Venturing over to ETechs Untethered and Business Model tracks, attendees will find more social software types lurking. Howard Rheingold, venture capital blogger Joi Ito, and U.C. Berkeleys Danah Boyd headline Untethering the Social Network session, while Disney Leverages RSS and GI Joe Meets Ubergeeks will take place nearby. The Products and Services track houses some of the Usual Suspects, from Don Box and his innocently titled Peace, Love, and XML to Nelson Minars Google is Harder Than it Looks.
Tim OReilly moved this ETech up from its usual April slot to help influence the presidential campaign, but with Howard Dean vowing to quit if he doesnt win Wisconsin (he later took this promise back), it may still be too late. Mondays concurrent Digital Democracy Teach-in features sessions with Dean architect (and former campaign manager) Joe Trippi, MoveOn.org co-founder Wes Boyd, Meetup.com CEO Scott Heiferman, and Cluetrain co-authors David Weinberger and Doc Searls.
Of course, the talk in the halls, at meals, and via WiFi, IM, and blogs really are the point of ETech. So much so, in fact, that OReilly threw a private spin-off called FOO Camp (Friends of OReilly) that consisted entirely of such conversations and improvised meetings.
These days, large industry gatherings are either collapsing—like Comdex—or turning into quasi-political conventions—like Microsofts Professional Developers Conference (PDC) and Suns JavaOne. Add to that Apples release of an iChatAV bridge to the Windows market, and social software, and this could be the start of a new meeting convention. Layer RSS on top, as the way to collect and circulate attention data, and even todays traditional trade-shows could be on the way out. Each of these technologies will be explored in more detail as the conference develops.
Well be bringing you all the details from The OReilly Emerging Technology Conference. I expect some surprises, and when they happen, well let you know.
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eWEEK.com Messaging & Collaboration Center Editor Steve Gillmor can be reached at email@example.com.