You couldn’t have picked a better panel for Web 2.0 than here at MIX06. Tim O’Reilly, who was/is the closest thing to Mr. Web 2.0 until perhaps Michael Arrington who was also on the panel along with Jeremy Zawodny from Yahoo, Royal Faros of Microsoft’s new messenger initiatives (which look really neat), and Ebay’s Adam Trachtenberg.
Of course as with all things Web 2.0 one left more confused than before the session, but that goes with the territory these days. Monetization is unclear even for companies that are cited as “successes” in the space such as delicious and flickr.
My favorite quote of the conference was Arrington to the Canadian Yellow Pages company asking how they could morph into a 2.0 company. “You are dead!” he said, I think meaning that UNLESS they changed their old style, usurous advertising fees, yellow page publishing empire would be overrun by Web 2.0s. He even felt EBAY was at risk, feeling they are protective of their 1.0 status.
I’m not so sure about that – in fact I’m increasingly skeptical of Web 2.0 as an easily monetizable phenomenon even as I am more convinced than ever that it’s a profound change in communication, information, and global community.