TECH TALK: Web 2.0: Conference Highlights (Part 5)

Richard MacManus wrote about the talk by Yahoos CEO:

Semel thinks there is a big change happening on the Internet – deeper engagement, more time spent, more user satisfaction will be keys in the current and coming era. Things like personalization, community, content on platforms, search. He thinks Yahoo! has a “much richer experience” than Google – and that Yahoo! has much more diversified model, which is well-positioned for user-generated content, community, etc. Indeed he said that user-generated content is “of utmost importance” to Yahoo! – “gigantic piece of what we do”.

“Content in general is going to be more and more important”, said Semel. New media requires new paradigms, going forward. And Semel thinks Yahoo! won’t have to choose between user-generated and professional content – the market and users will decide and Yahoo!’s goal is to monetize as much as possible.

Vinod Khosla had this to say about the evolving culture of participation:

I do feel the Yahoo approach of authoring top-down content is no longer relevant. Most of the creativity is out there. Even if its just a few people, the few that are out there will be discovered by the Web, not by us centrally dictating that.

The psychology of this generation has completely changed. Watching my kids, they think everything is Flickrable, even their parents. I was talking to the Fox people, and they did not realize how many people used IM while watching TV to have this always-on friendship. They are completely the remix generation. They started with audio but now it is everything. That is where success will come from,

[Success] is going to be in the companies that can maintain and grow audiences and are not trying to control content. I think we will start to see companies aggregate audiences in interesting ways.

Jeff Jarvis has some comments:

Yesterday, Id had it with hearing content moguls talk about how all the value is in content and how they plan to use user-generated content. That means means theyre using users. Thats us.

So I got to the mic and said what many have said on blogs: that the phrase user-generated content makes our spines twist. We call it sharing. We call it conversation. They call it content. And they call us users.
Its made of people.
Ill say it again (and again and again): Who wants to own content?

: Or see Web 2.1 whose new slogan is: The point is people.

So, 10 years after it all started, I guess we are finally getting to the We part of the Web.


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Rajesh Jain

An Entrepreneur based in Mumbai, India.