Reflections on Office 2.0

I'm about to leave San Francisco following the Office 2.0 Conference and thought I'd share a few of the highlights and some reflection on what transpired over the past couple of days.
Written by Marc Orchant, Contributor

I'm about to leave San Francisco following the Office 2.0 Conference and thought I'd share a few of the highlights and some reflection on what transpired over the past couple of days. For the most part, I would declare this inaugural event a great success due in no small part to the tireless efforts of Ismael Ghalimi of IT|Redux and the very energetic team he assembled for the event.

  • The event site, the St.Regis Hotel, was a great location for the event. The ballroom was set up well and provided good sound and decent sight lines for a capacity crowd. The gallery where sponsors were lined up with a brand-new iMac 24" demo machine was quite a striking sight.
  • There was constant buzz and chatter amongst the attendees, speakers, and sponsors. While many of the conversations have been had before, the sense of being at the beginning of something very powerful and inevitable was palpable. The biggest difference between then and now is that back in mid- to late-90's when many of us were first trying our hands at developing and delivering web-based services and applications, we lacked many of the resources we have today. Resources like a much faster public network that can be more easily accessed, better browsers and development tools to provide a window to what resides in the cloud, and enough folks with more than a few gray hairs and sharp memories of the bubble years to bring a much-needed sobriety to leaven the enthusiasm.
  • The panel discussion on APIs and Feeds I moderated went very well. Joining me in the discussion were Craig Barnes (Attensa), Scott Dietzen (Zimbra), Freddy Mini (NetVibes), Oren Michels (Mashery), Greg Reinacker (NewsGator), and Charlie Wood (Spanning Partners). The conversation was intense, the audeince participation was outstanding, and the hour flew by very quickly. Thanks to all for keeping the discussion at an industry level and sharing ideas about how APIs and Feeds can enable the flow of information and functionality between Office 2.0 applications.
  • As is almost always the case when I attend events in the Bay area, I had the opportunity to meet some people face-to-face for the first time with whom I've had a very cordial virtual relationship for years. That is always a great pleasure, as is reconnecting with long-time friends and colleagues like Dan Farber, Rafe Needleman, Buzz Bruggeman of ActiveWords, Stowe Boyd, and the great team of people I work with at Foldera. In the "we meet at last category", I had the pleasure of visiting with fellow ZDNet blogger Dion Hinchcliffe, podcaster and blogger Nicole Simon, Steve Gillmor, and NewsGator founder and CTO Greg Reinacker.
  • Using an iPod Nano to deliver content related to the event and replace a shwag bag stuffed with paper and disposable trinkets was a great idea and a big hit with the attendees. It was a perfect example of the sense of design and style Ismael brought ot the event. Another nice touch - a rigid plastic badge holder strung on a clear plastic cord that refused to spin around and threaten asphyxiation.
So I'm enjoying a brief respite at home before heading to Foldera for a couple of days. I've been helping my wife Sue explore her early birthday present - a new 20" iMac I picked up from the conference - and enjoying some down time with my son. Web 2.0 isn't far off so, after a few days catching up on my book project, it's back to work. With the recent busy schedule,  you may have noticed that my posting has been a bit erratic. That will probably be the case for the next month or so while I get through this busy conference season and finish the book up.
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