November 18, 2010

Web 2.0 Summit: Photos & more highlights

Evan Williams

JD LasicaHere’s my final report from the seventh annual Web 2.0 Summit in San Francisco — among the nation’s premier tech conferences.

Despite not having top-tier glass, I managed to capture some impressive images of some of Silicon Valley’s tech leaders: Here’s a Flickr set of 71 images.

A few snippets from Wednesday’s session (I was networking, taking photos and multitasking):

• “Companies that extract the most signal from the stream ultimately offer the most value,” said Jeff Weiner, CEO of LinkedIn, which — like Web 2.0 Summit — is 7 years old. Unlike Web 2.0 Summit, LinkedIn has 85 million members and it’s growing rapidly in light of the just-ended recession. LinkedIn’s biggest penetration is in the Netherlands.

• Cyriac Roeding of shopkick (“Rewards simply for walking into stores”) laid out a stirring vision of retail commerce based on geo-location — “not GPS,” he underscored. Rather than having merchants thank you when they swipe your card and you’re leaving the store, in a few years location-based shopping will flip the model on its head: They’ll welcome you as you enter the store and guide you to products tailored to your needs.

Maybe.

• Valuations (often a dicey — dare I say nutty? — proposition):

Facebook: $40.8 billion (Mashable story)
Zynga (maker of FarmVille and other social games): $5.5 billion
Twitter: $3.4 billion
LinkedIn: $2 billion

• Inspiring talk by Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg on Tuesday: “It’s not a zero sum game.” Companies like Facebook should, and are, enabling other businesses. Also, the problem with the fanciful map shown throughout the conference is that “the unknown territory is way too small,” he said. Dead on.

• I agree with Marc Benioff, CEO of Salesforce: The theme of this year’s Web 2.0 Summit was a bit misstated. “We have to abandon the points of control metaphor — no one controls the cloud.”

• FCC chairman Julius Genakowski (photo below) said that while some of the ideas Google and Verizon proposed in their statement of principles on Net Neutrality reflect progress made by players in the space, he would have “preferred that they not do exactly what they did, when they did.” That, combined with a wrong-headed court decision, has resulted in no enforceable government policy on Net Neutrality so far.

Julius Genachowski

• There are 124 million active domains on the Internet, says Toni Schneider, CEO of Automattic, maker of WordPress.

• Twitter co-founder Evan Williams: “We aspire to be a platform company, but I don’t think we’ve really done that yet.”

Related

Web 2.0 Summit: Privacy, innovation, games & ebooks (Socialmedia.biz)
JD Lasica, founder of Socialmedia.biz, is now co-founder of the cruise discovery engine Cruiseable. See his About page, contact JD or follow him on Twitter or Google Plus.

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