waves and then there's a secondary wave that continues to grow and provide value.

Tim - the web is becoming a platform.

Question - How many people have not seen housing maps.com? No one raised their hand. This is the canonical example.

Ebay is pulling together the services as part of a new development platform.

John - Lightweight business models.

Only using 2-10 people. Tapping into existing resources like open source. Can do this with a small number of people and little money.

Tim - what's the common thing about everyone who survived dotcom bust? That we capture user's group intelligence.

Ebay - it's all about the products provided by users.
Wikipedia - it's all about the people who are doing this.

Data is the next Intel Inside.

Interesting battle between data providers and application providers. Google uses Navteq but everyone associates with Google instead of Navteq.

John - Who owns your data? You should!

Decided not to focus on web as platform but wanted to focus on things that are running over it.

Tim - Open VS Closed


Great Web 2.0 Blogger Round Up

Dion Hinchcliffe has  a great round up of various people posting on the Web 2.0 site.  Worth checking out.


Web 2.0 Conference - Pub Sub

Bob Wyman & Joe Reger - Publish structured data on the web.

The argument he puts forward is that you should put the content up on your own site instead of inside of someone else's site.

The demo was kind of interesting but it really made it look a little harder to do than what I do today. I'm not convinced that users will really want to adopt doing this. Some pretty interesting stuff if everyone adopted it though!


Web 2.0 Conference - Flock

Bart Decrem - Social Browser

Focus is on favorites/history & blogging.

Automatically sends my favorites to delicious and pulls in all the feeds to the site.

Built in blogging. There's an interesting Top Bar UI element. I'm not sure I like it up at the top but it's pretty cool.

Interesting thing is that the team is YOUNG. Very cool to see actually.

Disclaimer here is that I used to work with Bart at Eazel.


Web 2.0 Conference - All Peers

Matthew Gertner - Web 2.0 platform.

Looks like they are trying to do profiles, storage, peer to peer, resource replication. Very ambitious. It makes sense that this should all be in one place. I'm not sure that they will be able to pull this off though.


Web 2.0 Conference - Wink

Michael Tanne - People. Powered. Search.
User interaction to get better search results.
So you can see results that are rated by users. This seems a lot like My Web 2.0 Search from Yahoo. Not quite sure why I want to do this here though.


Web 2.0 Conference - ORB

Ian McCarthy - Stream content from anywhere you have it to wherever you are.

The music didn't work well because there was no speaker.
TV was cool.
Looks like a great way to keep track of everything that I've got.

The funniest part of this was when he tried to turn the light on remotely through the webcam but forgot to hit the apply button. So it looked like his demo was broken... oops...


Web 2.0 Conference- KnowNow

Ron Rasmussen - continuous notification for RSS.

So this will let me figure out LIVE when things have changed. That's pretty cool. It's not anchored to a web portal which is interesting.

I do want to be notified when stuff changes but I don't know that I really want this for my toolbar. I couldn't find it on their site though...


Web 2.0 Conference - Zvents

Disclaimer - I know Ethan and have helped out a little

Ethan Stock- The best local event search and web service.

3x the nearest competitor, 50,000 per week.

What When Where Search
Lists, maps, calendar
Great APIs

Lots of cool AJAX hapenning here.
This is a MUCH better way to find events than anything that's out there.


Web 2.0 Conference - Zimbra

Satish Dharmara - open source collaboration server

Soap APIs for every actoin on the server! Cool.

Did something smart which was have support for tons of legacy enterprise systems which will be key.

Demo of AJAX client - it looks just like outlook. Nifty feature where a mouse over will show you a calendar, map , go to skype as appropriate. Very smart.

He also showed a mashup with an Oracle system. VERY COOL. I think that this is really the next generation of mail and personal information clinet. Very impressive.


Web 2.0 Conference - Real Travel

Ken Leeder - About real people, real advice, real experiences.

Seems like this was a pretty investor focused pitch. Which given that it's Web 2.0 there are definitely a bunch of cool folks out here.

The demo looks very slick though. It definitely seems like this is a much cooler place for people to put their information. I think it will require more investment from a user than TripAdvisor though.

