For Web 2.0 Summit 2010, we noted that the web ecosystem had shifted into something of a battlefield, with both major players and upstarts jockeying for lead positions around key "Points of Control." Looking back at our theme one year later, it's clear the game is still in its early phases—most of the major players have held their ground and continue to press into new territory. Meanwhile, the cycle of startup creation has intensified and compressed.
Given all this, we're tempted to simply declare Web 2.0 Summit 2011 "Points of Control, The Sequel." But we’ve noticed a constant uniting nearly all the battles around these strategic regions. That constant? How companies (and their customers) leverage data.
In our original Web 2.0 Summit opening talk, as well as in Tim's subsequent paper "What is Web 2.0," we outlined our short list of key elements defining the emergent web economy. Smack in the middle of that list is this statement: "Data Is the Next Intel Inside." At the time, most of us only vaguely understood the importance of this concept. Three years ago, we noted the role of data when "Web Meets World," and two years ago, we enlarged upon it with "WebSquared."
Once each year, the Web 2.0 Summit brings together 1,000 senior executives from the worlds of technology, media, finance, telecommunications, entertainment, and the Internet. For 2011, our theme is "The Data Frame" - focusing on the impact of data in today's networked economy. We live in a world clothed in data, and as we interact with it, we create more – data is not only the web’s core resource, it is at once both renewable and boundless.
Consumers now create and consume extraordinary amounts of data. Hundreds of millions of mobile phones weave infinite tapestries of data, in real time. Each purchase, search, status update, and check-in layers our world with more of it. How our industries respond to this opportunity will define not only success and failure in the networked economy, but also the future texture of our culture. And as we're already seeing, these interactions raise complicated questions of consumer privacy, corporate trust, and our governments’ approach to balancing the two.
At the 2011 edition of Web 2.0 Summit, we'll use data as a framing device to understand the state of the Web. We know that those who best leverage data will win. So who’s winning, and how? Who’s behind? In each of our key points of control such as location, mobile platforms, gaming, content, social—who is innovating, and where are the opportunities? What new classes of services and platforms are emerging, and what difficult policy questions loom? And what of the consumer—will users become their own "point of control," and start to understand the power of their own data?
These are some of the questions we’ll be asking and answering at the 8th annual Web 2.0 Summit. We look forward to exploring them together.
Web 2.0 Summit takes place at the Palace Hotel in San Francisco, October 17-19, 2011. Space is limited and the conference sells out year after year, so register now before it's too late.
P.S. And yes, we’ll be updating our "Points of Control" Map with a new layer—the Data layer, naturally.