Web 2.0 Expo Berlin: Better Media Plumbing for the Social Web


Stowe Boyd presented and interesting talk on how the web needs to finds a better model to encapsulate discussion within social media.

Whilst there has been a lot of discussion around Web 2.0 – e.g. the rise of social networks. The foundations of social media seem relatively unchanged. Blogs are still pretty much stuck in a Web 1.0 timeframe. They are limited to a model of chronological posts with embedded comments and a variety of widgets in the margins that engage with other web communities, such as Digg and Del.icio.us

Bloggers today ultimately still retain full control over content posted on their blogs. Readers can leave comments, but usually can’t edit them or remove them. More often than not, The “blogger” gains an increased reputation, (within the blogosphere) from comments posted. However, what of the reputation of the person who left the comment in the first place?

Boyd also noted how the rise of RSS and RSS Readers meant that fewer and fewer people actually visited blog sites. This has the side effect of divorcing your readers from the comments. Boyd asked the audience, how many people had their comments accessible within their RSS feeds? The response was minimal from the audience.

Boyd argued that the ability to recommend and share content through RSS, actually created a further community of readers who were even more fragmented from the conversation. In other words, conversations regarding blog posts are occurring more and more in locations far removed from the blog post itself. Though the blogger may start the discussion with a blog post. The ‘social buzz’ of discussion may occur in various other communities , e.g. Digg, Friendfeed, Techmeme etc.

Boyd when onto state that "Flow" applications such as Twitter or the Facebook mini feed offer a possible replacement. He suggested that once you get used to these flow apps, it gets harder and harder to go back to blogs.

If the community all move to a flow service, you don’t lose your friendships”

If the current pace continues, will blogs become reduced to being just a publishing platform? While new commenting systems like Disqus and Intense Debate attempt to bridge this commenting gap, we are also seeing the arrival of video-based systems, such as Seesmic, that seem to offer a higher levels of immediacy and simplicity.


Picture Credit: http://berlinblase.de

Boyd shows us his “extended desktop”. He uses a number of Flow applications to engage in social communities on the web.  He uses, Snackr (RSS feed aggregator), Twhirl, (Twitter desktop tool), FriendFeed and Flickr.  These applications run everyday and automatically update in the background.

Stowe’s “Web of Flow” is a social web where we continuously watch multiple streams of social interaction, live as they happen. Our eyes gaze over communities of conversation. We then exercise our choice to ‘dip in or out’ of the conversation as we see fit. Often, we may never even venture near a blog post.

[Bonus Videos] 


Hat Tip http://blog.whoiswho.de

Boyd, continues his discussion regarding the emergence of Flow apps and their effects on Social Media.

 BerlinBlase interviewed Stowe after his talk and asked him why email was broken?

Email is dead – Stowe Boyd from dotdean on Vimeo.

Web 2.0 Expo Berlin – Tim O’Reilly’s Keynote


Tim O’Reilly’s keynote at this week’s Web 2.0 Expo in Berlin brought a firm focus back to reality.  At recent conferences, the mood has been dampened by current economic conditions. Funding for web start-ups is vanishing rapidly for businesses without sustainable business plans. However, responding to critics suggesting that the Web 2.0 bubble was bursting. O’Reilly asked the rhetorical question, "Do you really think that we’re done yet with exploiting this huge change [of disruptive technologies]?"

O’Reilly suggested that the ‘web winners’ in the years ahead are those businesses that are involved in:

  • Cloud computing
  • Software as a Service applications like Google Apps
  • Open Source software
  • Companies delivering value added services to consumers or businesses
  • Breakthroughs in collective intelligence (harnessing the crowd)
  • Entrepreneurs who innovate and concentrate on delivering value

Using the example of the PC industry in the early 1990’s. O’Reilly cited the early years when there were hundreds of PC manufactures. However, through a ‘natural consolidation’ process, the number today is greatly reduced.  He then made the conclusion that the current economic problems accelerate the consolidation process – The business with robust business models will survive. Those that do not will die.

O’Reilly advocated the use of building business that deliver value, concluding with the strategy:

"Work on stuff that matters"

Citing the example of the Berlin Airlift and the innovative efforts required to achieve it, he stressed that his point that:

"Great challenge = Great opportunity"

O’Reilly finished the keynote, urging the masses to use Web  2.0 innovations to address today’s important problems. The world doesn’t need another another “Me too”  application. However, web applications that deliver “real value” are the ones to lead the industry out of the doldrums.

Keynote Video and presentation slides follow below

Hat Tip http://media.vascellari.com

OReilly Radar

View SlideShare presentation or Upload your own. (tags: web2expoeu08 web2expo)

Interview with Tim O’Reilly at Web 2.0 Expo 2008 Berlin from DigiRedo on Vimeo.