Web 2.0 Conference - Bunchball

Rajat Paharia - Want to do something with people you know

Poses a couple of interesting questions:
How do you get developers to not have to worry about the infrastucture distribution?

How do you get people to come to your site?

3 minutes in and I have no idea about what he's doing though...

Sounds like Ning? They've built a platform and are looking for developers.

Web 2.0 Conference - Joyent

David Young - A network suite of applications. Mail, calendar, contacts, files, binders.

Coolness - he says he's got open APIs...

It's like a next generation Personal Organization app with tags and it's all in AJAX. TONS of AJAX goodness. I almost thought was a client side applicatoin.  I think MSFT  is going to have to keep an eye on this one.

One bummer is that their site isn't going to be up until after the Web 2.0 rush.


Web 2.0 Conference - Rollyo

Dave Pell - Organize your search by source.

Create your own search engine from sites you're interested in. Look at search engines that other people have created.

Pretty interesting idea. I will have to check it out and try it. The problem I see with thsi model is that it doesn't let me discover new sites.


Web 2.0 Conference - Socialtext

Ross Mayfield - Wikis for enterprises
Talked about why wikis are cool. Collaboration at scale.
Big News - Socialtext is turning into a commercial open source company!
SynchroEdit (aka Jot Live?) - the cool thing is that this can run anywhere.

My big question is - will it ever be as cool as Jotspot is?

Web 2.0 Conference - Launchpad

This place is PACKED. It's standing room only. I'm excited to see how all the new stuff!

Batelle is getting it all started now! Everyone has 6 minutes to pitch.


Web 2.0 Conference - Yahoo and Search

David Madelborot, VP Search Content, Yahoo! Search
Will Johnson, VP & GM, Yahoo! Publisher Network Online
Anne Frisbie, Sr. Director of Category Search Marketing, Yahoo!

Dave stands up and gives his presentation.

Yahoo is the glue the brings advertisers, publishers and users together

FUSE - Find, Use, Share, Expand knowledge

Find - How do you find things behind pay firewalls? Yahoo Search Subscriptions let you search behind firewalls
Use - I don't remember what he talked about here. :)
Share - My Web 2.0 Social Seach. Personally it doesn't work well for me.
Expand - expand things that are vailable not even online yet.

Will Johnson is up next.

Talked about new dynamics in publishing with blogs and myspaces of the world.
# of people going direct to NY Times directly is dropping rapidly.
YPN - help publishers monetize their website.
Big question is - who will pay more? Yahoo says they will be competitive.

Anne Frisbie

How do I find people who want buy?

Someone who wants to actually see the ad. They are interested in purchasing the product.

She put a slide up saying that search was how people found websites. Umm.. Duh? Isn't that an obvious himmr?

Study from Doubleclick shows the Website is the place that everyone goes for information about companies and products. Then again the study is from doubleclick so I guess I'm not shocked by this.

TV is good for impressions but Online engagement is key. Gave an example of Yahoo working with Apprentice.

Question for Mark Pincus - Matt from Google talked about how they were going to free their supply of advertisers, how is that going to evolve for Yahoo?
Will - We think that we're good at letting people do this. We want to extend this. We'll create an exchange in fhe future.

Question - how else do you monetize maps and other types of content? Web 2.0 services.
Will - we need to think of better solutions around that (I'm paraphrasing).
Annie - we're talking about how to do this now in different contexts in different groups.

Question - High overlap between Yahoo 360, My Web 2.0 and My Yahoo
Dave - different users interact with the site in different ways. Building out the platform in a universal place.

Question - Is my Yahoo data transportable out of Yahoo
Dave - No. You could print the data out...

Question - Where do you draw the line between the search product and the advertising.
Annie - We're trying to return the most relevant informatoin to the consumer. [editor - I think they botched the answer to this question]

Question - As an advertiser do I get more flexibility than Adsense?
Will - We let advertisers pick what ads they want to show.

Question - You've been hiring more writers. How does that impact publishers?
Dave - our team does hire writers. The media team and search team operate separately. We know we have to let users get the best results through search.

Question - Can I block an advertiser?
Will - Yes

Question - How does publishing relate to local efforts? Can I lock down my advertisers to a particular geography.
Will - Not Yet

Question - How do you prevent clickfraud when you give publishers more control?
Will - two separate issues. No good answer on either though....

