Web 2.0 Conference Day-one Highlights

Attending Web 2.0 Conference this week.

Beyond the usual infatuation with web celebrities that occurs at these events (where celebrity is defined as someone who got rich fleecing using the Internet), there were some interesting tidbits. A few include:

  1. Bill Gross of Idealab showed his new SNAP search engine. It has some very snazzy looking features, but we’ll have to see if it plays out in practice. One innovative idea in the business model is transparency where SNAP makes a lot of data about the advertising, and such, including SNAP’s revenue, available to anyone.
  2. A very interesting assortment of statistics, data points, and analyses was presented by Gian Fulgoni of ComScore. Two data points I noted were that Internet population growth in the US has stalled, but broadband is still growing rapidly (duh, I guess, but nice to see some hard data) and that P2P file sharing has dropped in the last year from over 50% to less than 20% of bandwidth usage.
  3. There was a great analogy by Mark Cuban between the NBA and RIAA. Paraphrazing, he notes that the main goal of general managers in the NBA is to keep their job. In the Western Conference, they have always been able to point to Shaq as the excuse for not winning the division. For the RIAA, piracy is their Shaq. When sales slump, they just point to piracy as the excuse.