April 21, 2011

Where 2.0, it's a wrap

The conference is just over. It's a wrap for me here. I'm off to a good dinner with an old friend from my Corel days. It's going to be great to catch up. The conference organizers just announced they had their biggest crowd ever, about 1100people.

I wonder how much of the conference audience number is related to post-recession, or a $41m funding of Color, a 'proximity' play. I got to attend some great sessions throughout the conference. At the same time the space is HOT and just like with any white hot thing, gold seekers are on the move.

One of the great talks I got to see today was Context is Everything by Genevieve Bell of Intel. Her slides aren't up unfortunately. She is an anthropologist and she tells great stories. The net net of her talk is that location is a lot more than a geo code. Telling someone where you're from in some countries involves a lot more than the physical place you're from.

Here is a link to the slides.


  • Context: This is it; make sure you get the context of usage from your users, otherwise you're toast.
  • Discovery vs search: A search is algorithmic while discovery is social. The big difference is that discovery will overlay the search results with your social network influence meter.
  • Are Location-Based Services only about getting you to buy more? Well right now absolutely; it's all about getting you in the store and/or buying more. The refreshing thing is we're starting to hear people wonder about how do we make the world better with this type of service.

Take aways
  • Adaptability: Mobile apps have to adapt to your context. Failing to do so is at best going to get you screamed at. A useful service that adapts to the usage context is what has to be baked in.
  • From outside in, to inside out: The solutions we have been using and are used to are coming from the outside. With LBS they will be coming from your phone and going out.
  • Waze is a very cool company. It is crowd sourcing of road information. By using the service, you actually make it better for everyone else, and yourself!

Quotes of the day
  • Speaking of Google, Facebook, Foursquare etc., Jullia Grace of IBM said: "Why is it that people we know the least about, know the most about us".
  • Not sure who to attribute this one to: "Every time you say web 3.0 a startup dies!"
Coolest things of the day
  • Affluent women, i.e. a household with revenue of more than 250k/yr accounts represents less than 5% of population and accounts for 95% of the sales in a store. In retail it's not an 80-20 rule, it's a 95-5 rule.


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