Web 2.0 Conference - What does Lunch have to do with APIs?

Ok - did anyone really want to hear about my lunch?

Actually it was pretty intresting (if short). I grabbed a quick bite to eat and sat next to the CEO of a company called Free Web. Perhaps more interesting he used to be the CEO of a company called Web OS. He would love to let people use all the great work that they had done and put it out there. I'll have some more details on that soon.

I also talked with Joe and Tim who are working with Mark Pincus on optimizing ad results and are getting some good traction with it.

So far the conference has been very interesting. Hard to keep track of all the cool stuff going on.

If you're here and see me in a WSFinder t-shirt stop by and say hi!


Web 2.0 Conference - Ad Models

Jeff Jarvis, President & Creative Director, Advance.net
Dick Costolo, CEO, Feedburner
Matt Cutts, Software Engineer, Google
Chas Edwards, Vice President, Sales & Market Development, Federated Media Publishing
Brian McAndrews, President and CEO, aQuantive
Mark Pincus, Founder, tribe.net
Jeff - What do we need?
What do we need to do coming out of this to move things forward?
Intros from all the panel members.
Dick - Web 2.0 needs to have a feedback channel to content providers and advertisers that is better than $.
Mark - trying to get higher eCPMs in small publisher and blog world. Thought is we all need to focus on experimenting. We haven't moved the dial yet. Google gave people a start at a business model but how do we grow that. Blog world has a small volume of page views but a huge reach. Focusing on CPMs is the wrong way to go. There's more value that hasn't been unlocked yet.
Chas - How do we get metrics and scalable platform like television has? If we all get rational what happens to folks like Claritin who make a premium on brands.
Matt - Ad words was a UI experiment. First adopter was ship lobsters by mail. Ads can be a service that improves the user experience. Need to take the attitude that Ads can help the user.
Jeff - Question to Tom (Starcom Guy) who is an ad executive
Tom (Starcom Guy) - What happens on internet is informative for other media as well. Metrics is key. There is now an expectation for other forms of media. If you're pure web play it's interesting because you could be solving problems in other spaces as well. A term called engagement is all the rage in Madison Avenue. How deeply related was the ad to what the user wanted to see. Brand advertisers want to see the amorphous nature of awareness as well as cost per click.
Jeff - Don't we still need to experiment?  Brian how are you approaching marketers.
Brian - do it in small pieces. Nike did it with blogs, Verizon did it with podcasts. Is reaching the same person over and over again a problem? What about the content on blogs?
Jeff - four benefits, new audience in engagement, critical mass, measurement, trust
Jeff - FM is trying to put up a larger critical mass. What are you going to do to make this work.
Chas - Technically can build ad platforms. It's not about the new new technology. It's about blogs that have high loyalty.
Mark - two kinds of ad units. Low value - Brand ads. The high value - contextual ads. Running a test of CPA ads that .5% fee (5k to 25k) that turns into a $100 CPA. Direct response happens in every medium.
Matt - experimentation is key. One of the forum members says that he gets around banner blindness by showing an ad every 6 times instead of every page. Virus keyword can get a huge amount of click through.
Mark - One question - Google lets other people experiment but when is Google going to let people get access to the ad network.
Matt - it's a high priority for us to get to sometime.
Jeff - RSS is cool but no metrics.
Dick - Feedburner thinks it's fixing that. Today I only know that I have delivered 2 feeds. I can't tell who I delivered them to. CPM on blogs suck. Different Ads in different contexts. Apple example about how the when someone searches for an iPod the blog comes up high and you get good CPM. RSS feed for that same ad is awful because the RSS readers are fanatics.
Jeff - What's the value of the human relationships?
Fred Wilson - Metcalfe's law - value of networks scales with square of number of node . Reeds law - each node can be a network, value can be exponential.
Dick - Sell Side advertising. Other publishers should be able to take an ad and use it. There needs to be some way to reward the whole value chain.
Ross Mayfield - This could solve the engagment problem if there was measurement. You want to know how the meme travels. We've been talking about this for two years.
