Saturday, August 18, 2007

Gnomedex Report

It was fun attending Gnomedex last week. I was there with Marc Orchant representing Curl and reaching out to the blogger community to raise the awareness of Rich Internet Application technologies. This was Marc's first Gnomedex but as a professional blogger it seemed he knew everyone there. Gnomedex was planned as the event we would out the news that Marc joined Curl to help build the Curl developer community and raise awareness of RIA technologies in the enterprise.

The last time I attended Gnomedex in 2004 the feature was the announcement of Microsoft getting on the RSS band wagon. Blogging was taking off big time. With Rubel and Siffry featured prominently in the BusinessWeek cover article, "Blogs Will Change Your Business." There were 9 million blogs. This was "the wild frontier." Technorati and PubSub were the leading contenders for blog search.

Just 2 years later Gnomedex 7 had a decidedly different tone. Today PubSub imploded in a melt down that I witnessed first hand and Technorati is tracking over 70 million blogs. Now that you can make a living as a professional blogger, the conversation is turned from the "wild frontier" to "getting down to business." Marc's kids friends are always surprised to hear what he does for a living " you mean they pay you to blog." Now we have public voices we also have public exposure like never before with all the good and bad that comes with that. What happened to Kathy Sierra (one of my favorite bloggers) has become a real worry. Vanessa Fox's session generated a good discussion about privacy and safety on-line.

I also especially enjoyed Gregg Spiridellis talk about the history of JibJab and how their business model has been changing on a regular basis. Now they're into the personal cards market making entertaining user generated content. We got a great laugh as he featured Scoble and Pirillo in a Hawaiian number. Good fun. Here's my version.

Personalize funny videos and birthday eCards at JibJab!
As always Gnomedex-networking is the highlight. You can find new interesting ideas and get a pulse on the state of the blogosphere from those that shape it on the front lines. I had a great conversation with Ryan Stewart who has been blogging on RIA for almost 2 years know. He recently joined Abobe and it was fun hearing of his adventures on the Adobe onAIR bus tour. He has seen a real increase in the RIA interest level over the last 4-6 months. We also talked about how the event driven publish-subscribe technologies like KnowNow have seen slow adoption. RIA's should be the interface of choice for real-time data driven applications. This is something Adobe is working to evangelize with their Flex Data Services.

Ryan thinks that bloggers are 6-9 months away from really understanding RIA. I think it may even be longer. What we notice with Curl's experience is that the US is at least 2 years behind Japan in the adoption of RIA. In fact in Japan they don't even think of it as RIA but rather as a means to end. The question is not "How can I use RIA to reduce TCO and get to new markets", but "How can I reduce my procurement time" or "How can I get my product to more distributors." Use of RIA technologies are only a means to reach their business goals. Hopefully the US enterprise RIA market will start to see growth in the next 6 months.


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