Web 2.0 Expo kicks off Tuesday with the motto "the power of less," hoping that thousands of developers, entrepreneurs, managers, and investors in attendance will see Internet technology opportunities within current budget and resource constraints.
Web 2.0 refers to the breakthrough online technologies that emerged after the dot com bust and have entered workplaces via wikis, syndicated feeds, blogs, enterprise social networking and online communities. They have disrupted and enhanced various business activities, including marketing, communications, development and collaboration.
[ Dan Tynan argues for putting the days of doing more with less behind you, and offers 16 ways IT can do less with less. | For advice on how to keep your IT project afloat, see "Six ways to save your IT project from the scrap heap." ]
"Expo attendees have been learning for several years how to do things in a lightweight, agile, iterative way, which is the way of Web 2.0. Now, suddenly, companies are losing staff and budget with the downturn," said Jennifer Pahlka, general manager of the Web 2.0 events at TechWeb, which produces these conferences jointly with O'Reilly Media.
"The show this year will try to help attendees see that whatever resources, time or budget constraints they have, that problem can be turned into an opportunity if it helps us make necessary changes to streamline our organization to make more out of less," she said in a phone interview.
Pete Mauro, director of product management and marketing at Savings.com, has high expectations for his first Web 2.0 Expo. Working in a start-up, he wears many hats, so he plans to attend sessions about various topics, including marketing, customer service, community, OpenID and social-interface design.
"I'd like to hear from interesting speakers, meet folks in the hallways, and come back with new ideas and relationships that can help me and my company," he said via e-mail.
"Like everyone else, we are looking at the most effective way to leverage sites like Twitter and Facebook to extend our brand and build relationships with consumers," he added.
Samantha Swati LaPerre, managing editor of Electronic Arts' EA.com is interested in social media sessions to learn about marketing strategies and best practices, which is key in the video game industry.
"As someone who uses social media off the job as well, I know that how businesses use these tools to market to me can be anything from invasive to awesome, and I want to make sure that I know all I can about what defines that delicate balance," she said via e-mail.
"Also, as manager of content on our Web portal, knowing about the latest Web 2.0 technologies will help me define our roadmap as our site and content evolve," she added.
Geoffrey Hendrey, co-founder of start-up NextDB.net, a hosted AJAX database, this year only bought a pass to the show floor, not the conference, because he was disappointed at the number and quality of technical sessions at last year's event.