The seventh edition of the Web 2.0 Summit has come and gone. It’s the sixth year that I’ve been the photographer and I’ve seen the event go through a few phases from irrational exuberance to weathering the downturn. This year felt like the start of a new phase. One that wasn’t mired in the “batten down the hatches” mentality of the last couple of years. Instead, there was a sense of optimism starting to show through. Some of this came out in commentary from the stage about the points of control theme noting that most of the map should be labeled terra incognita yet to be unexplored.
I’m totally on-board with the thought that there’s a lot more to come and that we’ve not seen anything yet when it comes to the web. Even though so much has happened, we’re not done yet exploring how all the parts can make a whole that can’t yet be imagined. Society is still just starting to come to gripes with what it means, how it affects how the world is structured, and even how we organize our governments.
At seven years, it’d be easy for a conference like Web 2.0 Summit to lurch into mediocrity and ride its reputation into the ground. Thankfully, it doesn’t seem like that’s in the cards. John Battelle and his staff put together a great program. I have no doubt they’ll do it again next year. The only thing that Web 2.0 Summit needs at this point is a bit of a freshening up of some of the activities around the conference. A legendary evening event. The injection of a sense of wonderment into the spaces around the hotel. Or something else I can’t yet imagine. At its core, however, the Summit is solid.