Le Web 3: Day 1

After visiting Romania, i attended the Le Web 3 conference in Paris. While i won’t get into what went on the second day (kinda lame), i wanted to post my notes on the first day of speakers. Here goes:

10-10:30: Real World and why it matters: Hans Rosling
This was a fantastic presentation of describing why we need to change our perspective from being Us vs. Them when describing the global social/economic nations to being a low-middle-high income view as almost all countries have exactly the same birth rate and life expectancy. Hans is a great speaker and his company gapminder.com is worth checking out. I wish i took more notes on this one. He did have a great visual view of how the countries of the world have progressed so that almost all of them today are 2 children homes with a life expectancy of 70 years. That’s right almost every country is there. There are no more large family, short life expectancy countries – the world will stabalize at 9 billion people.

11-11:40: Giants Outlook on Web 2.0 (Yahoo, Orange, Nokia, Windows Live)
While the first was amazing, this was quite the opposite. It was too generic of a presentation. Questions were posed like “does size matter?” and they all said, “well ‘yes’ and ‘no'” and expain why size might be good and the negatives of being big which the generalities were just useless. This was more a pitch of why these companies are awesome and less about what they’re working on. They all said that user-generated content is the key to their success. The questions were all soft-balls, like “do communities matter?” to which they all responded an obvious “yes” – the Nokia presenter was the worst. He would say blanket statements like “communities aren’t about technologies,” to which the moderater would ask, “what are they about?” and he would answer blankly, “they’re about people.” Worthless. I saw much more innovation and better presentations as the Startup place.

2-2:20: State of the Blogosphere (David Sifry, CEO of Technorati)
Some stats he showed (which is pretty much all he did):
– The blogosphere doubles in size every 150-200 days
– 60 million blogs, 7 million update once a week or more
– I was surprised to see that while english is the largest in the blogosphere, it’s not over 50% (i’m a dumb american). The US is at 39% and i was surprised to see japanese blogs at 33% (france was at 2%)

2:40-3: Future of Business (Reid Hoffman – LinkedIn)
This was a short but interesting talk. He believes all people will eventually have a public facing web page. He comments that MySpace won the wars over Geocities and others b/c your home page is a social page and customizable. LinkedIn will do the same. He sees the technology of resumes as migrating from a list of assertions of where you’ve been and what you’ve done to being much more accurate and informative. Current resumes are “very 1.0, sometimes lack information, and they lack metadata.” They should be demonstration of expertise which they currently aren’t. LinkedIn is trying to become the next version of that resume. He also sees Business 2.0 right around the corner and what are the new set of business applications. So many professionals are online, there will be increased collaboration

3:20-3:30: Jamendo startup preso
Largest aggregator of indie music in Europe. Users can stream the music from the Jamendo site or download the entire album using bittorrent. Our service (Qloud) links into AmieStreet and i’d like to get Jamendo content in there too. Hopefully we can make that happen.

5:20-5:30: Viral Growth (Netvibes CEO)
This was one of my favorite talks. He spoke of when he first started with 4 guys and they had no idea what to do. Lukily they had Wiki and API’s which turned out to be a critical piece of their growth. They allowed others to translate the widgets and make useful plugins that the users wanted.

7-10: Dinner
Ate with Marc Canter, Tom Rafferty, Paul Walsh, Paulo (marc’s partner), and Jaanette (from AutoQuake) and had a good meal in which we talked about microformats, living in the UK while financing in US and the porn industry (AOL Black)

10-12: Netvibes Party
This was a party at a brand new nightclub in downtown Paris. It was a hood party but i had to get home to get some actual work done. I will say that the bartenders were really hot and completely parisian. One of the best parts was the journey home. I ran into two prominent Italian bloggers who were facinating to talk to. They were also my guide which was helpful as i had a little trouble on the subway (thanks Luca!).

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