Web 2008 Expo - Day 2 - Web Innovation & Creative Day - Power Pitches

Power Pitches

First on the card for the second day was "Power Pitches" ... two lightning presentations from two startups that couldn't have been more different.

The first was Hironao Kunimitsu, director of gumi, presenting his company's "port" of Open Social to a REST platform for application to the Japanese mobile web - and by extension, other non-Javascript UIs.

As no-one else are doing this, Kunimitsu said with a smile, they are by default world's largest mobile open web platform ... but they do have over 90 applications working so far.

Second was Taisei Tanaka from Geisha Tokyo Entertainment, introducing their "Augmented Reality" product - "Aris". It is a software package that hooks up to a web camera, and a small cube that is placed in front of the camera, and the systems uses as a visual marker. As the company name might suggest, the system overlays a "Virtual Maid" onto this cube. Oh dear ... I thought ... Japan's vision ... to the world? ... but wait, there's more.

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Web 2008 Expo - Day 1 - Open ID and Open Web Day

Yesterday was the first day of the Web 2008 Expo at the Shibuya. The timing was the same as the ill-fated O'Reilly event of a similar name, but this was much more of a grass-roots industry affair.

Because of the timing, I did have the pleasure of meeting Brady Forrest from O'Reilly Radar - he had already booked his Tokyo tickets on the return leg of a vacation when the event was canned, so he came along acccompanied by Andrew Shuttleworth.

Opening Remarks

Shuji Honjo - the chief of the LLP that runs X-Shibuya SNS, and organiser of the event - kicked things off dressed in traditional Japanese office kimono.

Keynotes

Next Natsuhiko Sakimura from the Japan Open ID Foundation took to the stage to explain their mission - to spread the adoption of Open ID among the general population.

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Web 2008 Expo in Tokyo next week (Dec. 3 & 4)

Next week sees another event in Tokyo, the "Web 2008 Expo". Organised by SNS XShibuya, the byline for the event is something along the lines of "The Vision of a Web Era the Japan Sends to the World" .... fascinating!

XShibuya is an area-based invite-only SNS started in July 2006 by the Tokyo Chamber of Commerce and Industry (TCCI), designed to match up "Creators" in the Shibuya area of Tokyo for business opportunities. The site is operated by the Greater Shibuya Area Creator Matching LLP (!) ( 広域渋谷圏クリエイターマッチング有限責任事業組合 ) , which seems to be backed by Otsuka Shokai, Takara Tomy, Total Brain and others, and is headed up by Shuji Honjo, a VC from Net Service Ventures.

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Presenting ... Twitterlater - the future of microblogging...

... or rather, microblogging in the future!

Recently I have started working on some pet projects around social networking and personal data control. It's been about 4 years since I actually designed, built and released a whole web site, so in order to ease myself back into the whole www-facing thing, I thought I would try wheeling out a low impact app in an afternoon.

I use twitter quite a lot, and find it great for passive news gathering, and occasional communications. I thought it would be nice if you could schedule your tweets in the future, for reminders, or perhaps some kind of game or promotion.

So after lunch yesterday, I set about putting together just such a thing. Several hours later, and http://twitterlater.com/ was born. It is a simple site that allows you to set a time in the future (currently UTC only, but I'm working on it ...) or a countdown timer to a tweet, and have it posted then. If you're interested, please go and kick the tires... it's very beta, but the initial basic functions should be working.

Not 5 minutes after I uploaded the site, I was back on Twitter where Tim O'Reilly and Eric Burke were discussing their desire for a service that would spread out "bursty" tweets - people like Robert Scoble have good content, but sometimes they tweet in bulk, pushing everyone else's tweets off the page... drip feeding tweets to help this issue is now on the road map. Please let me know if there is anything like that you'd find useful.

Oh ... and as you can probably see from the logo, If anyone would like to contribute some high-end pixel-mongering to my look and feel ... shout out!

Aoyama Gakuin Open Lecture: VC Funding and Venture Management in a Time of Rapidly Dropping IPOs

Pina Hirano from Infoteria is a regular at the monthly Tokyo Blog Dinner in Gotanda. At last week's event, we got chatting, and he was kind enough to invite me to a lecture at Aoyama Gakuin, where he leads a business course. Most of the lectures are just for the handful of postgrad students on the course, but this one was open to others, and about a dozen other guests attended.

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Tokyo 2.0 - 2008-11-10

Well... it's that time of the month again. Tokyo 2.0 was packed to the brim this month ... maybe the slowdown means people leave the office at a sensible hour now (see below :)

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New Context Conference 2008 - Day 2

I had a couple of things on, so I didn't catch the whole of the second day. I missed the opening session on the mobile internet, and Joi's closing about "The Next Big Thing" ... if anyone heard what the "Next Big Thing" is please drop me a note!

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Tokyo Blog Dinner 5th Anniversary

Wednesday last week (2008-11-13) saw the 5th anniversary of Tokyo Blog Dinner.

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New Context Conference 2008 - Day 1

Joi Ito and Digital Garage held their 4th "New Context Conference" at Garden Hall in Ebisu Garden Place last week. The event is free of charge, and the fact that DG can pull together such a wide variety of speakers - primarily from companies in which they have an interest - is testament to the breadth of their portfolio.

The theme for this year's two day conference was the "Open Business Network" that the Internet allows.

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O'Reilly Cancels Web 2.0 Expo Tokyo 2008

Citing the difficult economic climate, O'Reilly and TechWeb have pulled the plug on the Web 2.0 Expo Tokyo 2008. Apparently "the current business climate was not conducive to guaranteeing the success of the event"

I went along last year, and while there wasn't a lot of excitement in terms of services and startups, I made a load of good contacts. It's a shame they couldn't work out some way to reduce the cost of the event.

Here is the story: http://tokyo.web2expo.com/

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