Le Web 2010: day 1

So far, most of the presentation from companies have been a little bland.
Well maybe bland is the wrong word, but not that exciting nor disruptive, which is what we’ve come to expect from web players that often skyrocketed to success.

Seeing the MySpace CEO struggle to convince the audience that they could turn around the “plane in mid-crash”, in the words of the interviewer, was a little painful. Hard to think they will manage to stay relevant, especially considering how tainted is their brand name.

TechCrunch’s Arrington was a refreshing interviewer, he pressed Facebook’s Ethan Beard on some answers and seemed unimpressed when Beard’s answers became too diplomatic.

Microsoft refused to give any real numbers on Windows Phone 7 sales, but assured us that they were planing on re-becoming a large player in the mobile landscape.

Ignite Talks (10 five minute presentations) were interesting.

  • Japanese geek culture and how not over-protecting your copyrighted content and letting people remix and re-distribute it is actually profitable.
  • Protecting kids from bad search results and bad side-effects from tech, how important it is to think about it and much harder it is becoming with the rise in mobile devices.
  • How teen entrepreneurs need to be taken more seriously by the tech community and investors. Considering how they can change things thanks to their ingenuous and not money-centred approach.
  • A fun and witty presentation by Matthias Läkens from the World Economic Forum (Davos) about Twitter Diplomacy and how World leaders (or their team at least) are becoming reachable via Twitter. Interesting graphing of who follows who and doesn’t follow others, with a little jab at the French Presidency which doesn’t follow anyone and doesn’t tweet during the summer, as everyone on the team is on holiday.

And not long ago, Marissa Mayer, VP of Google, announced a few Android evolutions (3D vectorial maps, some offline caching of maps). Arrington (again) was a better interviewer than others, but the answers were still a little too distant and PR-like.
Gingerbread is considered to have been released, the Nexus S is coming really soon (some before Xmas, a lot more in January… this is the Nexus One all over again) and Chrome OS is gearing up, but won’t really be available before sometime next year.
Also, an interesting announcement it “contextual search”. Search is changing: already 1 in 4 mobile searches are now voice searches in the US.
Contextual search takes the “don’t type to search” mantra further by searching (and finding) relevant stuff as you walk around in an unknown city, for instance.
Likely to be very popular.

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