Always On salutes top 100 startups and session notes

Always On is part conference, part media network (they publish a quarterly magazine and have an online community), part contest (they give awards to top companies), and there’s plenty of networking among guests. There’s a huge list of companies that were submitted for the award.

I was impressed with the layout of the Always On conference, in addition to the usual stage, there was a live feed (anyone can watch) active back channel (a chat room anyone can watch and participate on) and even a dedicated bloggers bullpen of 3 complete rows. Despite being a large blogger bullpen, I see very few posts on Technorati talking about Always On, in fact, other than mine, I see one other.

What type of people were there? I asked a few folks and they said “established startups, VCs, and entrepreneurs”, here’s the agenda.

Introducing the New Captains of Innovation
Moderator: Guy Kawasaki, Co-Founder, Truemors
Craig Sherman, CEO, Gaia Online
Paul Martino, CEO, Aggregate Knowledge
Gil Penchina, CEO, Wikia

I was able to check out the closing keynotes at the Always On conference. Guy Kawasaki was giving a nice griling to three leaders of startups. It’s always fun to watch executives squirm under this pressured questions. Ubergizmo agrees, as did the Think Free Blog.

Beyond Search: Discovery

James Joaquin, Partner, Bridgescale (great article)
Paul Martino, CEO, Aggregate Knowledge
Joe Greenstein, CEO, Flixster
David Hyman, CEO, MOG
Bambi Francisco, Co-Founder & CEO, Vator.TV

By the way, being overly polished and media on message is so Web 1.0. Guy even mentioned this in his panel yesterday, loosen up with the PR intros friends!

What is the difference between Discovery and Search? The panel explored the concept that social networks (or people like me) could help find content. Examples of stumbleupon, pandora, aggreagate knowledge are great examples.

I’ve been keeping track of companies that that provide Behavioral Recommendations and Social Recommendations Web Services

Joe from Flixter left with this knowledge: “Before you get involved with Discovery, figure out what is it that you are trying to Discover” He suggested that most people don’t consume movies they’ve never heard of.

Evolution of Discovery:

Generation 1: Computer based Recommendations
Generation 2: UI for finding content
Generation 3: Social Recommendations
Does the Semantic web next?

I’m sitting next to Buzz B (live blogging), JD Lassica, and Dan Farber.

Phillip from SecondLife, CEO of LindenLabs

Phillip is formally of Real Networks
Virtual goods are being sold, such as in Gaia

“We are entering a time when we can create virtal worlds, in second life, we want you to build your own hats (unlike Gaia)”
Admits the interface is still akward

5 times the size of SF, 250 square miles
12,000 server cores that simulate the world, 3 different colo centers
Growing very rapidly
Enterpreneurial success in SecondLife
This is an entrepreneurs environment.

Many big busineses have not done that well in SL
Over 1000 people that have stores.
Transactions make $1.3 millinon transactions dollars (real) every day in Second Life
Some enterprenuers are making $1000 a month
There are many who are cash flow positive
Many are doing this on their spare time, after work jobs

Large Companies
Some fail, just like in 1996 in the early days of the internet
“In Second Life you’re never alone, unlike the web”
What’s important is that there’s people around

Second Life now has a translator widget from Babble fish that translates languages

How Real is the Virtual Web?

Moderator: Jaron Lanier, Scholar-In-Residence, CET, UC Berkeley
Irving Wladawsky-Berger, VP, IBM
Philip Rosedale, CEO, Linden Lab
Craig Sherman, CEO, Gaia Online
Chris Melissinos, Chief Gaming Officer, Sun Microsystems

Sun has Project Darkstar
Has a SUN pavilion, an event
IBM has 5000 people that go to meetings in SL
“Irving: Virtual worlds are godsend for big companies”
“ERP will be put in Virtual worlds, so the systems will be like their work live. Such examples such as hospitals recreating their world for management

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