I did a one day “drive-by” at the Web 2.0 Expo. I scored a free exhibition pass and was limited to certain sessions and panels, but what I did see looked like a great event. I caught the John Battelle interview w/ Jeff Weiner (Yahoo) and the Joost demo showed me how to navigate the challenging interface and where internet TV is headed.
Twitter “mania” continues at Web 2.0 Expo. It’s an addictive social networking service that allows members of the service to let others know what they’re up to in very brief fashion. Users send messages via SMS or IM, then friends of that user can receive updates via web, RSS, IM or SMS. This isn’t a blog or email – it’s a mini-snippet of what someone is doing right now. Few applications demonstrate “viral” as well as Twitter and it was referenced a number of times during the Expo.
Expo Hall Demo’s:
Bungee Labs — came out of stealth mode. Bungee Connect, a 100% on-demand web development and deployment environment that will be going into Beta phase in May. Bungee Connect is a completely web-based integrated development environment for building and deploying rich Ajax web applications, from simple web apps to seriously sophisticated Ajax applications. No install for developers, no installation of delivery infrastructure, and no client install for end users. This is for developers – NOT consumers. They had a booth with PCs (Windows, Macs and Linux) with multiple browser support (IE, Firefox and Safari).
Grouptivity — they launched an updated version of their content-sharing tool on Monday. Blog posters can now add a “discuss this” button on the bottom of any post, which will pull up the Grouptivity sharing dialogue to send off the post or article to others. This dialogue allows you to pick from various pieces of media (photos and videos) that you want to share, along with a full text copy of the content. There’s also the option to send it off to multiple e-mail addresses, set up read confirmations, and author explanatory messages to your recipients.
Maplight.org — an indicator of trends in the political arena. This is a non-profit mashup of voting records pulled from the Official California Legislative Information Web site, and campaign contributions kept by the Institute on Money in State Politics. The database is searchable by legislator, interest group, bill number or subject.
LuckyOliver — a stock photography service that sells user-submitted photos for use on Web sites and printed materials. The service has a carnival/circus theme, right down to calling its users ‘carnies.’ They use Web 2.0 technologies to categorize photos, including tags, a cloud of similar or related images, and a prestige system for heavy users of the site. Esteemed photographers also get special badges. Other users can comment on their work, and browse through their portfolio. Photography sales are divided up into tokens. Similar to iStockphotos (Getty property).
Vidoop — is a system that replaces passwords with pictures. It’s interesting, and they state is more secure than standard, hackable, or keyboard-log passwords. They can act as an authentication technology for a high-security site, like a bank. They are also an OpenID provider (similar to JanRain), so if you want to use sites that authenticate against OpenID, you can use Vidoop.com to provide the authentication. One monetization aspect is that Vidoop pictures can be sponsored. When I met with them they told me that each computer that you use Vidoop on must be authorized.
Viddler – video hosting and sharing service. Embedded videos now have Viddler branding, and a new drop-down menu filled with sharing and embedding options. Users are also now able to comment on video clips, not just certain moments of a video. I thought this was cool as their updated player takes the community experience that you get on Viddler, and puts it on any site where a player is embedded. Anyone with a Viddler username and password can login from the embed, and add or browse comments, tags or notes. Excellent tool for education and news searching.
Fatdoor — had a booth in the Expo hall, but didn’t have anything other than signs! They are in stealth mode. They will be a social network and mapping service. The service will be like social white pages–pre-seeded with information about people and where they’re located once it launches. Its reach will be national, but the tag line is “get to know your neighbors.” Groups and search will be based on political leanings, ethnicity and activities.
Adobe — announced their new Media Player, a multi-platform, online-enabled application that runs on Adobe’s Apollo framework. Along with a full featured desktop media player for Flash files, Adobe plans on including a themed online music store like Microsoft’s XBOX Live Marketplace where people can purchase music and movies. Adobe Media Player now joins the multitude of online music and media stores like iTunes, Napster, Urge, Rhapsody and others. Like everyone else, Adobe is using DRM, both for downloads and streaming media to secure purchased content.
Dekoh — is an open source challenger to Adobe’s Apollo. Public alpha started at the Expo. They provide a platform for applications to be built for offline desktop use and with an automatic integration upon syncing with an Internet connection. Service is free and includes a music player, virtual library, and photo sharing communities,
Tellme — Microsoft acquired in March. They had a new downloadable app for getting useful 411-like info on your mobile phone.
Octopz — a collaboration service.
Dapper — makes any Web site into an RSS feed or widget.
Coghead — a Web-based database.
Cambrian House — a place for people involved in web creation to come together for a given project.
There were many more companies, but I needed to depart for the airport….