Last week I had the great pleasure of attending "The Future of Web Apps" conference put on by Carson Workshops. I have to say this was one of the best and most rewarding conferences I have ever been to. Sure that’s not saying much because most "Geek" conferences can be a real snore fest but that was certainly not the case here. The conference embodied what’s great about "Web 2.0", that being the fact that this stuff is social, fun, and engaging. Here are some of my highlights:
I live in Orange County, CA which is about 6 hours away for San Francisco so I drove up the night before. Along the way I drove next to (and through) the huge California wildfire that was burning along interstate 5. After some great views, lots of ass fault and traffic I was into city. San Francisco is an interesting city, just like Manhattan they are squeezing way too many people into such a small space. Driving from point A to point B is never easy, I ended up driving the wrong way on one way streets and doing many "city left turns" to get to my destination. Road lagged and tired I retired for the night…
Since my exit from the 9-5 corporate world I’ve had trouble waking up before 9am let alone being somewhere at this time. Hey what can I say, life is too short not to sleep in sometimes. Never the less i dragged myself out of bed and made my way to the Palace of Fine Arts, one of my favorite spots to see in San Fran. I was pleased to see that the crowd was young and dare I say hip? It was nice not being the only one in designer jeans, converse and with a long shaggy haircut.
Kevin and his wife Gillian are the directors of the show and Carson Systems. Kevin’s company is responsible for Drop Send which is a service similar to YourSendIt and allows you to email large files. He helped to open the show and introduce the speakers. He also spoke at the end of conference but I unfortunately had to miss this for another meeting.
Honestly the main reason I attended this conference was to see Kevin speak. Being a huge fan of TechTV and Digg I had to see what the future held for his online adventures. Even though he was under the weather he delivered a great presentation but at times it felt like he was reading and not talking. Here are some interesting facts that he shared:
- Digg was started with $2,000 and $99 per month server cost
- Kevin used elance for the initial programming and paid the coder $10 per hour
- Built using open source PHP and mySQL
- Digg now has 500K registered users, 10 million daily page views, 90+ servers
Number 2 on my "must see list" was Michael Arrington, the man behind Techcruch. For months now I have visited his web site daily to get the latest Web 2.0 news so I was eager to see what he had to say. As excepted his presentation ranked as my favorite, the insight that was shared was invaluable and ahead of its time. Center networks has a great review of Michael’s presentation including audio here.
During his Q&A session I decided to get up and ask him about a recent blurb on Techcruch that quickly mentioned Michael getting a "slap on the wrist" at the recent Apple event. He seemed to appreciate the question and told a great story sparing no details (listen to the audio for his complete response). Thanks Michael for your candor and inspiration.
More coverage to follow, being gone a week has put me too far behind in my work to write more at the moment…