Posts from October 7, 2004

Web 2.0: Kim Polese

Web 2.0: Kim Polese

: She introduces her new company, SpikeSource. “What happens when Web 2.0 meets enterprise IT.” She lists entire countries now kicking Microsoft out to go open source. She says companies are moving to run their entire operations on open source. The nirvana of object-oriented, reusable software has arrived.

“Web 2.0 arrived when demand began to supply itself.”

She says IT guys are the unsung heroes of corporations. They are bringing in open source. But they are “drowning in component choices.”

The rules of open source: nobody owns it, everybody can use it, and anybody can improve it.

“Innovation is moving to a new lawyer.”

“What kind of company assembles software that Ford did for cars or Dell did for hardware… well, we do.” Aha. The point. They are building an automated system for assembling software.

The company has been in incubation at Kleiner Perkins for 18 months. She came on as CEO two months ago. They are coming out of stealth mode today. They are going live with a public beta in December.

She says there will be a time when any application you can conceive of — even an airline reservation system — can be built from open-source software elements.

Web 2.0: Lawrence Lessig

Web 2.0: Lawrence Lessig

: He recalls slam a slam review of his last book from Fortune. “What did he do? What he did was to take my words, my creativity, with his own…” He calls the review a “right to remix without permission from anyone.”

“That world of text knows this freedom well… ” He goes beyond text to the gray album and a $218 movie that could have won Cannes and a Peanuts remix and political digital fun.

This is remix culture. “No longer just a broadcast democracy but a bottoms up democracy, no longer just a New York Times democracy but a blog democracy… This is the architecture of this form of creativity.”

He says the laws have “massively changed.” Before 78, copyright was opt-in; now it is opt-out.

He goes into the case of Greenwald and his attempt to get a clip of Bush from NBC and says it is made worse by media consolidation.

“I have no patience for people who file-share illegally,” he says. But he says we go overboard in trying to deal with that, teaching children to remix Shakespeare but not Lucas.

Lessig is, as I’ve long been told, incredibly impressive at this. He is compelling and convincing. But I still want someone smarter than me to spar with him to cut through some of the rhetorical flash and demonizing to hear the other side that does exist and to get closer to solutions. I’m very impressed with Lessig. He is swaying me on the need to protect remixing (though I disagree with the assumption that all creativity depends on remixing). But there is also a need to protect owners of creation. I want to hear both sides together. Debate is more informative than lecture, even if it is from the PowerPoint impressario.

Web 2.0: Mozilla

Web 2.0: Mozilla

: Brendan Eich of Mozilla brags about growing marketshare of Firefox (in Germany it’s up to 20 percent). He says having to download it is a problem and they’re working on other distribution mechanisms.

He says “the web has made it pretty hard to pull another Windows off.” Looking at Microsoft’s Longhorn, he asks whether waiting two years for the features it offers will be worth it.

Web 2.0: Craig et al

Web 2.0: Craig et al

: Craig Newmark of Craig’s List comes out with his CEO, Jim Buckmaster. “I’m going to be spokesmodel to exploit my George Costanza-like glamour.”

Buckmaster says it’s a site where people “ask Craig to help them with their everyday lives.” He also said it’s “the ultimate newcomers’ guide.”

Craig stands next to Buckmaster… on a milk carton.

They’ve hired their first PR person.

He introduces Craig: “The topic of our talk tonight is something about nerd values and speaking of nerds….”

A simple screen (html, no powerpoint) says:

lessons learned

: nerd values, the golden rule, a culture of trust

: a public commons, community of self-moderation, extreme user-centrism

: the ironies of unbranding, demonetizing & uncompeting

: social capital – the importance of user success sories

: appropriate technology and other lesons from open source

: a litmus test of light-weight business models

: stepping off the treadmill of internet time

Buckmaster: “users run the site for us.”

They are charming, easygoing, droning, nerdy, unassuming guys. And they are doublehandedly revolutionizing an industry — namely, the local advertising industry, aka newspapering.

Web 2.0: Platform

Web 2.0: Platform

: At a gabber about the technical platform, Kevin Lynch of Macromedia said that what we’ve really seen has not been convergence — eventhing coming onto one platform — but divergence: content and communication happening on any device of our choice.

I like that. It’s beyond-the-remote-control.

Adam Bosworth of Google keeps emphasizing simplicity and universality. The hallmark of the platform will be that any 12-year-old will use it. (Well, actually, the 12-year-old in my house is the one who teaches me how to use platforms and applications.)

