From the Archive …. Web 2.0 in 2004

Dug up my old notes from Web 2.0 2004 for comparison’s sake.

My full notes can be seen in the extended blog entry.

Takeaways from Web 2.0 in 2004:

  • A location-based services panel including John Betz of MapPoint, J. Kim Fennel of Telcontar, and Perry Evans discussed emerging markets. One opportunity lies in communities for social networking, yellow page listings, and online reviews (, These communities are quickly growing into the millions of users, venture capital is starting to flow, and entrepreneurs are exploring new revenue models.
  • Amazon, eBay,, and PayPal talked about their success in expanding through the web and wireless development communities. eBay has grown their web services program from 1,200 to 10,000 developers during the past year, with web services accounting for 40% of eBay listings. Amazon has 65,000 developers using web services, and is developing new revenue models as they expose content from Alexa.
  • Full notes from Web 2.0 2004:

    There are examples where yellow pages and social networking are merging:,

    Web Services business models vary greatly. Everyone knows they have to have them, but the space is evolving and it’s not yet clear what’s the best path to revenue. eBay both charges for ‘certification’ and also makes money off of transactions when a purchase is made. eBay keeps adjusting the program as they learn how to meet the developer community while still making money. Amazon is giving away Alexa content as a ‘beta’, and is hoping to figure out a business model from that experiment. One challenge is how to scale the support infrastrucutre effectively (keep your costs down while growing developer community).

    Blogging is rapidly growing space with a lot of new venture capital. Both require location technology and no one is filling that gap. RSS (published text feeds) is a related space with a similar challenge to find a revenue model attached to giving away content through a web API.

    Internet standards such as SOAP have not lived up to their hope. Standards bodies are slow moving and overly complex. Therefore, most web services out there today are designed by smaller groups to meet specific, practical needs. General theme from leaders in development community is having multiple interfaces: a simple XML interface, a REST-ful interface (like MQ’s HTTP protocol), and client-side SDKs (like MQ’s Java, COM, C++ clients).

    Best documented conference I’ve ever attended due to all the bloggers. Here’s the aggregated blogs:

    *Notes from Sessions*


    The Mobile Platform: The Future of Mobile
    Rael Dornfest, CTO, O’Reilly Media, Inc.
    Russell Beattie, Independent Technical Consultant
    Jory Bell, CEO, OQO
    Juha Christensen, President, Mobile and Devices, Macromedia, Inc.
    Trip Hawkins, Founder & CEO, Digital Chocolate

    – there are many fragmented vertical apps, no killer apps
    – market is segmented in terms of user base (blackberry vs. sidekick)
    – carriers are focused on voice, it’s like the oil companies building gas stations and focusing on selling gas while ignoring the convenience store, carriers haven’t recognized that the tail (data and apps) will wag the dog
    – social computing is driving cell phone use, multi players games, instant messaging, etc
    – phones are migrating towards a small computer that mimic the PC, but the screen size will prevent them from replicating it
    – the voice interruption of data services when you get a phone call is very disruptive, also backlight and sound controls are very poor, demonstrates carriers lack of recognition about data services
    – battle between operators and handset manufacturers is happening in terms of interface demand, some operators are going as far as branding their own phones to the exclusion of the manufacturer
    – macromedia is in process of pushing flash onto all phones
    – minimal interfaces can be best way for phones, SMS and Google are two examples of minimal interfaces, iPod is another
    – current interfaces include j2me, xhtml (growing in use), flash
    – there will be 1.8b phones within next 2 years, there will be different devices for different types of uses (blackberry, phone, watch, etc)
    – cell phone is disruptive technology, similar to the pc of 1970s, but phones will dominate the pc (ratio of phones to pc’s is 10:1)
    – dodgeball is unique use for phone using LBS
    – people pay more for a ringtone than for an entire phone
    – LBS for traffic, aggregating from cell phone users and providing access back to that data
    – will carriers distribute apps?, right now the carriers make it easy to click on menu items, but that will branch out through spread of other broadband (wifi), in 5 years it will be more like the current web
    – however, carriers do have in place a billing model that allows 3rd party developers to easily get paid
    – iPod (PodCast) could replace radio


    Geolocation: The Killer Map
    Tim O’Reilly, Founder and CEO, O’Reilly Media, Inc.
    John Betz, Director or Planning & Business Development, Microsoft MapPoint
    Perry Evans, Founder, MapQuest
    Kim Fennell, President & CEO, Telcontar
    John Hanke, CEO, Keyhole

