Ashley McKorkle is a Mobile Futures Analyst at Intel, and talked about their Intel Atom chip which is optimised for Mobile Internet Devices (e.g. low power video codecs). Future mobile consumption will be more contextual and more immersive. At Intel they are thinking about how to help consumers answer questions like: “What is a good kebab shop?” or “Is this a dangerous neighbourhood?”
Loic LeMeur (Seesmic) then chipped in by recorded video to answer some questions Simon Grice had posed. His view:
- Everything is social (it’s a way of thinking about software … currently limited to geeks but will become pervasive eventually)
- Social software is becoming more decentralised; centralised comments (e.g. on blogs) are no longer the norm … you have to get your comments on Flickr, Facebook, Friendfeed; the most important thing is the conversation
- Twitter is a model in terms of platform … anyone can grow things on top of Twitter by using their APIs; you can build on it, as well as get the data and put it somewhere else; openness in any future platform is essential
- We’ve only scratched the service with mobile location services; thanks to Twitter we know what our friends do but we don’t know where they are in real time (yet)
- Another trend – to get the experience as human as possible, e.g. with video (which brings gestures and feelings) – this is an area that Seesmic is focusing on
There seemed to be a consensus among the panel that for a media business (at least) a social networking site is a destination and not just a feature. Ankur Shah suggested that users are happy for companies to have their data as long as they get something back (and the other panelists seemed to agree).
Predicted trends included (Andrew Scott) more adoption of mobile and location-based features, as well as portable social graphs; Chris Seth echoed the points on mobile and unlocking of data, and added vertical networks.
Brent Hoberman talked about his new venture, mydeco.com, which is one of those “why hasn’t anyone thought of this before?” ideas. It allows users to create designs and share designs, and furnish their house according to a given design and budget. The home furnishing market has been highly fragmented, with the market leader having only 6% market share.
The consensus among the panel seemed to be that online retailing is threatening the high street (e.g. Dixons); the challenge for high street retailers is to build strong brands and use online to drive offline sales. Brent mentioned that with more and more user data, online shopping has the potential to get much better, while Richard Anson observed that a “buy locally” option on the web provides an opportunity for retails to engage with customers in a different way (instead of purely on the basis of price).
Panel: Giles Palmer of Brandwatch, Jeff Kelisky ex-CEO of Multimap and now GM of Commercial Search at Microsoft, Kristofer Mansson of Silobreaker, Dominic Blackburn of 192.com, Ariela Freed of Jumptap, and Simon Grice.
In his presentation Giles Palmer observed that there is a continued blurring going on between ads and other info, and between PR / Search Engine Optimisation. More metadata means more connections (between, for example, people, products and locations). Kristofer Mansson pointed out that keyword search is very limited, while Jeff Kelisky talked about what Microsoft is doing with real world (3D) search. There was also a discussion on linking real world items to online, and how we do this (barcodes?); 192.com are now geocoding news stories.
Simon Grice recounted an anecdote from Loic Lemeur who was looking to hire a raccoon (Seesmic’s logo) in San Francisco. Not having had much luck through more traditional channels, Loic posted a request on Twitter and received a number of replies. So perhaps Twitter has potential as a product search engine?
After each session and throughout the day a number of companies gave a one minute pitch on their company. I mostly didn’t follow up on these, but bumped into Joe Drumgoole who I’ve met before, and he gave me a demo of the latest version of Putplace (which allows you to Secure, Backup and Organise your data online). It looks like a useful product – I like the clean interface, file versioning, and icons showing in situ which of your files have been backed up (reminds me of Subversion).