Last year around this time (well, a bit later, we were running a bit late…) I posted a plea for input on the new conference I was to chair called Web 2.0. You responded in spades, and it really helped me figure out a spectacular program, one that I am still quite proud of.
This year we’re doing it again, and again I need your help, your input, and your ideas. The conference will again be in San Francisco October 5-7, this time at the Argent Hotel, and once again I am teaming with Tim O’Reilly and MediaLive to produce the event.
The program for the sophomore edition of Web 2.0 is inspired by the simple observation that while last year was all about declaring the web as a platform for new and innovative business models, this year it’s all about showing what can be done on that platform, and uncovering the innovative companies, ideas, and models from which all of us can learn. I’m (loosley) focusing on three areas that are truly taking off in 2005: Media & Entertainment, Communications (ie, the Web goes mobile and swallows telecom along the way), and the Web as OS.
To that end, we’re adding few new elements to the event. Last year the “High Order Bit” was a hit – we had a dozen or so great presentations, all ten minutes or so, where a bunch of Big Ideas were unveiled. Bill Gross introduced Snap, Joe Kraus took the wraps off JotSpot, Kim Polese launched SpikeSource, and a bunch of other folks blew our minds with the future of gaming online, the real stats behind web usage (including porn), and the rather scary future we might be building ourselves if we continue to support, witting or not, a closed system of intellectual property development.
This year I’ve already got a bunch of great folks lined up for similar gigs – Tom Barton of Rackable, for example, on the bare metal of Web 2.0, and Bran Ferren on, well, whatever is turning him on in October. But I want more. That’s the first thing I’d ask you for – input on great new ideas, people, and companies to debut in October. I was very proud that we had nearly a dozen new product or company introductions at the event. If you’ve got one coming out this Fall, or you know of one, let me know.
I’ve also expanded the High Order Bit into a new element I’m calling “Show Me.” The idea here is to show something that is going to change how we understand the web, rather than just talk about it. Sky Dayton, for example, is going to show what it’s like to live in South Korea, where they’ve have full 3G “web in the air” for more than three years. And Mark Phillips is going to show what a web-enabled fully immersive 3D battle simulation looks like – something that is informing US strategy right now across the world (and may just trickle down to all our businesses in the near future). Speaking of immersive web apps, Rolf Harken, whose company did the renderings for The Matrix, is going to show his RealityServer. Prepare to have your mind blown. (One of the coolest apps he told me about was for…WalMart!)
But I want more! So if you’ve seen something amazing, or want to see something amazing, let me know about it!
I’m also adding little croutons the Web 2.0 salad which I’m calling “UI Minutes.” These are elegant, smart, and often jaw-dropping user interface hacks which have the potential to inform all of us how best to design web experiences. Google Maps would have made the list (we did show Keyhole right before it was acquired), as would the Flickr Color Wheel. Got any ideas around this? Let me know!
We’ve already got a wonderful set of speakers for this year (some I can’t announce yet, but a full list will be posted this week when the site officially goes live). But I’m always looking for more, so tell me if you or your company is interested.
And finally, the heart of Web 2.0 may well be the workshops. This year we’re going to do them again, and they are included in the price of admission (last year we charged extra for them). We had such a killer lineup last year, it’ll be hard to exceed it. But I want to try. This is where we can really drill down into a topic, like RSS business models, tagging, vertical search, and the like. If you have an idea for a workshop or want to do one, you know what to do….
Hope to see you in SF this Fall!