Jeff - stop measuring impressions. Start measuring the impressed. Hand over control to the customer. I should be able to tell the network what I'm interested in. TRUST matters. Brand is trust in the end.
Brian - There needs to be differentiation in the product. The networks expose these. Buyside data is powerful.
Jeff - wouldn't we be better off if buy side and sell side advertisers open sourced everything.
Brian - in a CPM world that doesn't work. CPA world is where it works.
Mark - it's ironic that google is built on page rank. Ad Sense people are out of the equation. People rank instead of page rank. Google is the supplier of the inventory but every other ad network can be an open marketplace. FM Publishing could sell social media term. If it was open then publisher could control everything. Thousands of sites sell into the network and publishers can be creative.
Question - The users need to provide a public profile and be more participatory. How do we get users to have an incentive to participate.
Answer from Audience - It's about trust.
Fred Wilson - I love getting something when it's really relevant. Average person thinks that this creepy though. Privacy is a big issue.
Matt - When did google become evil? We still need to get you to opt in to things. More competition is good.
Mark - The big question is still - Will Google be a Business platform like Ebay? Or will Google say we don't want that much competition.
Matt - Not everyone in google will feel this way but if someone has something better then it will thrive.
Question - Relevance does not = trust. Google makes more money by keeping me in the dark.
Brian - Fundamental agreemnt is I'm getting free content and I'll advertising. Industry needs to educate the industry. Using anonymous data is preferable to personally identifiable data. TiVo found that people are still watching 30% of commercials. People are opting in to check out ads if they are relevant.
Dick - even if you've opted into it into one spot you don't feel comfortable when you're hit with it somewhere else.
Matt - Adsense is successful because - easy to sign up, mostly relevant, targetted on content. There's a lot of value to serendipity of it.
[not sure I buy this]
Jeff - how do I stop saying that I'm intersted in something.
Matt - Amazon handles this great - they tell you why you're seeing something.
Jeff - i wish I had more control. I tell them but they still keep telling me. Let me change my profile.
Question - How do you show the user something that's new?
Matt - there can be something in the algorithm that tries to solve that.
Chas - How comfortable are advertisers with serendipity?
Brian - Advertising is about relevance. How do you build brands and introduce things to people outside of context.
Tim (Starcom) - This will be imperfect. Idea for marketer is not to just hit target markets. It's to grow audiences as well. Lots of examples where the product which was targetted at one marketplace was actually being used in another one.
Question - Thoughts about video advertising on the Web?
Dick - Generalizing to rich media - opportunities for ads as content. Imagine a podcast that describes the difference about why it's good.
Tim (Starcom) - not enough supply of quality video. First generation metrics here are better than Television.
Fred Wilson - Why doesn't the John Stewart clip have an ad call that measures it.
When there's a product video - the consumption is 2x higher.
Question - what do you think about product placement in video games
Brian - advertising is pretty static right now. If it feels organic then it's good.  Seinfeld said - I want to have real brands in my show.
Chas - thinks it's more limited. Companies having trouble selling it.
Mark - what about product placement in someone's blog.
Jeff - Should I take ads or not on my blog from a particular advertiser? Ask the audience. With blogs it will reflect on your reputation.
Question: Are brands embracing the communities to promote themselves?
Brian - Brands are concenred about the content. Communites content can change in a second. I know that Jeff in a blog isn't going to wade into a scary area. It takes a lot of work to find groups. Content + aggregation are issues.. I need enough people. Also hurts on the frequency issue. I don't want to hit the same person over and over again.
Question:When will brands wake up and realize that users are going to say what they are saying.
Brian - Companies will listen but they're not willing to promote. There are barriers.
Tim - Brand marketers don't get the dialog yet.

Web 2.0 Conference - Open Source Infrastructure

Marc Canter, CEO, Broadband Mechanics
Tantek Çelik, Chief Technologist, Technorati
Brian Dear, Founder and CEO, EVDB, Inc.
Matt Mullenweg, CNET Networks
Toni Schneider, VP Yahoo! Developer Network, Yahoo!

