Spent half of today at the excellent Travolution Summit (full disclosure: it is run by my company, but has nothing directly to do with me). It was a good line up including speakers from MSN, AOL, Worldspan (the GDS), Lonely Planet and Wayn.com.
Highlights for me:
- Stephen Palmer, EMEA ceo of Lonely Planet expounded on the popularity of top 10 lists. They started with company lists, but pretty soon extended to allow users to upload their own and vote and comment on other people’s.
- Glen Drury, UK managing director of Yahoo! says their research indicates that only 15-20% of human knowledge is on the web – hence, he says, the popularity of Yahoo! Answers with its 100m users.
- Mel Carson, community manager of MSN’s AdCenter demoing PhotoSynth, an immersive photo technology bought with a company called SeaDragon. (I say demoing, but actually he had Vista installed on his laptop and it wouldn’t work with the projection equipment so he had to fall back to canned slides.)
A couple of interesting quotes:
John Bray, senior strategist of consultant PhoCusWright says user content is “infecting search results” – interesting perspective!
And Yahoo’s Drury defines the stages in the evolution of search:
Phase 1: human editing exemplified by
Phase 2: mass automation exemplified by AltaVista (remember them?)
Phase 3: topological analysis exemplified by Google…and
Phase 4: social search, exemplified by…guess who? new Yahoo!
So, there you have it.
Anyhow, a great event and I wish I could have stayed for the afternoon where a trip to Second Life was promised. The whole event was blogged, though, by Travolution’s chief writer, Tricia Holly Davis, if you want more…