Our first day at Web 2.0 Expo in Berlin

The European Web 2.0 congress by O’Reilly has started. After San Francisco and New York now beautiful Berlin is the place to be if you are anything close to a Web 2.0 geek. In the Berliner Congress Center hundreds of people come together to be part of a three day plethora of sessions, workshops, keynotes and networking events.

So is DigiRedo.

So what’s happening over there? Next to a way too small expo floor (last year much, much bigger) one can participate in workshops. Four different streams are available, all with a different focus on Web 2.0: Strategy & Business Models, Marketing & Community, Design & User Experience and Development. We are particularly interested in Strategy & Business Models, hence my first workshop was about ‘Building Successful Next Generation Web 2.0 Applications’, presented by Dion Hinchcliffe. Nice to know is that Dion is founder of the Web 2.0 University (didn’t know it exists). The titel of his presentation did not cover the content entirely. He went much deeper than only applications. Dion gave a rather comprehensive overview of Web 2.0 with some illustrative models.

Some relevant ‘take home messages’ from his presentation:

  • A recent ‘discovery’ from David P. Reed (he did a lot of research on networks) revealed that social networks are the most important aspect in the modern internet economy. As any good researcher does, the discovry is now known as ‘Reed’s Law’.
  • One of the Core Competencies a company should have when developing applications for Web 2.0 is to ensure control over unique, difficult to recreate information which becomes more valuable as more people use it. Yeah, made me think too but I guess the value of Facebook is a nice example of what he means by this statement.
  • A nice twitch to look at Web 2.0: See data as the new ‘Intel Inside’. In other words, it’s about data, data and data. And do something useful with it is a good idea too 😉

Yet another interesting development we saw here is the rise of companies providing platforms for enterprises such as Facebook and Bebo (social networks). So we have seen a presentation from TamTamy and have spoken to Jive. Also Yoolink offers comparable solutions, all which for the untrained eye do not differ too much.

Although SharePoint should give an answer to the ever increasing need for employees to collaborate online within their company, in many cases the usability of SharePoint does not quite meet the modern requirements of Web 2.0 user interfaces. Trust us, we have first hand experiences. Above mentioned companies do not only provide more user-friendly interfaces, but are specifically designed to establish communities internally. Personally we believe strongly in these platforms. Let’s face it, companies ARE communities and the time that employees accepted a plain screen with name, phone number and e-mail in Outlook’s Address Book are sooo over. Especially new employees (also known as the Millenials or the Generation Y-ers) have frown up with all the possibilities Facebook, wikipedia, blogging and techniques alike can offer. They now expect the same environment from their employers. Is your company ready for it?

There’s much more to share (for example, we were able to do a video interview with Tim O’Reilly himself) so stay tuned…

(Picture courtesy of MikiMedia)

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