September 05, 2006

The web of tomorrow: summary

I have been at the conference "the web of tomorrow" or "Morgondagens webbplatser" as it is called in swedish. It was held on the 5-6 september in Stockholm, Sweden. The person that was leading the conference and presenting all the speakers is Fredrik Wackå, web advisor on his company W PR & Information. He is also running a successful blog in sweden in where he among many other things lists company- and co-worker blogs in Sweden. I would like to call it the accurate list of serious company blogs in Sweden.

The first day began with a lecture by Fredrik about the social web. A brief introduction to rss, blogs, wikis, tagging, podcasting, ajax and more which leads to more participation for visitors and customers and less control for the one's providing the services. Fredrik and the rest of the speakers together gave us some great and useful links to sites that each and one is a good example of the social web or web 2.0 in some way or that it provides news about it. I will list some of them in the end of this blogpost.

There were many good speakers but I will only talk about a few of them, some people that presented something extra that made me think.

Neville Hobson from ABC was the keynote speaker. Neville runs his own website but also a site called 'For Immediate Release' together with Shel Holtz, where they publich podcasts twice a week about public relations and technology. Neville has been working with podcasting for a long time and was presented as one of the world premier authorities when it comes to podcasting and blogging.

Mr Hobson spoke about communication of the future. He showed us some research about companies and blogs. It was interesting to find out that blogging still is such an unknown area. Many companies and people still don't have a clew what it is. Appearantely France are more aware than other european contries about blogs, while in Netherlands and Germany many executives still find blogging a mystery.

Neville also showed us how different languages are divided among the current 53.4 million indexed blogs on Technorati. It was surprising to me to see how large percentage that was written in japanese and chinese. English is most common but if you put together japanese and chinese then that's the largest group. Swedish wasn't even listed.

I asked Neville and Fredrik if they could estimate how many blogs there might be worldwide, but as I suspected it is impossible. We know for sure it is more than 53,4 million. Probably around 200-300 million blogs, also depending on the definition of what a blog is as Fredrik pointed out. Sweden proabably doesn't go above 100.000 if you count them all, but that's my own personal estimate.

Mr Hobson also came to the issue of trust as we tend to do when speaking about blogs. The conclusion was that we trust 'someone like me' and not companies and authorities which one might think.

There were lots of other great things about podcasting etc. that I will not go further into here.

Eva Beckman from Bolagsverket told us a great story of their mission to build a site for a public authority in Sweden, Bolagsverket. They had 3 months to build two sites with 5 resources, two informers and 3 system developers. She learned quite a lot during this journey and told us about it. Great speech!

Pia de Gysser from Agria Djurförsäkring (pet/animal insurance) was speaking about adaption for target groups on the web together with participation on the web and the fact that Agrias web is and in greater scope will be the customers web. It was a fascinating 50 minutes about how Agria relates to and communicates with its customers. Agria is in great deal working with its customers, loyal customers, through a social web. Some services for the customers are the image gallery, the company blogs (Pias and Sofies) and some recently released AJAX-based services for presenting popular names of dogs, cats and horses.

Neville also did a podcast with Pia during the conference and posted it on his blog.

Ralf Larsson from Electrolux told us about E-gate, an amongst employees popular company intranet which they have built and now use worldwide. They work hard on this intranet and among other things are many internal blogs. E-gate was ranked as one of the world's best intranet by Nielsen Norman Group in 2005.

Urban Lindstedt from No Digit Media, was talking about search engine optimization. I've heard him speak earlier and read his blog and it is always interesting to hear about SEO and Urban has quite some knowledge on this subject.

The last speaker was Jakob Palme from Stockholm university, professor in computer science. He told us about the project Web4Health, a site which has in three years gone from 0 to 500.000 visitors/month without paying anything for advertising. It is not a well-known site by name, but due to the excellent work that Jakob and his associates has put into this site optimizing it, it ranks very high and gets a lot of visitors. One of many interesting things that
Jakob told us was that 72% of all their visitors come from search engines. It must be a very high number. Urban said earlier that 30-40% is a good number. This site is probably one of the best examples of how to SEO your site. I got lots of ideas from Jakob as well.

So summarized it was a good, interesting and educational conference and I am quite satisfied. I can't say that their were any big news for me other than perhaps a short definition of web 3.0 which shortly were described as the semantic web. I will dive deeper into that later on.

Some useful links provided on the conference:

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Neville Hobson said...

Niklas, that's a great summary of the event. For a non-Swedish speaker like me, you've helped me gain a better understanding of what everyone talked about!


Niklas Waller said...

My pleasure Neville!
I am glad it was useful to you.

Thanks again for a great speech and inspiration!