Web 2.0: The Wrap-Up Edition

SAN FRANCISCO -- "How did I become this crazy blogger guy?" asks Forbes technology columnist Dan Lyons, perhaps better known now as "Fake Steve Jobs," and the recently outed author of the eponymous blog. Lyons explains that the idea to take on a secret blog identity as an all-telling, wildly inappropriate pseudo-version of the Apple cofounder and chief executive officer, came, number one, from a very inspirational place -- Boredom. The number-two reason was due in part to the canon pointed at the media industry. "I had to learn the internet," he says.

"The Diary of the Fake Steve Jobs" may not seem like the best example of the Web 2.0 modern-day horizon, but what Lyons shares about his blogging experience is reminiscent of everything heard, spoken, projected, sold, written and seen this week at Web 2.0. Lyons speaks of the community created from something as simple as a blog, an open source model where people consume and create.

This week, an attendee would have to be in a bubble to not notice the recurrent talks about social networking, community building, mashups, open platforms and APIs. Throughout the week's keynotes, breakout sessions, "unconferences" -- and even after-hours events -- the Web 2.0 terms flittered throughout San Francisco and Twittered on the Web.

Taking advantage of the mass gathering of Web experts, many product announcements were made throughout the week, garnering attention on the Exposition floor. The following represent just a sampling:

  • Trampoline Systems, an enterprise social networking company, announced "Sonar Dashboard, which is like a Facebook for the enterprise. "With Sonar Dashboard, information is auto-generated. On consumer networking sites, people spend on average an hour a week adding friends and updating interests," says Charles Armstrong, CEO of Trampoline. "It's really clear that that doesn't transfer well to the enterprise."
  • Wavemaker and Kapow Technologies joined forces to offer "Social CRM." Using Wavemaker's ability to get applications on the Web rapidly, and Kapow's knowledge of harvesting data, the "Sales Social" application combines Salesforce.com, LinkedIn and Technorati into one single mashup.
  • Yahoo! announced a new Open Platform, which will allow for apps to be added, but will also bring social networking within Yahoo!. Version 1.0 of what is called Y!Open will ship later this year.
  • Microsoft revealed its until-now-very-secret Mesh, software that syncs all data and all files to all devices. Amit Mital, general manager at Microsoft says that when looking at devices such as laptops, PCs, cameras, smart phones and iPods, "We realized that each of the devices was Internet connected at birth, but not to each other," he says. "What an opportunity to use the magic of software to bring devices together to create own personal mesh."
  • TellMe released voice-activated mobile application, which allows callers to search local businesses. TellMe, acquired about a month ago by Microsoft, is capitalizing on the 30 to 50 percent growth rate within the past two years in the mobile data industry. The best part of the mobile app? It's free.
Even though, on his blog, Dan "Fake Steve" Lyons mocks the biggest names in technology and jokes about how he really has no reputation left to protect, the Forbes columnist left the keynote stage, echoing what's on the minds of many, "I can't imagine what we will have 10 years from now."

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