Goodbye San Francisco, Hello Seattle!

After nine days in San Francisco for Web 2.0 Expo and a bunch of Praized Media partnership meetings, I’m now in Seattle for The Kelsey Group’s “Drilling Down on Local ’08“.

San Francisco Downtown airplane view

If you’re interested in local search and you’re not here, you’re missing one of the most important North American conferences on the topic. I can only attend the first two days but I’m looking forward the following sessions:

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

  • The Industry Overview with The Kelsey analysts
  • The interview with Pat Marshall, VP New Media at Yellow Book
  • The panel with Matthew Berk, Lead Search Architect, Marchex

Space Needle Seattle

Thursday, May 1st, 2008

  • The keynote with Rich Barton, Chairman and CEO, Zillow
  • The “The Revolution in Classifieds” panel
  • The “Events: Gateways to City Guides” panel
  • The “Localizing National Verticals” panel
  • The “Leveraging Geodomains” conversation with Dan Pulcrano, CEO and Executive Editor, Boulevards/Metro Newspapers

If you’d like to meet, send me an e-mail at seb AT praized.com.

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Jonathan Zittrain: The Future of the Internet is Not Pretty

Just listened to a video presentation from Jonathan Zittrain at Web 2.0 Expo. Jonathan holds the Chair in Internet Governance and Regulation at Oxford University and is a principal of the Oxford Internet Institute. He just wrote a book called “The Future of the Internet–And How to Stop It

Zittrain suspects we’re getting close to the end of thirty years of “free” development around computers and the Internet. He sees the rise of “tethered appliances” like IPods, iPhones, Xboxes, and TiVos as “the first wave of Internet-centered products that can’t be easily modified by anyone except their vendors or selected partners.” He also sees the rise of “platforms” (Google, Facebook, etc.) as centralized points that could potentially be disruptive to innovation. Finally, for him, things in the cloud (he gave Gmail as an example) are also a potential threat as users don’t control the information the way they use to when it was resident on their desktop.

What it means: I see those trends as well but I don’t think they’re new. It’s always been extremely profitable to build networks and closed systems. So, it’s not surprising to see a lot of companies going at it today. The second trend that Zittrain might be discounting is the rise of open source hardware. Organizations like BugLabs and OpenMoko are trying to crack that nut and keep hardware as open as possible.

The Praized Founders @ Web 2.0 Expo

Web 2.0 Expo logo

The Praized founders (Harry, Sylvain and Seb) are attending Web 2.0 Expo this week in San Francisco. We just landed at SFO and are enjoying a sunny afternoon around Japantown (it’s the cherry blossoms festival). If anyone would like to connect while we’re in San Francisco, you can ping me at seb AT praized.com or call us at 514-299-6670. If you’re attending the conference, you can use this site to find cool places related to Web 2.0 Expo: Web2Places.com.