Future of Web Apps Conference Notes (Day 1)


Carson Systems hosts Future of Web Apps
Thanks to Lisa from Carson for the pass, will take as many notes for the web community as possible. They are a well staffed group, I could tell from when they were handing out the badges, good sign of things to come. The Carson ‘survival kits’ (web developer how tos) were selling like hot cakes, great packaging, nicely done.

More: See Day 2 Conference Notes

Flickr Pics of the event are going up
, they are tagged: Futureofewbapps-sf06
Internet connection is bad here, I’ll try to post when possible. (Yeah, the Wireless is up as of 3pm) Interesting thoughts from Simeon.

If you’re interested, please read my post on the Future of Online Data Storage.

There are quite a few international folks that came to this, love seeing the web community unite. Ran into Oskar a reader of my blog, he’s a Web Strategist in Madrid. If anyone is seeking a web product manager or web project manager, please let me know, I can connect you with him. Oskar, it was a pleasure meeting you, thanks for coming up and introducing yourself, I’m really really thankful to meet readers, esp from on the other side of the world.

Ran into Tara Hunt, finally met Chris Messina, Scott Beale, Brian Oberkirch, Kristy Wells, Joel from Cnet, Kevin Burton, Kris/Thomas from Zooomr, Dan Farber and very pleased that Chris Salazar has joined me. The Web 2.0 show guys are behind me and have a nice write up summary. The crowd is typical web developer, young male, geeky.

Emerging Age of Who –Dick Hardt
A topic on ‘who’, and the next generation of identity. Indidviduals have many different logins, login names, pictures, etc. This is a pain for every web user, how many logins do we have? Identity is clearly going to be an issue going forward. Not sure who will have the solution

Digg -Kevin Rose
Dan Farber has a great writeup. Dig was started with $2000 dollars. Social Media at work. The stories that are submitted are live for 4 hours. They just rolled out a new feature called “Number 1 story”, it’s kinda like a favorites. If a user sees that their friends have dugg a story, then they are more likely to digg it as well.

Rapid rollout: Met a developer at elance, open source technology (LAMP), basic utilitarian design, $99 a month hosting.

Kevin thinks there are three types of design: 1) cheap, make your developer do it 2) a few hundred to do it, but you’ll wish you spent more 3) A few thousand dollars.

200+ Blog readers, just for users with personal passion for tech, limited functionality, they highlight users on diggnation (that’s community marketing yo)

Feature Decisions: (this is key for web product managers)
Tools for self expression
Stay away from me too features
Simple and rewarding –one click (dig, bury, #17)
Destroy the garbage (bury stories, and even comments)
Experiment – stack, swarm, bigspy, activities of users.

Digg Stack shows who is submitting a story, dude, check this out, the UI features and tracking are fun to watch as well as seem easy to use.

Digg Swarm is a social network surrounder. Also see Biggspy

The Digg Effect: Why not cache it? They believe they should drive traffic back to the sites.

Half a million registered users, 10 million pages per day, 1million daily unique visitors
Developer Resources: Go download “Inside LiveJournal’s Backend” (PDF)

Future Plans, Learning from users interests, story suggestions, friend suggestions. Digging other types of content online. Tech, Politics and now video are happening.

Q&A highlights:
1) An API is coming.
2) Ads are provided by Federated Media, and Google Adsense. He’s trying to be limited in the amount of ads on his site.
3) Timeline: Started and Owen for first four months. Got angel invested for 50k to buy his own servers. They have 15 people, most are PHP developers and folks that can scale the site. (they will need a storage strategy)

Tom Coates –Yahoo
How to make a website where the sum is greater than it’s parts: Social Sites by Tom Coates from Yahoo

Community Motives:
-Anticipated reciprocity
-‘Sense of Efficacy’ (having an effect on the world)
-Identification with a group

Check out MUDs Hearts Clubs Diamonds, Spades Players who suit MUDs. How to reward community members.

Tantek Celik, CTO Technorati –Microformats

All his slides are on tanket.com

He uses HTML webpages for his presentation not PPT
Demonstrated how to the Hcard contact to Vcard converter. It converts it automatically. Microformats enable the publishing and sharing of higher fidelity information on the web. Some of the first uses of Microformats were modeled after license agreements, and using stylesheets. Gave example of Blog quote with Microformats.

Tantek suggests that all communities that are working on standards should be working on them in open.

Microformats principles, must solve a specific problem, simple as possible, humans first and machines second. Reuse from widely adopted standards, modularity and embeddability. Decentralized, development, content and services.

hCalendar to iCalendar converter is possible, seamless import into a calendar application.

10 Things you didn’t know about RSS. Feedburner –Steve Olechowski
Feeds are continuing to grow, outside of just the BBC site.

1) No correction between click through rate to HTML site and number of subscribers, very erratic and fluctuates

2) A consumer device can drive a market

3) More text = more total traffic
However there is no correlcation between traffic back to your site, you may have two audiences, between rss and html

4) Podcasts are more evenly distributed across categories than text feeds
15% or podcasts are video and growing. He won’t be surprised if videopodcasts overtake podcasts

5) Different feed and different types of content have different breakdowns about how they read feedreadres. Chinese and Japanese blogs are more than all North America blogs

6) There’s over 3000 RSS clients out there
Be careful before making assumptions

7) And a LOT of bots
I’m thinking about all the splogs out there too.

8) MyYahoo leads by a large margin (over 50%)

9) RSS is being read on mobile

10) Publishers are making money with RSS
This is trending upwards, please remember that RSS audience is different than the HTML audience. Treat them differently.

Questions and observations how users still use HTML to view content vs feedreadres, and how folks still use email to subscribe to feeds.

ZoneTag –Yahoo

5 Million photos are Flickr Geo Tagged, wow that was fast. The ‘tagmap’ shows what is being tagged on the conference. This is much like ‘tagclouds’ but for maps. Most cell phones know where they are, we have location metadata to use.

2-click upload, smooth experience. Photo uploaded with location and time metadata. You can add tags, which will pull from location context. Stuff around you it will pull: Yahoo Local, Upcoming.org. It can tell you stuff that’s happening around you, as it knows who you are, where you are, and what time it is.

Tagged: Futureofwebapps-sfo6 (sheesh that’s too long)

More: See Day 2 Conference Notes