Well ... the Web 2.0 Conference came to Tokyo and went.
What struck me mostly about the conference or rather the exhibition - I was only able to a few couple of sessions - was how "un-Web2.0" it was.
Microsoft, IBM and some other big vendors were there, along with a bunch of Shosha and IT shops with their distributorships or localisations of foreign Web properties. Then there were a gaggle of Korean Wiki vendors, and Enterprise2.0 represented by some mash-up platforms and hardware vendors.
There no sign of Japanese startup fever in the expo, apart from some sessions by the big guns like Hatena and Mixi. If you caught some such sessions please let us know about them in the comments.
I did enjoy Håkon Wium Lie - CTO of Opera Software - and his frank talk about his company and Web Standards. The depth of knowledge, involvement and enthusiasm was clear, even though he did look rather jet-lagged. He demoed some of the new features of HTML 5 that Opera will support. As someone commented later - Opera did demos ... Microsoft did videos of demos ;)
Otherwise there was nothing much to write home about ... solid localisation of the Zoho platform, semantic and structure features creeping into wikis, IBM and Kapow with their respective Enterprise Mashup platforms.
What I did get great value out of was the launch party of BlogNation Japan, at the Outback in Shibiya after the event. I happened to sit down right in front of Dr. John Breslin from the Digital Enterprise Research Institute in Ireland - a researcher in Semantic Web - my current "significant interest". We discussed the general basics of the Semantic Web, and he told me about SIOC - a standard for expressing the features of social web sites. Also had a fascinating chat with his colleague Eyal Oren, fellow researcher and developer of a semantic wiki. I came away with a renewed enthusiasm for the area ... and even got the T-Shirt! (Thanks John!)
Here is a blurb about SIOC from YouTube.
It was also nice to put some faces to names, and meet bloggers like Tajee, Kawasaki-san and the guys from Recruit Media Lab (see previous post), and of course out host for the evening, BlogNation Japan's Robert Sanzalone.
Tags: web2expo tokyo