Funniest moments  - Tantek keeps asking questions like  - who knows what a ping is? How many people have read an RFC? He's shocked. SHOCKED when 2/3 of the room raises their hands... uh duh... this is the Open Source Infrastructure panel, did you expect a non technical audience?
Marc - Web 2.0 Platform. Aren't we swapping Microsoft and Oracle for Amazon and Ebay? We've now got a critical mass of nerds who can define and figure this out.

Brian - We make our API available to everyone. Hard to find events on the web, events are hard to publish to the web. What can we do with iCal and other standards that already exist. Ping server.

Marc- Ethan Stock of Zvents will you support Brian Dear's open APIs?

Ethan - YES

Matt Mullanway - Talked about why Ping-o-matic was born. One ping to a central place that distributes it everywhere else.

Marc - let's create an umbrella organization that handles all the non profit stuff.

Matt - Explains what a ping is and how it works. Talked about how everyone wants different things. Hard to get everyone to agree to a common flexible spec.

Marc - Yahoo sees themselves as #3. Hey Toni if Yahoo is buying companies then it must have an Open Source Infrastructure project.

Toni - I work on Yahoo Developer Network. Not trying to take over the network. Trying to open up the existing platform and put out APIs and put it out there. Yahoo bought Flickr and Konfabulator for the developer communities.

We embrace open standards when they get enough momentum.

Marc - At what point do you work for someone vs. buying someone. Is the infrastructure helping just Yahoo or the community?

Toni - We support and want to make sure that things interoperate. Yahoo is not doing this just out the goodness of our hearts. Not trying to grab up the whole thing.

Marc - This is a dangerous balancing act. Yahoo is the giant gorilla. Toni will you support open event sharing.

Toni - Yes

Tantek - Talked about the Web 2.0 definition.It's important when something is open that it's royalty free and patent free, it should be freely available on the web. Just because a standard has been blessed by a standards body doesn't mean it's useful.

Marc - is there something other than the internet and the Web?

Tantek - almost anything you do local on your computer you want to do it on the web as well.

Tantek - Goes through a bunch of microformat design principles and community design principles
  • Solve a specifci problem
  • Simple as possible
  • Humans first, machines second
  • Reuse from widely adopted standards
  • Modularity and embeddability
  • Decentralized development, content, service
Community design principles:
  • Built by active participants
  • Open Source Tools
  • Open Communicatoins
  • Open from the start
  • Get real!

Tantek shows of hReview with some help with Marc Canter. Marc also plugs Firefly.

Marc - talks about how the infrastructure evolves with Search engines. All the data goes back to the Search engine. Why can't the non-profits set up data elsewhere? Where does the data live? Marc says it doesn't matter. Users don't care. [I agree with him on that.]

Marc - talks about Postells Law - one standard that subsumes all others. Marc says - Canter's law is how do we make everyone happy.

Tantek - there are a lot of folks supporting microformats

Marc - there's lots of different ways to do things. What's the user benefit of all this data?

Tantek - shows off how hperson works on his site http://tantke.com/microformats/2005/web2/speakers.html

Marc - Turns to Tantek  - why is your name on top?

Tantek - something about unicode etc. etc.

Marc - How do I create a non profit? Why is it so hard?

Robert (Music Brainz) - No easy way to do this, how do I set up a board? Need to find a lawyer or do it yourself. Did it through the board who helped find the lawyer. Talked about how Music Brainz is cool and can identify music. Metcalfe's law is key, the more people are using the more it's used.

Marc - How does Music Brainz work with AudioScrobbler

Robert (Music Brainz) - Partners that leverage Music Brainz database.

Marc - will Yahoo support Music Brainz?

Toni - This is a great example where Yahoo should look at it. There are several commercial users. It would be great if it was open and could use it.

Question - how do centralized services handle large volumes of data
Matt - If MSN was going to send traffic then Microsoft should contribute, servers, money and know how.

Web 2.0 Conference - VC 2.0 - An Entrepreneur's market

Fred Wilson, Union Square Ventures
Paul Graham, Partner, Y Combinator
Steve Jurvetson, Managing Director, Draper Fisher Jurvetson
Ross Mayfield, CEO, Social Text

I'm sitting on this panel because it really does seem like there's a new buzz going around...

Steve - enterpreneurs are in the drivers seat now. We are out of the doom and gloom period. We are Into the period of hope, optimism and greed.