    – [note: perry ellis had registered for conference under mapquest and had logo next to his name]
    – keyhole is approaching 100 terabytes of data
    – keyhole is a website to allow users to input their own data, they can ‘geotag’ locations to create a ‘geoblog’
    – telcontar is 8 years old, geospatial platform providing high volumes for wireless applications, major industries are internet search and telematics, customers include yahoo, askjeeves, google, and some in-car navigation
    – microsoft has 10 years in the location space
    – mapquest was unique in ’95, microsoft and others were making $50-100m annually from CD products
    – search and personalization in geography is the new thing, that’s the focus of perry ellis’ new venture Aptas
    – idea is that navteq is the ‘intel inside’ that has a monopoly, creates a cost structure so that a free API service is not possible, though john betz pointed out that navteq’s accuracy isn’t necessary for some apps such as asset tracking
    – mappoint and telcontar say they don’t compete b/c one is hosted and the other is not
    – keyhole says we might see YP data of the future coming directly from small business web sites and user reviews, this data will be pulled by a web crawler
    – perry ellis thinks mapquest should contribute more to user data, in 1996 they had a feature called Trip Notes that allowed users to add annotations, data from the blog sphere could also be incorporated
    – telcontar is taking data from their customers, same idea as Partner Data Program
    – perry ellis thinks innovation won’t happen with the big companies of yahoo local and google local, it will happen through acquisition of small companies
    – microsoft location server supports real-time location through bell canada and sprint relationships
    – openwave and qualcomm are starting to provide location, many CDMS phones already have GPS turned on
    – telcontar sees enhanced 411 as par of the future, integration will happen with car and voice over speaker systems, also personalized delivery of traffic
    – perry ellis sees using RSS model to push out geocoded content
    – esther dyson asked about picture cameras with gps and their impact
    – here’s Jeremy Zawodny’s take on the LBS panel:


    James Currier, CEO, Tickle
    – Tickle was recently acquired by, they do self assessment tests, matchmaking, and social networking
    – you can use a phy
    schological profile for marketing (ex. determining a typical user’s buying behavior according to age and gender)
    – monsters has $.5b of $4-5b job market, margins are 30%+


    Mary Meeker, Managing Director, Morgan Stanley Dean Witter

    – Chinese market is growing incredibly quickly
    – currently 1.3b people (21% of world)
    – internet is big part of chinese strategy for long-term economic growth with high employment
    – internet has 87m users in china (#2 in the world), they will be #1 in 5 years
    – S Korea has 70% broadband penetration
    – china mobile and china unicom will have significant impact on freeing technology companies from government and other obstacles
    – chinese internet portal breakdown: sina, shanda, tencent, tom online, sohu netease
    – gdp per capita is $619 vs $37k in US


    Lessons Learned, Future Predicted
    John Battelle, Program Chair, Web 2.0 Conference, Battelle Media
    Marc Andreessen, Chairman and Co-Founder, Opsware, Inc.
    Dan Rosensweig, COO, Yahoo

    – lots of talk about ‘network effects’, the dominance of companies like ebay, google, yahoo
    – Yahoo has walled garden approach to most data, currently don’t publish much via api’s
    – currently 150m registered users on yahoo
    – beta of MyYahoo was just released
    – question about allowing transfer of user preferences out of the yahoo system and into other systems, not currently allowed, maybe someday
    – trying to find ways to monetize RSS feeds, two business models: 1. pay for incremental value, 2. ads


    Music is a Platform
    Hank Barry, Partner, Hummer Winblad
    Mike Caren, Senior Vice President of A&R, Atlantic Records
    Eddy Cue, Vice President, Applications and Internet Services, Apple
    Danger Mouse
    Michael Weiss, CEO, Streamcast

    – neonet is morpheus’ new search product, launched this week, allows search of p2p network in 3 hops or less
    – in current industry, artists receive 10-15% for albums/tracks but 50% for licensing (such as monthly subscription), therefore the record companies don’t like subscription model
    – both artists and labels are nervous about renegotiating current contracts, status quo has worked for them
    – it’s hard for consumers to accept music as a product b/c, therefore all the privacy


    A Conversation With Marc Benioff
    Marc Benioff, Chairman & CEO,

    – announced today that they have 185k subscribers and 12k customers
    – next week they are having a developer conference
    – is developer site, they have ISVs building apps over 100 of which are in production
    – john battelle spent $6m on a Siebel system for 50 sales people that helped bankrupt the industry standard
    – zagat has 20 sales people, they use, aol and adp are larger companies using it
    – set up charitable giving from beginning of company, 1% of equity, 1% of employee time, 1% of profits
    – 200 non profits use for free


    The Telephone is a Platform. Discuss
    Om Malik, Senior Writer, Business 2.0
    Jeffrey A. Citron, Chairman & CEO, Vonage
    Hossein Eslambolchi, President of AT&T’s Global Networking Technology Services, AT&T’s CTO & CIO, AT&T
    Charlie E. Hoffman, CEO, Covad
    Mike McCue, President, COO & Co-Founder, Tellme

