Pahlka: “The degree of serendipity driven something like Twitter actually creates more events.”
Relationship Between Books and Web 2.0
Twitter-sourced: “Nick in Horsham – how have your books contributed to Web 2.0?”
We sometimes use our publishing to say: “Hey, pay attention to this technology.” I try to guide things a little bit. That revolution is passed. Now we’re working on things like Make magazine and the DIY movement.
Andrew Keen & The Cult of the Amateur
Nancy asked O’Reilly’s opinion of Andrew Keen. “I think Andrew Keen is a self-serving idiot. And I also think he’s flat-out wrong. When you search on Google you tend to find the most authoritative response.”
He gives the example of just using Stephen Hawking as an expert on physics, where in some instances he has proved to be wrong. You need the community debate in all subjects.
Nancy: “Companies use this as an argument not to get involved.”
O’Reilly: “I suggest they read some history, all these things were said about computers and the web.” If you’re on the right side of history, you get the competitive advantage.
“Not every big company is going to have their CEO as the community manager. Look at the role Scoble played at Microsoft. There’s a challenge for startups – as a CEO, should you be focusing on writing code, or on spreading the word.”
“A lot of PR companies have not read the Cluetrain Manifesto. They don’t realise it’s a conversation.”
Brady: “We see the same in conferece pitches. If it comes from a PR, it will suck.”
Jennifer: “Community manager. In the 90s everyone needed a web master, now they want a community manager. No-one has a degree in this. You need to find someone who is inclined that way, give them the tools and empower them.”
O’Reilly: “There will be plenty of opportunities in this downturn for bloggers and community managers.” Sessions they run on community management are packed.
Jennifer: “It’s about how you define Web 2.0. It’s a bigger world, making the connection between enterprise and startups. Web 2.0 can be the recession diet for corporates.”
O’Reilly: “Advertising bloom will die back. Cloud computing is a great way for corporates to cut costs. Microsoft has admitted that Google apps has started to bite into their sales. Not enough startups are going after corporates. the ones that do work will get more of the money.”
We might see a switch back to both ecommerce and subscription models.
If Obama wins, we’re going to see a big focus on technology. O’Reilly has had some involvement with the Obama team, and their thinking is very sophisticated. The financial situation might make the more ambitious ideas more difficult, but there is an opportunity to reinvent government. And the good moves will hopefully spread to other parts of the world.
Previous crises, like the Great Depression, lead to the birth of great new industries.
Poor Quality Startups
The real opportunities may come from side-projects. People aren’t going to get their startups funded, so they end up taking jobs and working on their passion in their spare time. The suggestion here is that the startup / VC relationship has been here too easy for too long, and we might actually see better stuff as a result of more… Darwinian times.
O’Reilly thinks it will be a grassroots movement that will deal with data silos. Someone will figure out an architecture that will depend on free data, and it will take over the world because it works. We keep trying to legislate a lot of these things, but a way of life is more powerful. Free software worked be cause it just works better than propriety.