Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Break Blogging at the Web 2.0 Conference & Expo

I'm attending the WebGuild Web 2.0 Expo and it's been an entertaining start. My favorite keynote speaker was Craig Newmark, founder of Craigslist. Although their site is anything but 2.0 - in fact Newmark said they were given too much credit by even calling it 1.0 and said it was more 0.1 (funny and true). Yet they haven't needed the fancy web design and features to build their 10B page views per month. The secret - "build a culture of trust" - "people need simple starting forward fast stuff that doesn't waste time" according to Newmark. Users of Craigslist can confirm that's the experience they expect and get from the site. What I really liked most about Newmark is that he's not going to sell out - he could be making way more money selling ads or even selling the company to the hungry eBay (who has managed to gain a small stake in the company) but Craigslist has been able to stay true to themselves and their mission.

The other keynote speaker was Gil Penchina of Wikia. Although I had seen wikia pages come up in my search results I was unaware of their mission - to extend the concept of Wikipeidia, an online encyclopedia to an online library. I was particularly interested in their initiative take search opensource. They have made progress Grub.org and their goal is to make the tools and algorithms open. Since Yahoo couldn't hold their ground maybe Wikia is the right company to give Google a run for their money?

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