    – vonage recently reduced price to $25, they began their model for 3 tiers, they found that concept of locality has no meaning in voip, not clear what is a local call, they have 2 concepts (1. bucket of minutes, 2. unlimited)
    – pure talking is becoming commoditized but there are still costs, user experience is the important thing
    – att says that as price drops, unprofitable companies will go out of business, service delivery over ip (soip) better expresses what they provide, unique features will differentiate, they have built an architecture that will support quickly adding new services, other competitors are focusing too much on voice and not enough on services…speech recognition, etc.
    – 750m computers today, 2b by 2012, so big opportunity
    – covad says that dedicated adsl product is popular, t1 prices were cut in half last week in california, they don’t really compete with vonage or att, they specialize in small business (70% of revenue), 5-250 station customer is their target, they make decision on cost and also dashboard capabilities (ex. 4 digit dialing to anyone in the country)


    Allan Vermeulen, Chief Technology Officer & Vice President, Web Services Enginerring, Amazon
    – amazon web services has 500k associates and 65k people accessing web svcs


    The Platform Revolution
    Tim O’Reilly, Founder and CEO, O’Reilly Media, Inc.
    Adam Bosworth, Vice President of Engineering, Google, Inc.
    Kevin Lynch, Executive Vice President & Chief Software Architect, Macromedia, Inc.
    John McKinley, Chief Technology Officer & President, AOL Technologies
    Halsey Minor, CEO, Chairman, & Founder, Grand Central Communications
    Time: 2:45pm

    – google says that a true platform needs to deliver a lot of value, allows large community of people to build apps that provide specific value, windows is an example, web svcs is example, can the platform be extended to lots and lots of people?
    – discussion of types of user interfaces, browsers have worked for a while, but html designed for documents, browser not sufficient for future, flash has filled a hole in the browser, in future need to run on local machine (itunes, blog aggregators), web 2.0 should allow build of non browser apps
    – lots of devices now, challenge is quality experience across all devices
    – question to john mckinley, aol is grand daddy, what does aol need to do to be part of this next generation, john … glad invited to meeting b/c aol not associated with web 2.0, one core message is that one sustaining value is your exposed meta data, snap search engine is cool but is closed community … instant msging, macromedia has opened im
    – halsey talked about advent of standards, smtp 1.0, html 2.0, web svcs 3.0 … business use of internet, grand central helps organized outsourced applications, new model includes guarantee of connectivity
    – adam says that standards groups run off cliffs and start to fall, rss is a real platform b/c it’s being used, it needs to be simple and easy, when they need to figure out standards for collaboration it will come from actual use instead of standards bodies … guiding force for developer interfaces needs to be simplicity (ex. 16 year old daughter)
    – john mckinley says that standards have moved from industries, to large companies, to consumers
    – kevin lynch says you could assemble tools for im, email, rss, etc, that could replace ms office
    – adams says that fragmentation is the concern, too many phone devices with different interfaces … having single interface allows fo rquick update cycles (example gmail search of contacts)
    – john asks whether avalon will be relevant, danger would be that microsoft will hold ip that will prevent innovation by anyone else
    – kevin says that longhorn will take so long to develop, will take long to get market share and therefore revenue
    – adams talks about open source, things become commodities, microsoft is becoming the phone and not the carrier
    – john says that firefox is disruptive and adds innovation


    Jim Buckmaster, President, CEO, and Programmer, craigslist
    Craig Newmark, Founder, Chairman, and Customer Service Representative, craigslist

    – it’s a top 20 site with fewer than 20 employees (14)
    – ‘nerd values’
    – treat people the way you want to be treated yourself


    Brendan Eich, Chief Architect of Mozilla, Mozilla Foundation

    – firefox has 20m unique users per week, though may overcount due to cookie counting
    – growing in e europe and e asia
    – you can’t wait for standards bod
    ies, they plan to use IE platform features and working wth safari and opera to create new standards, web developers in a year could write html 5 across almost all browsers, plug ins for IE
    – standards bodies have stagnated for 6 years, w3c, work with css, svg is big and needs plug in , xbl is something new, so is xforms, oasis they’d like to get involved with
    – http get has been optimized to death and it scales great
    – e4x is new technology to boost xml productivity, it’s condensed by being less formal
    – futures may include: mono project, cairo graphics, irrlicht 3d engine, dirac video codec
    – these future features can do majority of what longhorn does, it just has to be good enough, longhorn willl be expensive b/c they need to recoup costs


    Lightweight Business Models
    Marc Canter, CEO, Broadband Mechanics
    Jason Fried, CEO, 37signals

    – once a standard is established, aggregators will expand it. for example, once there’s a standard for writing reviews, there will be a big market for reviews (bigger than blogs b/c easier to write).
    – ‘ourmedia’ is designed to provide a common license for using jukeboxes, image albums, and directories
    – a registry will track the downloads so the license can be retracted later for anyone who wants to move their content to a commercial model


