Davos: Web 2.0, the future of the Internet, and software

Jim Goodnight of SAS, John Markoff from the New York Times, and I are the opening panel of the World Economic Forum. We have a standing-room-only session on new economic and technical possibilities enabled by a new ease in combining applications in a seamless way....the core of the sudden expansion of easy-to-use applications based on existing applications on the web.

SAS has had to decide: do we remain a closed, stand-alone application, or do we become a web-based world, allowing access to our capabilities and combining our applications with others?  It was clear, Jim said, that the open model was the future, the only path that made sense.

I'm prepared to show a new direction for applications--the powerful combination of spatial and immersive environments with pre-existing applications to allow natural, human interaction.

The immediate example: the Second Life construction of the United States House of Representatives, with the avatars of Speaker Nancy Pelosi and the new Chairman of the House Committee on Education, George Miller, and the in-world press conference that George Miller held for eighty press representatives, each with their own avatar.

As the session went, we decided not to show images....so I showed them in the evening in the session entitled "Avatars"; the Financial Times called it one of the "do-not-miss" sessions at Davos, so it was far over-subscribed; I'll describe it separately.  And I'll post the snapshots so that everyone can see them on flickr....or just teleport yourself to "Capitol Hill" inside SecondLife.  The design and execution was done by Clear Ink, in Berkeley.

 John Battelle did a wonderful job moderating...leading us into discussions of future directions for entrepreneurship, particularly for social entrepreneurship.

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