[This is a guest post by Deanna Zandt, author of the forthcoming Share This! How You Will Change the World with Social Networking.]
Web 2.0 Expo wrapped up in San Francisco on Thursday last week (see my coverage of the opening days with this post), and while the depth I was longing for still never quite manifested, breadth of topics were aplenty. Keynotes covered everything from culture shifting with Clara Shih’s talk on “The Facebook Era,” where she noted that social capital is strongest and most important at the fringes of our social graphs, to hardcore nerdery with Stewart Butterfield and Cal Henderson presenting “A Web Nerd’s Approach to Building a Massively-Multiplayer Game.”
Then there was the man himself, Tim O’Reilly, giving his 2010 salvo on the state of the Internet operating system. Perhaps most important from his keynote was how strongly he came out against data silos and social graphs as walled gardens. Referencing his 2005 paper on what comprises web 2.0, he said,
“You own your own data” was one of the core pieces of positioning. I think this one of the areas where I was wrong, because I think we’re seeing that we’re being increasing owned by big providers, and I’m not sure that’s the way we want it to go.
O’Reilly went on to push back on the idea that developing on someone’s platform means that they own that work, data or service. “It’s crunch time,” he said. “It’s time to start thinking hard about keeping the web open. Don’t take the open web for granted.” Especially poignant as we see more and more people grumbling and leaving Facebook for reasons that fall under this umbrella.
Speaking of privacy, ahem, there was a fine workshop geared toward entrepreneurs on how to avoid the pitfalls of #privacyFAIL. Based on the primer by the California ACLU, “Promoting Privacy and Free Speech is Good for Business,” and populated by a lawyer, an ACLUer, an entrepreneur, and a VC, the panel offered a variety of case studies (many of which can be found in the primer) showing the do’s and don’ts of this part of business. I nearly “hallelujah’ed” when Lauren Gelman ranted a bit about how unreadable privacy statements and TOS’es are, and why this needs to change immediately.
Other workshops that caught my eye were:
- “Content Strategy for the Real World” with Kristina Halvorson. She’s a great presenter, very fun — necessary for something as heady as content strategy. It doesn’t look like her slides are up yet, but you can view past, similar presentations.
- “Lessons from the Marketing Campaign Trail: Using Social Media to Engage Multicultural Communities” with Jessica Faye Carter. Here’s where I found some of the nuance I was looking for in exploring social web culture. Through case studies (available in her slides) and an easy presentation style, Carter had the audience thinking about what comprises layers of culture, and how we can dig into identity—instead of glossing over it with broad strokes.
Of course, get-togethers and parties are half the conference fun, and I do want to give Bing big ups for the great TechKaraoke night we had on Tuesday at Jillian’s. The excellent KJ — that’s karaoke jockey— Roger Niner carried us through a fierce competition, and despite the fact that even though no one sang “Sister Christian” yet it became stuck in my head for days, it was still one of the highlights for me. Also fabulous was the book party for Brian Solis’ “Engage,” where a beautiful view atop the Marriott and good friends created an intimate and spirited atmosphere.
See you next Expo!