Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Fall VON - Highlights

Just a quick post to share a few photos from the show today. It's been very hectic, so time won't allow for much analysis of the event right now. The scale seems a bit smaller than last Fall VON, but it's still a good sized show, and there is no shortage of interesting companies and sessions to see. That's actually a problem - there are too many tracks, and it's impossible to take it all in. For every session I see there are 3 or 4 others I'd also like to see, and it's really too bad I have to miss all of these. Sure, I'll get to see the presentations later, but it's not the same as being there.

That said, Jeff started things off with his keynote today, and not surprisingly the focus was almost totally on video. VoIP may have been mentioned once or twice, but there are bigger stories for Jeff to tell. Today, it's mostly about video, and this morning, it was about social networking and collaboration. Anyone following Jeff's blog would totally understand this, and for everyone else, you got a good sense this morning as to what Jeff is all excited about. We all got a long look at his Facebook profile, which he used to demonstrate the power of social networking.

For Jeff, the big ideas are asynchronous, multimedia communication, and many-to-many communications. He's particularly excited about how Facebook recently opened up their APIs, making it a very attractive developer platform. I certainly agree with all this, and it's not hard to see the appeal it holds for Jeff. On the other hand, I'm not a big fan of living virtually, and it's easy to see how one can live so virtually that it practically becomes real.

That aside, Jeff didn't have much to say on the visionary side of things other than businesses will start using social networking next year, and that monetization will come in time. What form that might take is another question, but that wasn't discussed. That's fine - these things will come, and for now, the main message is that if you're not doing some form of social networking, you're going to miss out on what's driving online communication and community building right now, and if you wait too long, you're going to be out of it.

I've got a few photos from today's sessions to pass along...

Jeff's keynote and the audience this morning...


Chris Fine's Industry Perspective


Thomas Howe kicking off the Unconference


My Unconference session, with Dennis Peng of Ooma, and Thomas. Photo taken with my camera either by Dan York or Alec Saunders. Sorry guys, I can't remember which right now!


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