Hi Web 2.0-ers. I hope you’ve had a nice summer. Today marks the start of September, which to me signifies the start of the fall conference season, and what a season it’ll be.

The teams at O’Reilly Media and TechWeb have been diligently programming and producing these past two months – preparing for the second Web 2.0 Expo New York this November – and launching Gov 2 Summit & Showcase in a few short weeks, held in Washington D.C.

Gov 2.0 Summit: The Platform for Change. Over the past fifteen years, the rise of the World Wide Web has resulted in remarkable new possibilities and business models reshaping our culture and our economy. Now the time has come to reshape government. Gov 2 is chaired by Tim O’Reilly and Richard O’Neil (The Highlands Group), alongside an intelligent program committee – read on to see the speaker lineup or schedule.

Web 2.0 Expo New York. The Power of Less. Constraints drive creativity, whether in business models, design paradigms, or platforms. The power of the small screen, the thin client, the streamlined interface. The power of small teams, or even going solo. The paradox of power: sometimes the best way to gain power is to give it away, which is why during these challenging times, we are learning that nothing builds brands like a nurtured community. The power of data: of data-centric business models, and the power of data to inform our decisions and to focus us on what matters. The power of less is the power of creative destruction. It’s the power to change the world. See how to participate here!

And in between the two we’ll manage to host our fifth Web 2 Summit this Oct 20-22, an event I’m particularly proud to announce as this year I have the pleasure of working with program chair John Battelle to help it come to life. He just published the speaker line up and festivities. Exciting stuff!

Headliners I’m particularly interested in hearing is U.S. Chief Technology Officer Aneesh Chopra - the man in charge of our $150 billion R&D budget; Steve Schneider – Program Director at WestEd who is establishing the first-ever standard for technology literacy across the U.S. (by 2012); Cynthia Warner – president of a biofuel company that just might have the answer to… well, energy – and Austan Goolsbee – Chief Economist for President Obama. He bantered well with Jon Stewart on the Daily Show, keen to see hear his opinions live on stage in front of a roomful of peers. Oh, and last but not least, eager to feed the little hungry geek that lives inside me with the info from Brady Forrest’s ‘Human Sensors Discussion’ – oh, that’ll be good.

In general, there are lots of things that impress me about a conference –

  • its intelligence
  • its ability to connect peoples, ideas, communities
  • its momentary existence (because no two conferences are ever alike)
  • its seamless execution (at least when event director Meghan Reilly is at the helm)
  • its energy

And I’m really looking forward to experiencing all of that at Summit this fall. Earlier in the year Tim [O’Reilly] and John established the theme #WebSquared – an extension of 2008’s Web Meets World philosophy – and the schedule we’ll be announcing this week is comprehensive and relevant to the issues we are facing as a society today.

From Tim & John -

In our first program, we asked why some companies survived the dotcom bust, while others had failed so miserably. We also studied a burgeoning group of startups and asked why they were growing so quickly. The answers helped us understand the rules of business on this new platform.

Chief among our insights was that “the network as platform” means far more than just offering old applications via the network (“software as a service”); it means building applications that literally get better the more people use them, harnessing network effects not only to acquire users, but also to learn from them and build on their contributions.

Today, we realize that these insights were not only directionally right, but are being applied in areas we only imagined in 2004. The smartphone revolution has moved the Web from our desks to our pockets. Collective intelligence applications are no longer being driven solely by humans typing on keyboards but, increasingly, by sensors. Our phones and cameras are being turned into eyes and ears for applications; motion and location sensors tell where we are, what we’re looking at, and how fast we’re moving. Data is being collected, presented, and acted upon in real time. The scale of participation has increased by orders of magnitude.

Today, the exponential growth of Web has made its technologies service as the backbone of our everyday lives. If you want to discover more on the topic – download the whitepaper, and share your opinion on the Web Squared.

So there you go. That’s the reason we’ve all been so quiet here… there is a lot going on and we want you to explore and enjoy these live events. But if you can’t be with us in person, as always, you can catch the keynotes and recorded content on the various Blip.tv channels. There is currently only archived content, 2009 videos will get posted to these channels within a week of the event.

Stay tuned for more conference information and community announcements. Once again, let the games begin!

~ ~ ~

Note: Janetti Chon is now Web 2 Summit’s Producer at Battellemedia, a partner of O’Reilly Media & TechWeb.

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