Fred - cost of building consumer internet apps has dropped. This is an opportunity here.

Ross - The best time to start is in a bust. Started company with $5k. Put in 6 months worth of sweat equity. Iterated with customers quickly. Had to make the effort to make sure that things . Took a $150k round from social networking folks like Mark Pincus. Took 600k total.

Fred - is there a business for VCs anymore with the dropping costs

Paul - Yes you can start a company on a lot less money than you could before. You seem smart, you have a reasonable idea we'll try it out. Willing to make bets around 10k range. Living expenses of grad students. If you have low living expenses you have a huge advantage.

Fred - do traditional VCs go later?

Steve - there are different things going on now. Model in web services lowers the costs of partnerships. Things are much more flexible than before. Sales model is very different. Software is bought not sold. Easier than ever to get products to market Angels having a heyday.

Ross - Web 2.0 is not webservices. Web 2.0 is buliding the social infrastructure. Cultural shift happening among net generation.

Fred - What's really new here?

Ross - Always have a bottom up start demand pattern. Too expensive to sell to the CIO first.

Fred - Is there anything special about Web 2.0 that changes your investing?

Paul - I've never believed the Web 2.0 definiton. Ended up investing all in consumer web applicatoins because that's what we understand and is hot. Corrupt relationship in Enterprise sales now. Do the endrun.  Consultants can sell/install stuff at ridiculous prices. IT departments are ripe for the killing.

Fred - (to Paul) - you are making small capital bets you could make a lot of bets. There's a space between Angels and traditional VCs. Money corrupts.

Ross - Enterprise software companies used to cost $40M to be fully capitalized. $4M today.

Fred - Is Open Source a central aspect of what is happening?

Ross - Yes. There's a cultural choice about what tools to use.

Fred & Steve - both talked about how if there's open source in a company then MSFT and Oracle won't acquire it. IBM Will

Question - I asked, how does Web 2.0 change the VC equation? Are you looking for different things? Are you willing to make smaller bets?
Paul - I only make small investments.
Fred - Avg investment < $2M. How do we manage such small bets? No great answer to that. Ultimately looking for people but can't
Steve - Yes. Engage network effects. Self re-inforcing. Need the community to participate.
Fred - Problem with the IPO is that there's a huge growth after the IPO. As a VC there's not really a difference in sale vs. IPO.

Question - Does taking VC mean that my users will revolt?
Ross - it's a community management issue. You need to set up the social contract with the community.

Question - If I don't need the money should I take it for endorsement?
Fred - You should never take the money don't take the money.Google took it because they had to. Endoresement value is worthless. Only two things that matter . Cash + people who will help you and not hurt you.

Question - Why are the VCs important at all? Justify your role.
Paul - The connections matter. They open the door for you. Board member contacts are valuable.

Question - What's the value of technology vs. community?
Steve - We value community more than technology. Some industries are different like Pharma.

Question - Many entrepreneurs are saying I don't want money or much smaller amounts of money. Maybe 10-20% get early stage funding. Not enough angels around to feed the need. Almost seems like there needs to be an incubator fund.
Paul - That's exactly what I do. You need something mroe organized than angels.
Ross - Maybe VCs can invest individually instead of in a large fund.
Fred - It's been done. 3 VCs came in and started a small venture fund.

Blogging Web 2.0 - VC 2.0 Session

I asked, how does Web 2.0 change the VC equation? Are you looking for different things? Are you willing to make smaller bets?

Paul - I only make small investments.

Fred - Avg investment < $2M. How do we manage such small bets? No great answer to that. Ultimately looking for great people.

Steve - Yes. Engage network effects. Self re-inforcing. Need the community to participate.

Web 2.0 Conference

I'm really looking forward to the Web 2.0 conference tomorrow. It looks like there will be a ton of terrific speakers, the sessions look really interesting and I'm guessing that the conversations will rock too.

I will be there along with Paul Martino - We're going to be wearing WSFinder t-shirts so hopefully we'll be easy to spot.

Please come grab us if you see us. We'd love to chat with you.

Also - if you're interested in Zvents (an events website that launches @ Web 2.0) I've got some invites to the party on Thursday that I'd be happy to hand out.