TECH TALK: Web 2.0: Conference Highlights

The past week saw the Web 2.0 conference take place in San Francisco along with a number of Web 2.0ish developments. Yahoo acquired, AOL bought Weblogs, Inc, Verisign bought Dave Winers, Google launched its RSS reader, Brightcove and Nings launches. Building on last weeks posts, I am doing a summary of Web 2.0 writings from across the blogosphere so we can put some of the happenings in this fast-moving world in context.

There is definitely a new excitement around along with a new vocabulary. It is like the early days of the Web. That time it was about surfacing content; this time it is about interactive services. In India, we have only barely scratched the surface with Web 1.0. There are plenty of opportunities about to leapfrog into the Web 2.0 space with services which make a difference to our lives. The question is: will there be any local companies who will take the lead, or will it the likes of Yahoo, Google and MSN which will call the shots? Opportunities for innovation abound as the Web gets an upgrade. India will need a mix of both entrepreneurs and investors if we are to create start-ups in this space.

For now, sit back and enjoy the ride as each day sees at least one new Web 2.0 service being launched!

Let us start looking back at the week that was with Silicon Beat:

We talked with people in the hallways of [the] conference in San Francisco, trying to figure out what single theme trumps all others.

There are all kinds of trends, from the Ajax framework, to RSS, to tagging and more. But what is the uber concept? Our conclusion, perhaps not revolutionary for accomplices of the Internet revolution, boils down to one word: OPEN

It is a familiar, perhaps hackneyed concept. Being open means opening your company’s platform for integration with other services, and for users to be able to communicate back to you, and with other users at other sites.

Fred Wilson is worried about the second derivatives.

What was a budding movement three years ago, at the dawn of the revival in technology, internet, and silicon valley, has become a full blown mania.
Everyone is on this game. That goes for both entrepreneurs, who seem to be hatching new businesses at as rapid a rate as we saw at the height of the web 1.0 bubble, and VCs, who are quickly remaking themselves from enterprise software investors to consumer internet investors.

Last year at this time we were talking about interesting companies like Skype, Flickr, MySpace, etc.

Many of them are gone, gobbled up by the web 1.0 giants or the mainstream media companies.

In their places we are seeing second derivatives. I heard one business described as Google Maps meets delicious, and another described as Skype meets MySpace. When the first derivative hasn’t fully figured its long term business model (other than getting bought), the second derivatives are pretty scary.

Tomorrow: Conference Highlights (continued)


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Rajesh Jain

An Entrepreneur based in Mumbai, India.