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Hi, I’m Brad Feld, a managing director at the Foundry Group who lives in Boulder, Colorado. I invest in software and Internet companies around the US, run marathons and read a lot.

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The Defrag Summary

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If you have been following Defrag from a distance, Sean Ammirati at Read/WriteWeb has an awesome summary up titled Five Themes From the Defrag Conference.

  1. The Attention Economy
  2. Next-Level Discovery
  3. Social Graph
  4. User Centric Identity
  5. Enterprise Customers Arrive

In addition just summarizing what was covered, Sean has very insightful paragraphs after each one under the heading “My Take.”

Also, a very thorough summary of many of the sessions was blogged by Charles Knight at AltSearchEngines.

What Is The Best Name For It?

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John Markoff suggests there is a looming battle of semantics between Web 3.0 and semantic web.  Markoff summarizes by saying:

“There is no easy consensus about how to define what is meant by Web 3.0, but it is generally seen as a reference to the semantic Web. While it is not that much more precise a phrase, the semantic Web refers to technology to make using the Internet better by understanding the meaning of what people are doing, not just the way pages link to each other.”

I’ll take it up a notch.  Let’s toss “implicit web” into the mix and expand it beyond just “what people are doing” and “the way pages link to each other.”  It’s not only about people and pages – it’s about getting the computer to figure out a lot of stuff for you based on what you – and people that you “trust” or “find relevant” do.  You could be cynical and just assert that this is the way our friend the “social graph” finds its way into the mix of Web 2.0.  Or – you could keep playing – the way we are planning to at Defrag – and say something all encompassing like:

“Defrag is the first conference focused solely on the internet-based tools that transform loads of information into layers of knowledge, and accelerate the “aha” moment. Defrag is about the space that lives in between knowledge management, “social” networking, collaboration and business intelligence. Defrag is not a version number. Rather it’s a gathering place for the growing community of implementers, users, builders and thinkers that are working on the next wave of software innovation.”

It doesn’t really matter what you call it – a wave of startups tackling “the next problem” are starting to appear.  Look for a panoply of new and exciting buzzwords – and look past them to the meat.

WYWIWYG vs. WYSIWYG

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John Markoff has a fun little story about the origin of the phrase What-You-See-Is-What–You-Get in his article titled The Real History of WYSIWYG.  WYSIWYG appeared on the scene 30+ years ago – it seems like the wikipedia page on it needs a little updating.

Now that WYSIWYG is part of our collective consciousness (and a deep expectation of most computer users, even though there are many apps that don’t quite cut the mustard), I’m less concerned with WYSIWYG these days. I’m more intrigued with WYWIWYG – “What-You-Want-Is-What-You-Get.” 

Come to Defrag on Nov 5 and 6 in Denver and talk to me (and a bunch of other smart people including folks like David Weinberger, Clay Shirky, JP Rangaswami, Jerry Michalski, Ester Dyson, Doc Searls, Bradley Horowitz, Paul Kedrosky, Chris Shipley) and a long list of others about WYWIWYG.

You know you’ve been thinking about registering, but your computer won’t do it for you (at least not yet.)  You still have to click here and type some stuff in.  Maybe someday WYWIWYG.

Another Day, Another Great Post from Alex Iskold on the Structured Web

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In his post 30 Thoughts At 30,000 feet, Fred Wilson referred to Alex Iskold as “a freak of nature.”  Fred supports this by saying “He writes code, runs a company, and does amazing blog posts for Read Write Web that are better than most Gartner research reports. I’d ask how he finds the time to do all of that, but I know the answer. Full disclosure – Alex’ company, Adaptive Blue, is a Union Square Ventures portfolio company.”

I’ve gotten to know Alex over the past year (I’m also a small investor in Adaptive Blue) and I’ve begun referring to Alex as “the big brain.”  Almost all of our communication is via email (I see him every now and then) and I’ve started envisioning him as a gigantic brain suspended in some funky liquid with a cable coming out of it that is connected to a computer (if I was a little better with Photoshop I might even draw you a picture of it.)

As Fred says, Alex “does amazing blog posts for Read Write Web that are better than most Gartner research reports.”  I agree and read each of them carefully as part of trying to increase my cognitive reasoning functions around the theme I call The Implicit Web.  Alex’s post today titled The Structured Web – A Primer is another excellent one.  In this post Alex does a great job of linking together four things that I spend plenty of time thinking about – APIs, semantic information, microformats, and RSS. 

Keep them coming Alex.

Eric Norlin Discusses Defrag

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Scoble has a 20 minute interview up with Eric Norlin discussing Defrag and other conferences that Eric has helped start.  If you haven’t heard of Defrag, it’s a new conference being organized by Eric taking place in Denver on November 5 – 6.  The sound bite overview is:

Defrag is the first conference focused solely on the internet-based tools that transform loads of information into layers of knowledge, and accelerate the “aha” moment. Defrag is about the space that lives in between knowledge management, “social” networking, collaboration and business intelligence. Defrag is not a version number. Rather it’s a gathering place for the growing community of implementers, users, builders and thinkers that are working on the next wave of software innovation.

In short – “the Implicit Web.”  The agenda and lineup of speakers is incredible.  Eric has done an incredible job and has been blogging furiously about it.  

Now that we are less than a month out, it’s time to register if you want to join us.  The conference will sell out because we’ve capped the total number of attendees so sign up now and come play.

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