Defrag Blog

Acquisitions and Content Conversations

by Eric Norlin on Oct.08, 2007, under general, industry stuff

Waking up this morning, I find that we’re four weeks out from Defrag, Google has crossed $600 per share, SAP is acquiring Business Objects, MSNBC has acquired Newsvine, and Scoble thinks we have “too much great content”.

Is there a common thread here? I think so.

Having gone through the run-up of the “web 2.0″ phenomenon, it certainly is starting to feel like we’re at the intersection of *something*.

I’m starting to get comfortable with intersections — after all, Defrag has always posited itself as the intersection of consumer-facing and enterprise; business intelligence, collaboraation, knowledge management and networking, social software and distributed mechanisms.

On the “enterprise side,” I’m starting to get the sense that the “consumerization of IT” is really kicking in. Lots of smart people have written lots of smart things about this topic. On the “consumer-facing side,” the “me-too” phenomenon is nearly overwhelming.

Am I the only one feeling like we’re in some sort of liminal state; standing in a doorway where we can’t quite make out the shape and size of the room we’re entering?

All of this brings me to Robert’s “content commodities” thoughts. The spate of bay-area based conferences in the next few weeks is enough to drown even the most grizzled conference veteran. And then, on the other side of it all sits Defrag.

Someone asked me the other day about virtual conferneces and the whole second life thing, and my gut reaction was simple: Why don’t you and your wife live on oppositie coasts and communicate via the Net? Because there really is something to physically being in the same space. And beyond that, I think there’s something to being in a location like Denver — where folks aren’t coming and going into the echo chamber of the Bay Area; where folks have made the necessary effort to come to a space outside of their daily norms.

Yea, I’m rambling, but I’m really looking forward to Defrag as a chance to take a deep breath; a moment to relax into a space of friends (met and unmet) and give some real, substantive thought to where we’ve all been and where we’re really going. Oddly enough, I think that we’ll leave Defrag (which is admittedly a very “pie in the sky” topic) in a pretty grounded state.

I’m betting that after the hype of October fades, several hundred people will meet at Defrag, take a few days to explore the directions of topics that we don’t normally stretch in to, and leave refreshed and looking forward into 2008.

Will that “content” be a commodity? Or, said a different way, when all of us “alpha geek” types are riding a tsunami of feeds, twitters and facebook postings, is there still space for a conversation that you don’t get to have every other day of the week?

You know my answer. I’d love to hear yours.

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