I went to the Web 2.0 Expo last week in San Francisco. It was pretty small this year with not too many exhibitors - none of the big community vendors were there - no Jive, Mzinga, Hive, or Lithium.
If I could characterize the event in one word, I would have to misquote Benjamin’s uncle at his graduation party in the opening scenes of “The Graduate” – “One word, platform.” "- Twitter as a platform, FaceBook as a platform, you name it as a platform. They are all vying to be the place we visit, play, and work. Even Jane Cohen of TED in Tuesday's afternoon keynote described TED going from being a "conference" to being a "platform" for ideas.
Some interesting new applications from the Future Social Experience Lab at Microsott worth checking out are:
• Bing Twtter www.bing.com\twitter - displaying topics showing who is saying what about what
• Docs.com - http://docs.com - enables you to author, share, edit documents and Powerpoints on Facebook
• Spindex - http://spindex.me - gives you your own social profile index, that is, content is retrieved in searches based on what you think is interesting and what your friends think is interesting
Another theme that emerged was the growing importance of gestures and lightweight interactions online - more thumbs up/thumbs down, and "I like this" and "like" type functionality integrated into more and more applications- meaning that you don't have to engage formally and type a or post a comment or write and send an email - just a simple gesture to stay in touch, or acknowledge the person, thus coming closer to those casual "glances" or "nods" that you get in real life.
I-Pads were everywhere - they looked great and were the envy of all the iPhone owners. iPhones are so 2009! Talking of iPads, there was an amazing demo by Ge Wang (Stanford Professor of Music), playing the iPhone like a flute, and playing the piano on an i-Pad, and playing both together with others on the web in different parts of the world. Check it out at http://ocarina.smule.com/ .
I’m off to a Lithium Users Conference at the end of this week. Lithium is a leading community platform provider. Really looking forward to it and will report back at the end of the week.