Viacom executives are in London negotiating the purchase of LastFM, the
London based "online social music network" (read: internet radio
station), according to a music business source familiar with the
negotiations. The purchase price is said to be $450 million dollars.
Loic responded to the Le Web criticisms in comprehensive style.
His overall case is that 'the time for blogger conferences is over', is no doubt the case. This stuff is deeply embedded in the early majority, penetrating the late majority and even companies have tuned in.
But there is still space for tech conferences in Europe--and I'd be happy to pitch in. Loic points to that last year DailyMotion and Netvibes both found financiers. Hopefully the dedicated start-up track this year will prove even more valuable.
He also makes reference to the breadth of talks. Yes--there is benefit in breadth. That is what makes Ted a fine conference. In its heyday, PC Forum was powerful because it did roam wide. Le Web 4 could do with that breadth and some determined thinking on how to build the non-obvious connections across participants.
At Le Web, bloggers talking about their blogs or blogging tools made for the weakest and lowest value-add sessions. There is a series of workshops and detail-oriented conferences and seminars that can support those. (You can Google for them).
I suspect Second Life is largely a "Try Me" virus, where reports of a
strange and wonderful new thing draw the masses to log in and try it,
but whose ability to retain anything but a fraction of those users is
limited. The pattern of a Try Me virus is a rapid spread of first time
users, most of whom drop out quickly, with most of the dropouts
becoming immune to later use. Pointcast was a Try Me virus, as was LambdaMOO, the experiment that Second Life most closely resembles.
The data on the SL home page don't give much clue to its real popularity, although Linden's economist statistics do suggest some growth. But it's worh noting that the number of residents who are making real Linden $s has doubled from May 2006 to November 2006--what I don't know is whether that reflects the beta of SL's growth or whether this group of economically sustainable citizens is growing faster than the market.
Adam Reuters latest story seems to support Clay's thesis, pointing out that the number of in-game hours has only grown 29% between September and November compared to a doubling of the user base. This snippet of evidence would support the 'try me' thesis. Lots of one-off newbies fumbling about could easily account for the vast bulk of growth in user hours.
Return from Paris after two days, into a blizzard of review meetings, raise my head and the top search on Technorati is Le Web.
I didn't find out until after I had emailed Loic to say (sort of quoting)
The confernce was awesome, one of the best I have been for a while and extremely reasonably priced too. I wd have paid twice as much in hindsight.
What was awesome about it?
The first was the frantic energy of the schedule. There was a constant stream of talks for two days backed up by a frenzied start-up room. 47 start-ups in two days. But the best bit were the people. Conferences are, after all, soylent green. If you went there to get data, you were in the wrong place (check the Internet, it is better for it.) If you went their to have great conversation, you were in the right spot.
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