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Sep 25, 2006
Event Wrap-up

The New New Internet -- Web 2.0 for Business: Sept. 2006 Show Wrap-up Notes

SUMMARY: Web 2.0 is such an over-hyped buzzword right now that when a DC-based event organizer announced a show on the topic this fall, 400 tickets sold out in about a heartbeat.

Was the show any good? What were attendees talking about among themselves, and did any speakers have truly useful insights? And does anyone really know what Web 2.0 means for business anyway?

Here's MarketingSherpa's report from the show floor, including useful hotlinks:
Show notes by Stacy Cornell, MarketingSherpa Customer & Editorial Development Manager

Overview of the feel/topic of the show:

What is Web 2.0? I was advised at the networking cocktail hour the night before the event that I could ask each attendee and speaker at the event what Web 2.0 was and get as many different answers as the number of people I asked. In fact, many at the event questioned whether Web 1.0 had even ended. Most agreed that Web 2.0 was about developing the end-user experience into a dynamic platform across media and devices.

The tactic that attendees were really talking about was tagging. Although it has been around for some time, several people indicated that they either did not know how to make use of tagging or were not using it effectively.

The keynote panel, “How Can Companies Monetize ‘The New Wisdom of the Web’?” was a disappointment to most attendees. In fact, one asked, “So how do Web 2.0 companies monetize their sites?” during the Q&A period after the panel.

Type of attendees at the show:

The show was sold out with 400 attendees. AOL reserved three full tables for employees from four different departments. When I spoke with them, they indicated that AOL would be rolling out something “huge” in the very near future but that it was all “hush, hush.” Considering the show, the common belief among attendees and exhibitors alike was that it would be in the social networking space.

Attendees were generally either seeking to create a Web 2.0 business or use Web 2.0 tactics to enhance their internal creative and communicative processes. Additionally, most attendees were B-to-C and looking to monetize their service (generally with ads). There were fewer B-to-B attendees looking to see how they could apply the principles of Web 2.0 to further interact with their clients.

Quotes from speakers/attendees on what's really important to them:

The most popular speech of the day took place during the served lunch. Mike Arrington, Founder of TechCrunch, kept attendees entertained with his quick wit and one-liners, such as, “The best entrepreneurs never listen to anybody.” (I suspect the many VCs in the audience didn't fully appreciate that one.)

The companies that Arrington pointed out as being successful with Web 2.0 monetize primarily through advertising. In fact, he pointed out that Digg has only 20 employees but apparently is gettingmore pageviews than NYTimes.com. This is where flexibility, and lack of overhead, can really benefit Web 2.0 companies.

Although this talk was very consumer-marketplace facing, Arrington said he will start a new blog with an enterprise focus in the next couple of weeks. (See link below to speaker blogs.)

In his wrap-up comments, attendees felt that Andrew McAfee of Harvard Business School “hit the nail on the head” in how Web 2.0 can affect their businesses. McAfee, who helped coin the phrase Enterprise 2.0, said it was more than just giving workers access to blogs plus wikis behind the firewall.

What McAfee said enterprise users want from Web 2.0:

1. To interact with each other internally in a meaningful way
2. For the structure to be uncomplicated and allow for maximum interaction and innovation

According to McAfee, management does not have to fear the “noise” created by internal communications. The corporate culture is a sufficient check and balance. (Outside the ivory tower, many attendees had their doubts about that.)

What the sponsor/vendor floor felt like:

11 companies were represented, a mix of established and startup Web 2.0 companies. The vendors staffing the booths all thought the attendee interest in their product/service was first rate. This is the area where attendees did much of their networking with one another as well.

According to the attendees I personally polled, Notefish won the popular vote for the Web 2.0 company in the technology showcase that would make the biggest impact.

Useful links related to this article:

Digg
http://www.digg.com


Notefish
http://www.notefish.com


Dead 2.0 - an independent hype-busting blog following trends in Web 2.0 (so popular that sometimes server crashes due to traffic overload.)
http://www.dead20.com/


Basic info on tagging:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tag_%28metadata
%29

Speakers' blog hotlinks from The New New Internet Event:
http://www.thenewnewinternet.com/conference/pages/Keyno
eSpeakers



Comments about this Event Wrap-up

Sep 25, 2006 - Tad Clarke of MarketingSherpa says:
Update: it seems that Skeptic, author of the Dead 2.0 blog that's mentioned in the Useful links, was outed the other day and that the site is down at the moment. If you're interested in reading how that transpired, go to: http://www.nik.com.au/archives/2006/09/19/dead-20-outed/


Sep 27, 2006 - L Dilly of prepa-HEC.org says:
About 2.0 and tags, the "del.icio.us" item on your articles isn't very user-friendly. The post page should be pre-filled with the url (eg: del.icio.us/post?url=http://www.marketingsherpa.com/sample.cfm?ident=29713 )


Sep 28, 2006 - Tad Clarke of MarketingSherpa says:
Thank you for the input. We've fixed our del.icio.us tags.



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