E L S U A ~ A KM Blog by Luis Suarez

From the blog

Next08 – Highlights from the Keynote Speaker Sessions

As you may all recall from a blog post I put together a couple of weeks back, this week I am in Barcelona, preparing for a couple of client meetings, over the next couple of days, to talk some more about Social Computing @ IBM and the kind of impact it is having within the corporate firewall, and then on the 21st I have been kindly invited by Jose Antonio del Moral to attend Startup 2.0, where I will also be able to meet the one and only: Tom Raftery. An event that surely promises to be one to remember! But more about it as time comes by as I will be sharing as well a short story on how I got into that one.

For now, and while I am wrapping things up for the next couple of days, where everything has now been ready for a few hours already, I thought I would drop the first of a series of blog posts detailing some of the highlights from the superb event that I attended last week in Hamburg, Germany: Next08. An event that will be difficult to forget as all of the already high expectations I had for it before getting there were met and exceeded big time! To say the least.

As you may remember from previous conference events, I have now developed the tendency to live twitter events as opposed to live con-blogging them and so far I have been quite delighted with the results. Next08 was no exception and have been able to share a bunch of tweets at my second Twitter id: elsuacon. As you would be able to see, there are some intervals where nothing seemed to have happened and that was because the wireless connection was a bit flaky at times, but was still able to capture some offline tweets which I will be sharing shortly as post-conference notes in that same Twitter stream. That would give you a good sense of the kind of event that this conference has been! Just amazing!

So what could I talk about in this first post sharing these highlights? Well, there are many many things, but I think that the first thing I should be sharing with you would be some quick, short notes on the various keynote sessions that I got to attend and which I am sure you would find rather interesting as well, specially for three of them! No doubt!

Here we go then:

To get things started Matthias Schrader kicked off the conference with a short pitch detailing what we were going to find throughout the event and, I tell you, if the expectations were high with Matthias’ presentation they reached into another level! Very good!

From there onwards we had the first three keynote speaker sessions with Geraldine Wilson (From Yahoo! Mobile), Matt Cohler (From Facebook) and Mike Jennings (From Google – Android). Both Geraldine’s and Mike’s sessions were recorded so I am not going to comment much on them, except for mentioning that the future of the Mobile 2.0 market is bright and that I hope to be able to jump in very shortly with my Nokia N95, being able to do all of the stuff we saw during the speeches. I must say that Mike’s session on Android though was a bit too technical for my taste, but I am sure that the techies on the floor enjoyed it quite a bit. I think I would have done the presentation a bit different. A bit more on the pragmatic side of things showing the potential for mobile workers like you and me. I guess better luck next time…

What was disappointing as well a little bit was Matt’s session on Facebook. Too basic, in my opinion, from the perspective that those folks who may have been using Facebook for a while would have learned very little, if much at all. I think I would have focused more on the current situation that Facebook is facing with more and more business folks abandoning it by the day (I think we would all love to find out more on what FB is doing to gain those folks back, before it is too late, and if at all worth it), un-targeted adds, privacy (Not deep enough originally), security, Intranet potential, etc. etc. Like I said, I would have provided a bit more than just the basics.

Another keynote session that I enjoyed quite a bit, specially since most of the background was new to me and found it rather fascinating was Werner Vogels‘, from Amazon, who opened up my eyes a bit more on some of the really good stuff that Amazon is doing, and yes, nothing to do with books! 😉 hehe Highly recommended watching the replay!

For the first three keynote speaker sessions, with Geraldine, Matt and Mike, the video recordings are already available and you can re-play them from here. Werner’s session is not up yet, but it would be another one to watch!

Finally, from all of the various different keynote speaker sessions, I would strongly encourage you all to have a look at two of them that really had an impact throughout the whole event. Just those two, and another hidden gem, were worth while attending the entire event! Yes, of course, I am talking about Steve Rubel‘s and Stowe Boyd‘s inspirational sessions that are going to make you think and WOW for quite some time to come! At least, they have with me. I was there live, but I am surely going to watch them again from the re-play, because too many goodies thrown out at you cannot be left behind just like that!

Stowe‘s session on Social Revolution on the Web, and its impact on business, media and society … and us, as individuals is already available for re-play, and at the same time he has made it available, with the lovely option to download a copy of the deck, in Slideshare. Like I said, the session’s video is already up and running and you can watch it over here, but if there would be a single sentence that could summarise what we witnessed and that made me proud of being an edgling was this one: "A well-ordered humanism does not begin with itself, but puts things back in their place. It puts the world before life, life before man, and the respect of others before love of self.Claude Lévi-Strauss. Priceless! Watch it! Now!

Steve‘s session, just as inspirational as Stowe’s, is probably an essential must-watch the re-play (Whenever it would become available) for those folks in marketing and PR in order to figure out some more what’s going on at the moment and what are the emerging trends in the next couple of years, if not sooner, altogether! Very thought-provoking, to say the least, and, once again, if I were to summarise it using a couple of keywords I would probably say the following: Attention Crash, Digital Curators, Open Collaboration (Slide 25 from the deck & and a must see!!) and the role of Digital Nomads ("It’s conceivable that in the future corporations will be more virtual than they are today").

Like I have mentioned above, Steve’s session hasn’t got a video re-play at the moment from all of the keynote sessions I have mentioned in this blog post (Werner’s either, by the way), but I am sure they would be added eventually, and when they are, be certain to go and spend some time watching them. You can then thank me later 😉

Oh, and to close off this initial first blog post on the highlights from the keynote sessions, I would now like to point you to the hidden gem from the event that although I couldn’t make much sense out of it (Need to polish my German skills for the next time I am around!), from what I talked to people right after and for several hours, it was just pure delight and a treasure enjoying one of those engaging speakers that will make you think twice about things and shake your ground big time! Yes, I am talking about the final keynote speaker session from Gunter Dueck, fellow IBM colleague , whose video re-play is now available, and who provided such an inspirational and capturing speech, in German, that I am hoping my German readers (Specially my good friend Martin Koser, who I am sure is going to enjoy it quite a bit!) would be able to enjoy and then share a highlight or two from the talk, because from what I could gather asking around, it was a speech to remember!!

And that was it, folks, first blog post with the keynote speaker session highlights done with. Next blog post will deal with some of the other sessions I got to attend during the course of the event, and then a final blog post where I would just comment further on impressions of the overall event itself … For now, I am just going to tease you all a bit embedding both Steve’s and Stowe’s decks over here, to give you a glimpse of the unique opportunity we had last week at Next08 to be watching them live giving such powerful presentations in under 30 minutes! Yes, a privilege, that’s the word … (Even more when you get a chance to talk to them on the side, too!)

Next08 – Marketing Trends – Open Files

The Social Web – Why The New Web Matters

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  1. Great post Luis. It sounds like a fantastic conference, and thanks for putting the links to the slides etc.

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