Day 1 (or at least half of it) at the Web 2.0 Expo Tokyo

After much fupping searching of bags, bodies and shoes and confiscating of my soft drinks in Busan Airport, I made it to the Cerulean Tower Tokyu Hotel in Shibuya this afternoon for the Web 2.0 Expo Tokyo where I attended some of today’s events. (I missed this morning’s English-language sessions unfortunately; I was looking forward to the ones with Joi Ito and Tim Bray.)

So I began by going to the exhibition demonstrations in the afternoon: after talking to Paul Chapman from Wall Street Associates (whom I met with his colleague Ross Sharrott) about social software and the Semantic Web, Paul recommended that I go see the Springnote exhibition from Korean-based NCsoft. Steve Kim from the company gave me a nice demonstration of their Springnote WYSIWYG wiki system for writing, organising and sharing personal notes. At some of the other stands, I also learned more than I previously knew about the Zimbra mashup-enabled e-mail application and the Lotus Connections enterprise social networking system from IBM.

After that, I met a bunch of cool people at the Web 2.0 Expo Tokyo cocktail party: Jennifer Pahlka (the Web 2.0 Expo organiser with CMP Technology, who’s just after recovering from a busy sister event in Berlin), Tim O’Reilly (with whom I had a short but interesting conversation about how the Semantic Web can work with Web 2.0; that it can be about using semantics to create the connections between existing community contributions on various social sites rather than requiring a load of unrewarding manual slogging), Brady Forrest (organising chair for Web 2.0 Expo and a number of other conferences with O’Reilly Media), Evan Williams and Sara Morishige (the co-founder of Pyra Labs / Odeo / Twitter and his wife whom I met very briefly), Web 2.0 Expo Tokyo advisory board members Seiji Sato and Shuji Honjo, venture capital guru Masashi Kobayashi, and also project manager Fumi Yamazaki from Joi Ito’s Lab.

20071115a.jpg Talking with Fumi, we agreed that there’s not enough social media being produced by attendees at the event, so we endeavoured to make up for it tomorrow. To this end, because I left our big FZ7 at home in Ireland and since I only have my camera phone with me, I went exploring in Shibuya and got a nice cheap wi-fi enabled Nikon COOLPIX S51c for $239 (which is a good $50 cheaper than the average price online; my first Blade Runner-like Tokyo skyline picture is shown on the right). I’ll be snapping like mad tomorrow, and I’d also encourage people to use the “web2expotokyo” tag for their event-related content: let’s see if we can gather some stuff from these two days on Flickr, Technorati, SlideShare, etc.

I’m looking forward to these talks tomorrow (I’ve “nativised” the literal translations of the presentation titles given on this page):

  • 10:00 – Evan Williams, co-founder of Twitter – “In conversation with Tim O’Reilly”
  • 10:55 – Rie Yamanaka, a director with Yahoo!’s commercial search subsidiary Overture KK – “A paradigm shift in advertisement platforms: the move into a real Web 2.0 implementation phase”
  • 11:50 – Scott Deitzen, president and CTO of Zimbra – “The impact of ‘software as a service’ and Web 2.0 on the software industry”
  • 14:35 – Joe Keller, marketing officer with Kapow – “Understanding and applying the value of enterprise mashups to your business”
  • 16:35 – Håkon Wium Lie, CTO with Opera and the creator of CSS – “The best Web 2.0 experience on any device”
  • 17:30 – Eric Klinker, CTO with BitTorrent Inc. (I met Eric and Vincent Shortino this evening) – “Web 2.0 and content delivery”

Then, tomorrow (Friday) night, the blognation Japan launch party will take place here in Shibuya. Check out the Upcoming or Facebook pages for more details and sign up if you’re interested. (Oh, and on Saturday, since I’m an anime and manga fan, I plan to go to see the talk “Made in Japan: What Makes Manga Japanese – And Why Western Kids Love It” that’s on here too!)

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