Quite a few assessments on many blogs, of the Web 2.o Conference, er, sorry, "Summit", in San Francisco to read this weekend, with this one by Richard MacManus being an example, as well as this one by Liz Gannes at GigaOm. (Not to mention irreverent happenings like "Hacking Web 2.0" by First Round Capital, as Fred Wilson explains).
Both John Battelle, and an "under-the-weather-but-braving-through-it" Tim O'Reilly put on a great show, with a little help from the 60 or so team-mates. Techmeme has a good summary of some of the blog posts as well.
I agree with Richard's observation that:
Last year there were a lot more developers and designers running around, this year the crowd was overwhelmingly from the media and business worlds.
Unlike Richard, I did like the presentations by the 13 or so new, startup companies at Web 2.0's "Launchpad" presentation, along with other startups in the demo hall like Hakia et al.
For me there was a bit of deja vu from the late nineties when almost every startup seemed to have one or more "media handlers" guiding the founders through a conference's VC, media, and opinion-maker constituency maze. This year of course, the A-list bloggers were added to the mix of "courtees".
The business phase of Web 2.0 is in full swing, which is not as a bad a thing as is sometimes portrayed.
The technology presentation that provided the "Wow" moment for me was from Microsoft. I agree with Robert Scoble when he observes:
Looking at what can be done with hundreds of digital photos algorithmically modeled in an "on-the-fly" virtual 3-D model of a real world locale, emphasizes that we're still in the Web 1.0 phase of the photo and video phase of Web 2.0.
You can check out the demos yourself at the Microsoft Photosynth site. A Windows PC and Internet Explorer browser (version 6 or 7) are required.
For those who eschew anything Microsoft, check it out despite your reservations. At the very least, it's a glimpse into where a lot of this is headed regardless of who develops the technology first. A point of inspiration, as it were.
Great job, Microsoft.
And a really good show, John and Tim.
Onto Web 2.0 Expo, next year.