    Web Services in Action
    Stephanie Tilenius, Vice President & General Manager of Merchant Services, Pay Pal
    Matt Ackley, Senior Director, Developers Program, eBay

    matt ackley….
    – eBay was forced to publish their APIs due to so many people screen-scraping their site
    – currently 200,000 ebay sellers use web services
    – they process 1 billion requests per month
    – 40% of ebay listings are web services
    – new book called ‘real world web services’ documents company api’s including ebay, paypal, amazon, google, fedex, interfax, cddb, livejournal, blogger
    – soap and wsdl are the current standards, question is whether there is business value in these standards
    – ebay total processed transactions (through site and api’s) equal $32 billion /year, 25% of online dollars are spent on ebay
    – recently opened the api to allow buyers to place a bid to be placed on ebay services, allows mobile apps for bidding
    – definition of categories for merchandise will be determined through api, for example, those third parties in the computer category will create their own subcategories for the merchanise they know best
    – interesting parallel at Walmart….for stocking shelves, Walmart gives each category leaders (who are presumed to be the experts for their market) access to sales data and the ability to stock both their products and those of their competitors
    – new interfaces recently produced include sdk’s for java and .net
    – they have 50-60 people on staff to support ebay services

    stephanie tilenius…
    – paypal has 50 million accounts
    – in Q2, they processed $4.4 billion of payment volume
    – they are integrated into 90% of ebay listings
    – paypal began as a web service on ebay a few years ago, it provided a quick payment instead of check or money order
    – they offer the ability to sell addiitonal services to ebay customers, for example the ‘buy now’ button
    – they provide security as well as fraud protection
    – in april of this year, they added a real B2B api (previously had html interface)
    – 100 shopping carts are using it now through
    – also allows for the sale of digital content (pdf, mp3, etc)
    – VNH photo and Tiger Direct are adding paypal as a payment option
    – also bonfire, which is ebay for the cell phone
    – UDDI is how to discover interfaces, the problem is that it’s open and therefore can’t protect closed systems such as ebay, it would need a system of access controls
    – ebay has needed to scale their support as the channel increases, has their own customer support organization which has helped with developer channel
    – 10,000 developers in channel now (from 1200 a year ago)
    – 700 applications have been built
    – their goal is to grow support through the organic developer community
    – they need to communicate changes to the product (change occurs about every 2 weeks), includes things like new formats, questions about how much notice they should provide to developers, especially b/c many developers are sellers who will have an advantage over others if they know what changes are coming
    – ebay allows the upload of html and javascript by their 1 million sellers
    – developer discussion boards lets the community help out with support
    – ebay is expanding sample code and docs, also a sandbox
    – the sandbox is essentially a 2nd version of, a big overhaul of the sandbox is a major change


    Opening Welcome: The State of the Internet Industry
    John Battelle, Program Chair, Web 2.0 Conference, Battelle Media
    Tim O’Reilly, Founder and CEO, O’Reilly Media, Inc.

    – open source is driving commoditization of software industry
    – that puts the ‘network effects’ companies at top of value chain (companies like mapquest, ebay, amazon)
    – and puts the monopolists (companies with a high cost of entry) at the bottom of the value chain (navteq, digital globe)


    A Conversation with Jeff Bezos
    Jeffrey P. Bezos, Founder & CEO, Amazon

    – on oct 4th, amazon released v4.0 of the renamed eCommerce Services (ECS)
    – alexa web informatino services (awis) was released in beta
    – allows sites like and to exist
    – jeff gave a demo of A9, it uses google’s api’s for the web and image search, it uses javascript for the interactivity of the interface


    Gian M. Fulgoni, Chairman & Co-Founder, comScore Networks, Inc.

    – currently 160 million US internet users
    – 50% of home users have broad band
    – online spending was $100 billion in 2004 [note: some differenence with ebay’s sizing number of $128 billion = ebay doing $32 billion/year which is 25% of online dollars]
    – internet commerce is growing at 25-35%, higher in travel industry
    – when users move to broadband, they spend 50% more
    – tremendous growth in some areas of commerce, for example 74% in furniture, appliance and equipment category
    – online content is worth $1 billion/year, personals is big part of that
    – online banking has reached 20 million account holders, 20% of which use online bill pay
    – search market consists of: google 36%, yahoo 29%, msn 15%, time warner 12%, ask jeeves 6%
    – 10% of searches are performed through toolbars
    – comscore has gotten to the point that they can predict the economy through web traffic, they matched US gov’t numbers for auto sales against the comscore numbers, statistical difference was negligible (R squared = .9), this is probably due to the fact that the auto industry has begun using internet prices as their pricing guideline
    – they performed similar results by tracking online job search sites during working hours, captured numbers that were extremely similar to US gov’t labor stats

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