FOWA

Originally appeared on Nodalities Blog: http://blogs.talis.com/nodalities

I’ve been out of the Talis office for nearly two weeks—the last of which was on holiday without internet connection of any description. The week before that, however, I spent at FOWA (Future Of Web Apps) in London. Aside from being really good fun, the conference had a bunch of brilliant speakers and an interesting range of topics covered. I followed the business track, which focused on startups, entreprenurial aspects of the tech space, and related areas. (Twitter feed here)

Some highlights from my perspective were talks by Gavin Bell, Simon Wardley, and Ben Huh. I enjoyed the tactical and people-centric approach to the business stream, and like the fact that there was more than just technical descriptions, or how-to’s. Many of the speakers brought genuine insight to their fields, and I liked hearing their stories.

There was a very entrepreneurial quality to the event, not only in the speakers and their talks on business plans, but also in the fact that the event organisers were part of that community. Many questions asked inevitably focused on the downturn in the economic climate, and Jason Calacanis and Julie Meyer both spoke at length to these concerns. The Startup community is particularly sensitive to the situation, and I was very much interested in hearing where they’re coming from.

Two slightly other-side points which came to mind, though. First, it felt a little like the past of web apps, judging more on comments from the development side of the event. There was a lot of talk aout stuff we’ve heard about already (though, those people who’ve done interesting things make the best news, I guess!). Secondly, I failed to hear the words “Semantic” and “Web” strung together the whole time, except maybe in passing.

I wonder who, among the many speakers and stand-holders, is working on the premise that the future of web applications is semantic?

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