Notes from Tim O'Reilly Keynote Address

Tim O’Reilly gave a fascinating, information-loaded, 105-slide keynote address this morning at the 2007 Mark Logic User Conference. Tidbits include:

  • O’Reilly’s mission is to change the world by spreading the knowledge of innovators: watch the alpha geeks.
  • Web 2.0, which could be called Publishing 2.0, is about information businesses: it’s a data revolution
  • What did the survivors of the dot-com bust have in common? They all used the network as a platform
  • User-generated content (UGC) and harnessing collective intelligence aren’t the same thing. UGC is one way of harnessing collective intelligence, but there are others as well. For example, every time a webmaster makes links to a site they are telling Google the site they’re linking to is important.
  • Harnessing collective intelligence is about growing a database whose value grows with the number of participants.
  • Data is the next Intel Inside. (Or, as we prefer to say at Mark Logic: content is the next Intel Inside.)
  • The top placed ad on Google isn’t based on solely on the highest bid: it’s based on the highest bid times the expected click-through rate. That both serves the user and makes Google more money
  • You should include network effects by default. On Flickr, the default is to share.
  • Human collaboration beats the machine/algorithm: consider Last.fm’s success relative to Pandora, who created a “music genome project” to try and dig into music and determine what you’ll like.
  • Everyone should read Kathy Sierra’s Creating Passionate Users blog.
  • Lessons from Google Maps: if your users are not surprising you with what they’re doing, then you’re not open enough. If they are, then try to learn from them. Half of all mashups leverage Google Maps. (See programmableweb for a mashup directory.)
  • We see content as a database and web services as a platform
  • Remember this quote from Ray Kurzweil: “an invention needs to makes sense in the world in which it’s finished, not the world in which it’s started.”

Tim also mention their upcoming conference, Tools of Change for Publishing, which is in San Jose from 6/18-20. (Mark Logic user conference attendees were given a discount code worth ~20% off.) Others should know that you can save $200 by registering prior to the early bird deadline on 5/21.

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