Notes From the O’Reilly Radar

The following are my somewhat random notes from Bill Tim (heh) O’Reilly’s talk at Web 2.0 Expo:

  • We’ve been whipsawed by negative economic news.
  • What are the deep trends that are driving Web 2.0?
  • The internet is becoming a global platform, a tool for harnessing collective intelligence. “We are building a platform to make the world smarter…an amazing revolution in human augmentation”.
  • Software has climbed above the level of a single device.
  • Areas of opportunity: Web 2.0 and the enterprise, web as platform in cloud computing, web has become ubiquitous thanks to mobile devices and sensors.
  • Collective intelligence – applications that get better, the more people that use them.
  • Web 2.0 is about finding meaning in user-generated data. Google PageRank was the beginning of the Web 2.0 era–a link was a vote.
  • Similarly there’s hidden meaning in enterprise data. O’Reilly cites Wesabe as an example–aggregating the collective intelligence from bank account data.
  • A personal computer is really just a device connected to the global computer–the cloud computer that is the web. “The computer is every computer”. Where’d I put that red pill…
  • See also Amazon, Google App Engine and Engine Yard.
  • Facebook radically outvalues WordPress. Why? The marketing values centralization. Fear a return to the monopoly that was Microsoft.
  • Open networks and interoperability thus matter more and more.
  • Mobility matters. Also think about new types of display surfaces and new interaction paradigms. Check out The Dash, an internet-connected GPS.
  • Ambient computing – “We’re in a soup of computing. Web 2.0 will be all around us”.
  • The web is built on “big, hairy audacious goals”.
  • Big projects that need more attention: Change Congress, EveryBlock and InSTEDD.
  • Finishes with a lovely poem by Rilke and a painting by Delacroix. O’Reilly offers a terrific reading. Here’s an excerpt:

What we choose to fight is so tiny!
What fights us is so great!
If only we would let ourselves be dominated
as things do by some immense storm,
we would become strong too, and not need names.

When we win it’s with small things,
and the triumph itself makes us small.
What is extraordinary and eternal
does not want to be bent by us.

UPDATE: Here’s another set of notes from the talk.


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