Michael Powell can kiss my Constitutional ass

Michael Powell can kiss my Constitutional ass

: In today’s LA Times story on Howard Stern’s move to satellite (via IWantMedia), there’s this maddening bit:

FCC Chairman Michael K. Powell, who has spent quite a bit of time policing Stern, suggested that his departure from the public airwaves might be a good thing.

“Satellite radio is one of the many technologies that the commission is strongly promoting to expand the diversity of choices for the American public,” Powell said in a statement. “It is not surprising that notable performers and journalists are turning to a medium that allows them to paint with a broader palette.”

Cut to the essence: This is government meddling in content and free speech.

The reason Stern is leaving broadcast is because of the harassment and fines from the FCC. The FCC forced Stern off broadcast to satellite.

Forget Powell’s efforts to act as if this is about a natural evolution of media. It is the direct result of Powell’s own actions.

And that’s not the way things could be. It is none of Michael Powell’s — or the FCC’s or Congress’ or the White House’s — damned business to manage and manipulate what the content should be. That is speech and it is meant to be free and is protected by the Constitution.

Web 2.0: Media

Web 2.0: Media

: Martin Nisenholtz, head of NYTimes Digital, recalls coming to the company and facing business plans that would have charged fees for use of the Times and he suggested opening it up for free and they accomplished that.

Battelle to Mike Ramsey of TiVo on its impact: “Television’s just a data base that can be searched.”

Ramsey says TiVo has a big interest in broadband as a means of distribution. That is the wedge against cable. Cable companies will probably hate it, he understates; but then cable has broadband and cable is distributing its versions of TiVo. Battelle talks about a world of getting whatever you want via broadband. “The good news is, nobody can stop us.” Are you sure, Battelle asks. Yes, Ramsey says.

He says that in five years we’ll get 30 percent of our TV over broadband and the rest over broadcast (including cable) and we’ll “neither know nor care” which is which.

Battelle quotes Nisenholtz saying that he has “portal envy,” because it’s hard for a paper to give users things they don’t expect, like email. Martin says users come to The Times for hard news. He tells their story of working very hard to build the best damned movie site on the Internet — and it is great — and the response is “why would The New York Times sell movie tickets?” He says dealing with these expectations “is the toughest problem we have.” Shelby Bonnie says CNET’s answer to that is to offer multiple brands.

Ramsey recalls showing TiVo to media companies “and literally getting thrown out of their offices…. We were presenting a proposition that was so radically different from their existing business models that you couldn’t have a rational discussion about it.”

Battelle asks them all whether they buy the premise that having the ability to copy content is the ruination of media. (Marc Canter shouts out, “NO!”)

Bonnie says that in 2001-2, a lot of good companies went out of business. Battelle grows, “Yeah, I have experience with that.”

Bonnie asks whether the blogosphere will pick up slack in local newspaper markets.

Nisenholtz talks about some amazing content — e.g., a Nick Kristof Flash presentation on sex slaves — that doesn’t get seen. He says he has a UI problem. But it’s not a home page UI problem. It’s a web UI problem. And the solution, he believes: “How do we expose this content? Part of the way we expose it is by opening up.” Applause from the audience.

Battelle asks about the “false wall” between bloggers and journalists. Bonnie says CNET is open to tearing down that wall: “What the blogosphere is delivering is incredibly rich viewpoints and it can be incredibly complementary to a publisher.”

Battelle asks Nisenholtz whether he could ever see a time when a blogger in New Jersey covers a school board meeting and gets a cut of the AdSense revenue via The Times. Martin says he reads blogs for opinion and perspective and he doesn’t expect them to be fully vetted for facts. He says a publisher’s means of leveraging all this is to open up and allow people to use content. He also separates news from opinion. He says someone needs to check bias. Martin says that is the role of editors. Battelle says that is now the role of the readers.

Web 2.0: From the labs

Web 2.0: From the labs

: Peter Norvik, director of search quality at Google and the most casually dressed presenter, says they don’t have beautiful labs like fellow speakers IBM and Microsoft. “For us at Google, labs are a state of mind more than a state of real estate.”

Google shows some stuff about machine translation of languages and word clusters. He has someone shout out a suggestion for a cluster search: George Bush. High on the list of words associated with that is “chimp.” The laughter rolls across the audience as it’s discovered.

: Jim Spohrer of IBM talks about the company’s plan to start a discipline in “service science.” I get it that the world economy is now based on service over goods. I’m not sure I get what service science is.

: Rick Rashid from Microsoft shows advances in mapping, including a data base that allows people to share geocoded images.

He also shows Wallop, which allows neat interaction in communities. Unfortunately, it’s still closed. Can’t wait to play with it.