Liz Gannes

Recent Posts by Liz Gannes

Videos of the Three Best Sessions at the Web 2.0 Summit

I spent the first half of the week at and around the Web 2.0 Summit in San Francisco. This year’s edition felt a bit smaller than before, but it still attracted some of the key characters on and off the Web. If you weren’t there or didn’t tune in to the event’s first-ever full livestream, or you spent too much time networking in the hallway, here are some of the highlights, which have already been posted to the O’Reilly YouTube account:

Big Web CEO/very recently CEO Interviews:

The headliners for the Web crowd were Eric Schmidt of Google on day one, Mark Zuckerberg of Facebook on day two and Evan Williams of Twitter on day three. None of the conversations were super revelatory, but they did highlight the heightening competitive tensions between Facebook and the rest of the Web.

Here’s the Zuckerberg video, which was notable for being one of his better public interviews in terms of ease and clarity (nothing like the near-fainting incident while being pummeled with privacy questions by Walt Mossberg and Kara Swisher at D8).

Two good comments from Web 2.0: About giving Google access to Facebook user email addresses, Zuckerberg said, “I’m not sure we’re 100 percent right on this.” (For someone with his hubris, that’s practically an admission of guilt.) Zuckerberg also criticized the visualization of the Web as a map of territories that illustrated the Web 2.0 stage.

“Your map is wrong,” he said. “The biggest part of the map has to be uncharted territory–this map makes it seem like it’s zero-sum, but it’s not. We’re building value, not just taking it away from someone else.”

Here are Schmidt (already at 170,000 views!) and Williams.

Best panel:

The most captivating panel was the one with venture capitalists John Doerr and Fred Wilson, ably moderated by John Heilemann. Wilson argued that Google has bought all of its recent interesting products, saying its last in-house success was Gmail. “They haven’t home-built from the ground up anything interesting in a half decade,” he said. Doerr replied passionately, “Ideas are easy. What’s really dear is execution. Google executes. Facebook executes.”

Best start-up presentation:

Brian Pokorny, CEO of DailyBooth, explained how the young people who use his site to share pictures are having conversations with each other. Pokorny made an interesting distinction about how–unlike with other photo-sharing apps–his users choose to use the front-facing camera on the iPhone and iPod Touch so they can take pictures of themselves.

An evening talk by agent Ari Emanuel was also quite well-received, with many people mentioning it to me the next day. You can watch it here.

Please see the disclosure about Facebook in my ethics