It was interesting to get a feel for the recurring issues. The really big issues are social in nature: user expectations, data ownership and, of course, social network portability. On the technical side, I was struck by how big XMPP has become. It’s something I know next to nothing about. It was really gratifying to see how established XFN has become. It came up time and time again as key component in glueing social networks together. It’s going to really explode now that the Google SG API has launched.
Speaking of which, the day kicked off with Brad Fitzpatrick and Kevin Marks answering questions about the API. The unanswered question right now is also the most exciting: how are people going to use it?
After that, Chris and Steve did a run-down of DiSo. During the following break, I was having a nice chat with Rohit Khare about social objects. Somehow we got onto the subject of Hackfight and I mentioned Justin Hall who was a big inspiration. I looked around and who did I see but… Justin Hall! Cue the next conversation.
Matthew Rothenberg from Flickr asked me to come along to a discussion on user expectations to share my story of the Adactio Elsewhere shitstorm. Then I listened to Tom share his excitement about Fire Eagle before slipping out to join in a discussion about games and play.
During the dinner break, I took the opportunity to gather together my fellow South by Southwest panelists, all of whom are here. I have feeling that the panel is going to be teh awsum.
After dinner, it was my turn to host a session. My subject was the password anti-pattern. Brave representatives from Facebook, Plaxo, Twitter, LinkedIn, Dopplr and Pownce showed up to be named and shamed (though most of the shame was reserved for Google in not providing an API for contacts). I can’t talk too much about some of the things that were said but it was by turns frustrating, exhilarating, inspiring and depressing. Someone pointed out that the session was like a bunch of oil barons gathered around a table discussing the impact of environmental issues on the bottom line. I guess I was the tree-hugging activist.
All in all, it was quite a day; full of good chat with interesting people. Needless to say, I’m now exhausted. I don’t know if I even have the energy for Werewolf.