The social networking panel during Picnic was just great. I specially liked Biz Stone, one of the founders of Twitter. He’s got such a clear mind! I also enjoyed it very much when Felix Petersen (Plazes) had to explain his picture taking beers in Reboot while he had to be in Amsterdam. At the end the 5 guys started throwing darts to each other, which was so fun!
Jyri Engeström, from Jaiku, was the freakiest of them. His product is very good but nobody seems to be using it. His speech was very intereresting, though theoretical. He explained that objects (photos, videos, links) connect people, as happens in Flickr, Youtube or del.icio.us. He thinks that this is changing towards a new scenario in which there is activity around an object, as happens in Facebook. This also means that search engines will have to change their pagerank system for a new “facerank” system with a totally new algorithm.
Felix Petersen, from Plazes, talked about “contextual relationships” in which you have contact with people in certain contexts. He put an example: he was waiting the line in a McDonald’s and suddenly got a message from a friend telling him to ask for menu number 3. He had localized him with Plazes. On the other side, he had to explain how he got caught while in Copenhagen after having cancelled a conference that was being held in Amsterdam. Somebody uploaded to Flickr pictures of him drinking beers in Copenhagen.
Biz Stone, from Twitter, explained how this tool was made. The prototype only took 2 weeks. “It was a simple and stupid idea”, he said. What is very interesting is how people are using Twitter. He put the example of an egyptian activist who is using it so that his followers can know what he is up to. One of the most interesting remarks he made was that Twitter’s API gets 20 times more traffic than its website. He also said that Twitter won’t have pictures in a short term.
At the end, Dopplr’s Matt Bidulph had to explain if they are not damaging the environment by promoting business and pleasure travelling. He said that they are helping people optimize their trips, in such a way that they can meet more people during a single trip, avoiding new ones. BTW, Dopplr will soon have an API so that their information can be somewhere else, as is already the case of Facebook.