The expo has had its first half day and I must say my feelings are mixed. Some ups and some downs and some stuff we have already seen.
For me the day kicked of with a panel discussion around social media marketing which was moderated a not very well functioning Twitter hashtag system. Essentially, twitter your question to the panel and tag tweets with the hashtag and the panel will answer. This was no success, nor was it big flaw, but it seems weird that since the seminars aren’t broadcasted there is really no purpose in allowing people outside the room to ask questions and if they do, that should be in the form of an oral question. We are still people!
This session was followed by Simon Wardley from Canonical (the company behind Ubuntu) who talked about cloud computing (what else these days) that was quite interesting. He highlighted a very fundamental flaw in a majority of IT organisations; they appply the same principles of approaching development and improvements throughout the life cycle of all applications. New things, that essentially are innovations can’t and shouldn’t be treated in the same way as commodities are. Developing and using new web tools requires curiosity, trial and error, goofy people in bean bags, mistakes and successes, late night coding sessions after a brilliant intellectuall spark; managing commodities such as email, CRM-system, payroll requires none of that. IT requires stability, processes, cost cut. Still we manage the systems within the same organisation, with the same KPIs and with the same management. In my world, and in Simon’s world, this is like being tall and short at the same time. Simon’s solution, of course, was to take the stuff that is really commodities and treat them like that, i.e. move them to the cloud. His specific tweak was that there will be a great need for interportability of data between different suppliers of the cloud as well as the possibility to run your own cloud internally that can hook up seamlessly with the outside world. It was inspiring and interesting.
Next up was a session on Twitter that was given within the conference track “Fundamentals” (For PPT look here). How weird to put something that has been around for such a short while in the Fundamentals track. The presentation focused primarily on examples and practices that has developed for companies in using Twitter. That is all good, if that is what you are looking for. What I miss though is a slightly higher note, a higher level of complexity where the presenter does not need to explain what retweet is. I want to have a discussion on how tools like microblogging fit in a larger context. Will Twitter replace text/SMS on cell phones (which would be huge revenue losses for Telcos) and if so, how will the telco ecosystem landscape change. But I guess that can come in a later session, the conference is still in its youth!