ETech Report: Finishing on pure adrenalin.

by Timothy Appnel

We're into the third and final day at the Emerging Technology Conference, but here is a quick recap of some of the happenings yesterday.

Alan Kay started with a fascinating history lesson of computing where he asserted the last 20 years of computing has been boring. Kevin Lynch took the stage and demonstrated Macromedia's Central product — a stand-alone runtime and application repository. Most impressive was the notion/ability to send information (even broadcast it) between applications using XML or RDF that where even if separately developed. The last keynote of the day was given by the sagely Clay Shirky. (All hail Clay!) Clay took us through a fascinating overview of social software and behavior drawing from psychology through the past century and accounts of early social software systems. He concludes that groups needs to defend itself from group. The users are there for one another. The design build pattern is build for a handful of users. Design for a platform.

Todays keynotes have started off with Felipe Cabrera on the future of Web services — a sometime contentious, but lighthearted and often entertaining, discussion of complexity versus simplicity and interoperability. Craig Silverstein is presenting the Google way and how they operate and more importantly communicate to be as successful as they have been. Later Eric Drexler will discuss Nanotechnology: Bringing Digital Control to Matter.

On a personal note, while I'm running on adrenalin, I'm a bit sad that its almost over — until next year. It has been really fun though at times a bit overwhelming and perhaps surreal to have finally met dozens of people that I've come to know over the past year or more without having spoken or met in person. (A phenomena for Clay to study?) We need more meatspace meetings like these. Certainly I will be counting the days till next year.

I'll be continuing to do more of my on-the-scene weblogging as are others as are others.