Saturday, September 20, 2008

Web 2.0 NY at Javits Center



The exhibitors at technology expos are as fascinating as the seminars running on the other floor. Thursday, I was turned away from a room because I had an 'Expo Only' tag around my neck. How was I to know? The huge directory read 'Web 2.0 New York' and the room was as big as an exhibit hall.

Once on the Expo Hall floor proper, it was amazing to find the "in the clouds"products that programmers have strung together to make the online experience as face-to-face as electronics, glass and cable can assume. Twing.com is a search engine for online communities. Clickability provides On Demand web content management. Samsung and Nokia displayed an array of unlocked mobile devices. Ebay touted its partnerships and acquisitions to ensure Ebay is THE online auction and store experience. Some enterprises were beyond conception. Take Brickfish. This is not an interactive ad agency; it's not a search engine marketing agency. It's a social media marketing platform that utilizes viral marketing campaigns to move your 'brand.'

Two non tech things uncovered were the origin of the term 'On Demand' and America's regional variations. Pay-per-view is pretty obvious but 'On Demand' threw me. Clickability's Molly Dolan explained that 'On Demand' was a marketing phrase Microsoft Corp. coined eight years ago to mean movies you request from a cable company rather than saved on your hard drive, placed on a CD, on a video cartridge or DVD. The point being it's the cable subscriber pulling the strings; i.e, On Demand; and not the cable company; i.e., pay-per-view.

Many exhibitors came from the west coast. Take Brickfish's Ashley Futak. When her colleague asked about the origin of her name, Ashley explained it came from one East European nation. I remarked, "How interesting!" Ashley said, "Yes, it's random." So "random" substitutes for "interesting" and "unusual?" How San Diego of her to hip me to the vernacular.

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