Monday, April 30, 2007

Cutter Summit 2007: Stowe Boyd on "Web 2.0 A Social Revolution"

A by-the-bullets summary of Stowe Boyd's keynote: Web 2.0: A Social Revolution

Boyd Stowe's blog is /Message. Here's his blurb from the Cutter site:
Stowe Boyd is a Senior Consultant with Cutter Consortium's Business Intelligence and Business-IT Strategies Practices. He is an internationally recognized authority on business strategy and information technology, particularly regarding real-time, collaborative, process, and content management technologies. Over the past decade Mr. Boyd has consulted, written and spoken widely on the challenges confronting business management and the social impacts of disruptive technologies. He has served in prestigious advisory roles such as: Contributing Editor KMWorld; Research Fellow at the Accenture Institute for Strategic Change; a Research Fellow for the Market Intelligence Group; and he has served as editor and columnist for Darwin, Knowledge Management, Cutter Consortium, John Wiley & Sons, and Fawcette. He has appeared in numerous high-visibility conferences and symposia in North America and Europe, including Comdex, many Delphi conferences, Braintrust, Instant Messaging Planet, KMWorld, AIIM, BPR Europe, the International Workflow Conference, and dozens of others.

Mr. Boyd has a BS from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, and a MS Computer Science from Boston University. He can be reached at

  • One of W.C. Fields' leading ladies spotted him on a back lot one day as he was leafing through a Bible. She asked what he was doing. He replied, "Looking for a loophole."
  • Blogging is the most important thing Stowe has done in his life.
  • 70% of the vendors on the trade show floor at (recent Web 2.0 conference) were working on enterprise apps.
  • Shows us an old post article he'd written in 2003, "The Game Neverending: an IM Community" and discusses the movement of Ludicorp to Flickr.
  • The Web 2.0 landscape:
    • The Web 2.0 landscape as a collection of metaphors: "Web as Platform" "Social Web" "Open" "Bottom-up" "Simple, Focused Applications" "Open Source Technologies"
    • The Web 2.0 landscape as a collection of technologies: LAMP, RSS, XML, AJAX, Ruby on Rails etc, Social Media
    • The Web 2.0 landscape as a collection of icons:
  • Why is Web 2.0 not simply the next bubble? What's different this time?
    • The economics are different. (Lower cost.)
    • The technologies are different.
    • The players and their goals are different. (Their end game isn't an IPO. They expect to live off of the product or to be acquired.)
  • Freemium.
  • The tone in the newsroom has recently changed drastically to be more positive about blogs. The NY Times recently published its first article, ever, that didn't portray blogs as evil.
  • Blogging is big in France, Japan, South Korea. Not so big in Germany.
  • Flow apps. Example: Twitter. (He should have mentioned Yahoo! Pipes, I think.)
  • David Weinberger on Tags:
    Tags matter for social reasons. They allow the grassroots to create the way in which stuff is classified, instead of having to file things in pre-built categories. But the words we use to tag things depend on our intentions and our social context. Find people who tag items the same way as you do and you've now found a social group based not around shared interests but around shared ways of thinking and shared ways of speaking: Communities of tags.
    (Ed Yourdon tells me that Weinberger's new book just came out this morning.)
  • The self is " the still point of the turning world." (Here, Stowe is quoting the poem Burnt Norton, one of a T.S. Eliot's "Four Quartets.")
  • Son of Web 2.0 (which Stowe refuses to call Web 3.0) trends
    • Broadband becomes ubiquitous
    • More capable mobile devices
    • Browser no longer the sole window on the Web.
    • The rise of Traffic-and-Flow

Web 2.0 sites that Stowe mentioned
  • Stowe shows us Dopplr (which is still not fully public). He calls it the "ships that pass in the night" app.
  • Stowe uses Feed Crier as an RSS reader.
  • Blinksale for invoicing.
  • Twittr, which a fried calls "ambient intimacy."
  • Techmeme
  • Facebook
  • Stowe belongs to, where he recommended that people give up their cars. (Stowe doesn't have a car.)