Mix06 live (4): Web 2.0: Show me the money

Michael Arrington, Jeremy Zawodny, Royal Farros, Adam Trachtenberg, Tim O'Reilly

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[Disclaimer: this has been liveblogged, so it may look incoherent. It's not the thoughtful post-event analysis and synthesis, but quick notes made during a discussion]

Adam Trachtenberg (Ebay): The Ebay ecosystem really shows how people can make money on the web. Not only by selling and buying on the web, but also by developping tools and add-ons for the Ebay platform. To buy and sell, an affiliate model is much more effective.

Michael Arrington (Techcrunch): Today it would be very hard to create another Ebay, even if Ebay would not exist. Ebay is in many ways a walled garden, it is not a distributed system. I'm excited by companies that do something with the edge of the network.

Tim O'Reilly (O'Reilly Media): Ajax: makes user interaction much more like real software. But it has more to do with the quality of the user experience and user participation. Critical mass is also important. Look at Flickr, there were other photo sharing services, but Flickr quickly gained the critical mass to become the market leader.

Michael Arrington: The game is still open. A 17-year old created Zoomr.com which has features that Flickr doesn't have.

Jeremy Zawodny (Yahoo): Crawlers can't make sense of Ajax pages. This not only affects the search engines, but also the contextual advertizing networks.

O'Reilly: Plugin revenue systems like Adsense are a big success. Site owners only have to plug it in and it starts producing money.

Royal Farros (MessageCast, acquired by Microsoft): Salesforce.com is the greatest example of the success of free services, but it's B2B.

Michael Arrington: Salesforce.com is an exception.

O'Reilly: A lot of services are free, like Plaxo, they're just waiting to gain critical mass to develop viable business models.

O'Reilly: There's no "conversation" in Google... There's gonna be massive databases as a byproduct of our activities. Those services that will make this information accessible in an intelligent way, are going to be successful.

Michael Arrington: That will be the next wave. But the current wave is more about user generated content.

O'Reilly: Web 2.0 is about building a web operating system. Identity is another hot item.

Attendee 1: Web 2.0 companies acquire customer data and do whatever they can to keep those data inside a walled garden. I can't take all my data back from Ebay...

O'Reilly: Data mobility would be a great advantage...

Jeremy Zawodny: Web 2.0 companies could charge customers for data mobility...

Attendee 2: Web 2.0 sounds like free love... I'm confused

Michael Arrington: Historically companies with big revenue streams hold on to it, but in the long term they lose. Look at Craigslist, if they experiment with their revenue stream they can become bigger than Ebay.

Zawodny: That's the innovator's dilemma.


O'Reilly: Civil liberties... As Cory Doctorow says: Every complex system has its parasites.