June 11, 2005
Reboot day 1

Lots of interesting talks here at Reboot.

Doc Searls repeats his analysis, a la George Lakoff, of the words we use to describe media vs text/speech, giving us a subset of the Les Blogs slides. It's a good point, and a good talk and Doc is engaging
Robert Scoble: I'm still not a fan - as a counterpoint to Searls' talk Scoble even uses some of the "bad" (according to Searls) metaphors for media in his speech.
Jason Calacanis. I'm mainly here because I don't need to be elsewhere, but Calacanis is surprisingly clear and uncompromising in his message on the blog effect, notable point is the DON'T SELL OUT (in any way shape or form) message.
David Axmark Good points on making a business out of open source. Key thing: Don't compromise your open source approach for the sake of your business. It does not work. Giving away stuff is the ultimate marketing exercise. Also, ease of use is key even for free stuff, even for "developer only" products (this ties in with Zero Training). Ease of use is what get's your product picked up in the first place. Fun fact: MySQL is named after Monty Widenius' daughter, MaxDB after his son.
Ben Cerveny I'll have some related notes later, but for now the fun fact is simply that Ludicorp is not a variation of ludicrous but a derivation of ludic, i.e. playing.
Jimbo Wales Same talk given at 21C3. Impressive talk, due to the all-around "take the high road" approach of Wales. Pure message, pure goals, pure knowledge (no plagiarism) etc. etc.
The interesting fact here is the important distinction Wales makes between a statistical reputation system like e.g. slashdot uses, and the purely community-based reputation culture within Wikipedia. It's actually a quite narrow community of people who are defending the quality just like old media protects it's quality: Human reviews, open discussion (oh wait, old media doesn't do open discussion).
Thomas Harttung Fun, and interesting, analogy between networks and the modern "everythings emergent" network economy and natural systems. Examples of complex bio-cooperation illustrate how communication mechanisms the etwork economy is beginnign to emply resemble those in natural systems. Paradoxical thing is that modern agricultture doesn't really do things like this, even though farmers have inspiration close at hand.
Paula Le Dieu - didn't catch all of it, but got the following soundbite (not a direct quote, but words to that effect): It's unfortunate that our system of copyright is driven by our interest in Mickey Mouse not in the works of Albert Einstein. The talk is about applying Creative Commons to science.
Jason Fried Describes how 37Signals applies agile methods in their work. sound bite: "Small is the new big". This of course is the trend of the whole conference and quite possibly the main message of all the talks. Stay with the roots.
Plazes.com demo Very good talk about plazes.com - bootstrapped location based services. The talk is good in itself. It talks about how you need to approach a problem if you don't have the economy to build your own infrastructure (use one that's already there) or to deploy 1000s of developers (make your work hackable and free).

Then came dinner, and then the famously mindblowing Doug Engelbart demo - introduced via iChat by Engelbart himself. This is interesting enough that it merits an individual post, which will follow later.

All in all a very good day of talks. If I have a complaint it would be that the talks are only culturally forward looking, focusing on the small, "bootstrapped" companies. There are no new technological trends here, only stuff we already knew (OK, I hadn't seen plazes.com). Obviously a conference such as this is much more likelu to have a cultural impact anyway, but still there are few new visions on how technology shapes us and shapes culture.

Posted by Claus at June 11, 2005 09:31 AM | TrackBack (0)
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