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Web 2.0 Expo Presentation Rundown

There were actually a surprising amount (to me, at least - most of the people I talked to had low expectations) of very good presentations at Web 2.0 Expo last week. Most of them are now posted on either SlideShare (more presentations here) or, for the keynotes, on Blip.tv. This is I think, a very exciting and positive development for industry conferences (which I think will only have net-positive effects on attendance; conference proceedings are de rigueur at academic conferences). Here're the ones I thought were most interesting.

Keynotes (overall, I liked the 10min What X Knows format that asks companies to boil down numbers and insights):

Lots of awesome sessions, the quality of the presentations (primarily in terms of prep/interestingness) was higher than usual:

  • A Flickr Approach to Making Sense of the World - my favorite session of the conference. If you're doing "geo stuff," you owe it to yourself to take a look at this. The divisive hierarchical agglomerative clustering bit is great (using morton curves for better pathing, clever). Now there's not a lot on reverse-geocoding, which I believe I am now doing unique and interesting work on -- once I prove it works, I'll have to publish/present about that. :)
  • Capacity Planning for Web Operations - sure you can't clone Allspaw, but reading what he has to say is probably the next best thing.
  • Website Psychology - linking to an earlier version of Gavin's talk (with notes, yay) - he does a really great job mapping cognitive psychology concepts onto site usage and development. Well worth reading and thinking about
  • Grasping Social Patterns - by far my favorite Ignite talk this year, all kinds of hooks for thinking about how far social apps and the "social graph" needs to go
  • Making Email a Useful Web App - Bots are awesome and underrated. I've been working a lot more w/ them recently and this was a good overview (would love an even more comprehensive history of cool bots...)
  • Even Faster Website (PPT) - Steve Souders (now at GOOG, doing the same sorta thing he was doing at YHOO) talks about the current stuff he's working on, which is optimizing JS (the logical progression). Great new stuff, just as useful as the older stuff
  • Adding "Where" to Mobile and Web Applications - a bit basic, but a good overview of how location stands today. Come to Where 2.0 and Wherecamp to learn more...
  • Polite, Pertinent, and... Pretty: Designing for the New-wave of Personal Informatics - slides not online. Boo-urns
  • Casual Privacy - slides not online. Boo-urns
  • Next Generation Mobile UIs - slides not online. Boo-urns

Talks I didn't make but that have interesting decks:

Some stuff that sounded interesting but don't have slides online: include Marc Davis' Mobile talk, Opportunity Computing in the Cloud, Social Networks and Avatars (caught a few min of this, looks like they haven't done a lot of work on the numbers (even organizing across cohorts), but still would like to see the deck), Global Design Trends (there are slides, but only enough to wish you had a recording of the talk)

Some bonus talks if you've made it through all those:

Did I forget something (quite probable), miss one of your favs? Post links in the comments.

2008-04-30 18:17:58