Here’s the thing about Macworld Expo (in San Francisco) and the Consumer Electronics Show (in Las Vegas) being held on the same week: It drives tech fanatics like me crazy because you only have time to record media and take in a handful of product announcements or interesting events because much of your time is spent socializing with friends, meeting new people, traveling and trying to navigate the logistics of a show, like CES, that is so physically draining.
I’ve been hitting a few of the high points over at Twitter (and actually made a number of new Twitter friends as well as met several folks, like Scott Monty and Joseph Jaffe, whom I’ve already been following).
I just remarked to @stevegarfield that this is the first conference I’ve attended where people are exchanging Twitter IDs rather than email addresses. Actually, that’s not an insignificant shift.
After I arrived yesterday, I made straight for the P2P Media Summit organized by Marty Lafferty and the Distributed Computing Industry Association. The gathering brought together some of the thought leaders around digital media, but as I said on the panel, I get worried whenever I’m at a conference where the most frequently used terms are "distribution," "content," "consumers," "monetize" and "protection." If this were a drinking game, we would have all hit the sauce heavily.
I’ll briefly mention the points I raised during our panel on Creating the Commercial P2P Ecosystem with Dave Ulmer of Motorola, Boh Dupree of Verizon Communications, Mike King of Abacast, Jonathan Lee of PiCAST Streaming Solutions and Neerav Shah of Verimatrix.
I suggested that rarely have we seen such a clear demarcation between eras as when the Obama administration begins in 12 days, and that new approach to politics and governing also applies to similar advances happening in social media, Web 2.0 and cloud computing. Echoing Ulmer’s good point that the technology should be secondary to what the end user wants to accomplish, I suggested that the plumbing (P2P, Content Delivery Networks (CDNs), cloud computing) shouldn’t determine a startup’s choice of business models, and that the opportunities provided by the cloud dramatically reduces the cost of a startup when IT infrastructure costs are offloaded. The cloud holds out transformative possibilities in culture, commerce, public policy, national security and personal interaction.
The panel was cut short before I could make my prediction for 2009: that commercial interactions will begin to transform from impersonal experiences to more personal, social and contextual relationships that foster deeper commercial connections. Reputation and identity will begin to play a greater role (in addition to perpetual considerations like price and convenience) in online transactions.
Took some nice photos today, will see if I’ll upload them Friday or Saturday.