. . . Wednesday October 6, 2004

Web 2.0 – The Feeling is Back

Thanks to an invite from John Battelle, I am blogging this week from the Web 2.0 conference in SF. So far it’s been quite interesting. As an investor and blogger, I’ve been to a lot of conferences. This is the first time I came back for a second day. It’s been good and it’s in my sweetspot in terms of interest.

Now, since I’ve been rather focused on other things this week, I will refer you to the likes of Jeff Jarvis, Ev and Jason for the blow by blow and some excellent takes.

A few general thoughts.

First, I think we need to acknowlege that in a lot of ways the rise of blogs and rss are a result of spam. And the initial thoughts we have about RSS should be based on one early question: How can we effectively replace email newsletters? I’m biased but that’s my take. If newsletters still worked, I’d still be sending them. Blogging too. But I miss the pre-spam newsletter days.

Second, everyone seems to the think the holy grail of next generation of search is personalization. That may be true. But not proactive personalization. People will not work to improve their search, nor should they. Search is not that fun. It’s not you’re private files. And it’s not the kind of thing you’re going to spend hours ranking, rating and sharing. I would focus on search that personalizes without the user having to do anything. That’s sounds too obvious to even post. Apparently, it’s not.

Finally, for the first time since the boom, I feel like the old enthusiasm is back. The stuff that was most exciting about the early web (search, share, communicate … not just cash) is the stuff driving the excitement in Web 2.0. I haven’t been this excited or enthusiastic since I received my last delivery from Kozmo.

Concentration is important!