Brian Jepson of O'Reilly is here now (he was on the committee that planned the conference). "This is the best one I've been to yet." He says the biggest thing he learned is that there's tons of Bluetooth devices on the network. We agreed that the underlying subtext to the conference is syndication (I've had so many conversations about syndication this week I can't remember them all) and social software.
The lobby bar is where the cool action was, he says. I totally agree. I'm interviewing him live in that bar.
Stewart Butterfield is giving me a demo of flickr. Real-time media sharing. Collaborative drawing. Real-time Photoshop contests. Uploading samples. Playing with the media we all generate.
Free, ad-based. Expected to see "pro" accounts. Stewart wrote the user interaction/UI for it. This is impressive.
It was turned on on Tuesday. Already a couple thousand users. Real launch is next week.
Speaking of Doc Searls. You know him, right? He's the guy who said "markets are conversations" in the ClueTrain manifesto.
Well, the other night we were talking about it and he added onto his famous saying "and relationships are more important."
That's the most profound thing I've heard here. More about that over the next few days as I get ready to go to Demo. Speaking of which, did I get invited there for any other reason that I had built relationships through my blog? No.
Slashdot is reporting that Windows 2000 and NT source code has leaked to the Internet.
How did I learn about this? Someone behind me at the O'Reilly conference told their neighbor about it.
The other big conversation that is happening here? John Kerry's rumored affair, as reported by the Drudge Report. Is it true? I don't know. But, people are talking about it. And talking about the fact that the mainstream press hasn't yet reported on it. Doc Searls is pointing at the latest.
Dave Winer was at Microsoft on Monday. Don Hopkins put up a transcript. At one point they compared Sharepoint with weblogging.
Dave made a point about open formats and why that'd be important for Sharepoint to do.
I think Dave missed why Sharepoint isn't being used for weblogging. I wrote about this earlier. I have a checklist of "what made weblogging hot?" that I call "the five pillars of conversational software." Sharepoint only has one of the five.
The five are:
1) Is your system easy to publish to (can I go to a URL, see a box, type in it, and hit publish?) Sharepoint has this.
2) Can I discover which sites have been published? With weblogs I can go to weblogs.com and see which sites have just been published. With Sharepoint? No. I have a Sharepoint site on Microsoft's intranet.
3) Does your system show social ties? With weblogs I have a public referers page. I can see who has linked to me within minutes of them doing so (as long as they send some traffic my way -- hint for webloggers, if you link to me, click on the link on your own weblog). With Sharepoint? Nope. I don't know if the http://longhorn site links to my http://evangelism site. And, none of the info I get from Trackbacks or referers (traffic importance, etc). I can't start a conversation.
4) Does your system build permalinks for individual ideas? No. On my http://evnagelism site I've posted long pages that have several ideas each. If I wanted to point you to the third idea I've put on a page, there's no way to do it automatically (yeah, I know, I can manually build a name tag, but that's not the same thing as a permalink). Translation, it's hard to virally send your idea around.
5) Does your system syndicate? Does it build an RSS or an Atom feed that I can read in a news aggregator (I'm watching 1300 news feeds right now -- that would be impossible to do if I needed to visit all those sites in the web browser). Sharepoint doesn't do this natively today (there is an addon, but my Sharepoint site does not yet publish in RSS or Atom yet).
Sharepoint DOES support open formats. It publishes in HTML. Now, you might say it isn't "cool looking" HTML. You might say "it doesn't support the latest CSS standards." But if you said either of those things you'd be totally missing the point. Those two things have NOTHING to do with why Sharepoint isn't being used for weblogging or syndication or why most people outside of Microsoft perceive Sharepoint as being behind the times (Mick Stanic, of OgilvyInteractive just told me basically the same things as I'm reporting to you here).
What's an emerging technology trend from the Emerging Technology Conference? Tablet PCs!
Last year I was the only one I saw at this conference with a Tablet PC (remember, that was back before I was a Microsoft employee). Today tons of Tablets are here. Bob Frankston is proud of showing off his Tablet PC.
I'm sitting next to Mick Stanic, Executive Producer at Singleton OgilvyInteractive. You might have heard of them. They do all sorts of ads and consulting for companies around the world (like the Quantas ads). He's banging away on a Toshiba M200. He tells me that it's the only Tablet PC that can run at 1400x1050 resolution.
What's funny is that there aren't any sessions on Tablet PC software here. Gotta talk with Tim O'Reilly about that. Maybe next year we'll get to show off Longhorn and the Tablet stuff.
Sorry I haven't been very active the past few days. The conversations have been amazing here at the O'Reilly Emerging Technology Conference.
Here's one evidence of how the world has changed. Today a nice guy was introduced to me at the end of a session today.
Turns out it was Eric Auchard from Reuters.
Now, look back at my blog on Monday. I took a swing at Reuters for how they reported Joe Trippi's keynote here at the O'Reilly conferences. The guy who wrote that story was now speaking with me.
We had a nice conversation. He said that he had read and considered what I had to write and appreciated that. Then he explained his point of view. While discussing news judgment and other factors I found myself thinking just how unlikely this exchange would have happened five years ago.
Because of the relationships I've built in the industry he was talking to me as a peer. Think about that. Reuters was explaining how it worked to me.
And whether or not I was right or wrong really doesn't matter. The fact that a common citizen like me could be heard by a journalist who is at the top of his profession (you don't get a job at Reuters by being a hack or unprofessional) is simply amazing to me.
Now, is Eric changed by weblogging? Absolutely! But I'm changed by Eric too. First of all, I was able to get Eric's point of view and, to tell you the truth, it is a compelling point (that his job is to report the news and that he picked out the most interesting things for his readers). Second of all, I now have a relationship with Eric. Who do you think I'm likely to call if I have a technology story that I think Reuters would be interested in?
I'm also going to start watching for Eric's articles in the future. He won me over. With his nice and rational conversation he had with me. Why is he a professional? Because he was able to accept criticism and rationally discuss it without letting his emotions show. I as a weblogger really didn't deserve that. After all, I had ripped him a new one. I know a lot of people who, if attacked similarly, would have either written me off, or would have yelled at me and given me a dressing down.
That alone is something I hope I am able to do. His "brand" went way up in my mind. It's something I'll always remember. Thanks Eric!