Web 2.0 heads for the cloud (photos)

Outlining what's next for the Web, designers and engineers talk about taking data to the cloud at this week's Web 2.0 conference in San Francisco.

James Martin
1 of 15 James Martin/CNET

Kevin Kelly at Web 2.0 in San Francisco

In a wildly inspiring, science-fiction-spiced keynote at The Web 2.0 conference in San Francisco this week, Wired co-founder Kevin Kelly put forth a utopian vision of where technology is headed, laying out ideas of what's next for a computerized world.

Speaking with the tone of a man who had come back from the future, Kelley wove a narrative of an always-on future with streams of shared, interactive, and cloud-based data in which every flat surface is a screen personalized to our needs.

Ownership, he declared, with its hassle of management and maintenance, is over.

Content will all be rented, Kelley said, and we will pay for the uncopyable qualities of items, namely convenience and immediacy.

At Web 2.0 this week in San Francisco, designers and engineers are setting out to share ideas and to build the next version of the Web.
2 of 15 James Martin/CNET

Lounging at Web 2.0

The wireless-packed lounge on the expo floor at the Web 2.0 conference.
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Keepsy, a winner at Startup Showcase

At the Startup Showcase, 30 companies demoed their products to attendees and a panel of judges from the investor community.

One of the three winners is Keepsy, which lets people collaborate to create group photo albums. Here are two of Keepsy's co-founders on the showcase floor.
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Google's Chief Economist Hal Varian

Google Chief Economist Hal Varian broke down our love of search into an equation at Web 2.0 and outlined a study by Google that attempted to calculate the value of search.

In a Google study, which pitted libraries against Web search, students were asked to find answers to the same questions, with the students using the Web answering their questions about 15 minutes faster.

Showing slide after slide of charts, graphics, and equations, Varian said the Web saves each person 3.75 minutes per day. Take that times an average wage of $22 an hour, and it's worth $1.37 per person per day.

Add up each of the 130 million employed Americans, Varian said, and the time saved is worth at least $65 billion per year.
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Web 2.0 Expo floor

Trading ideas on the Web 2.0 Expo floor.
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Web 2.0 Expo

It was heard at Web 2.0 that when you name your conference after a version number, it can be difficult to be clear about the direction of the event. But now in its fifth year, Web 2.0 is still a place to share ideas about mobile networks, connected devices, and what the Web will become next.
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Mary Baker from PlayFirst

Mari Baker, CEO of PlayFirst, cites better, quicker payment systems, naming Amazon's 1-click payments and Facebook's frictionless payments as trends contributing to online revenue growth. "You click, you buy, it's there," she said. "It's frictionless."
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Inside the Web 2.0 Expo hall

Inside the Web 2.0 expo hall.
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Make your own banner ads.

The folks from Canned Banners, the make-your-own-banner-ad product designers, set up for the Startup Showcase.
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ifeelsgood, one of the three winners of the Startup Showcase

ifeelsgood, one of the three winners of the Startup Showcase, uses virtual goods, rewards, and currencies from popular social games in place of traditional online ad promotions like discounts, coupon codes or gifts with purchase.
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Making deals on the Web's future

Making connections and building the future Web, expo attendees meet at tables inside Moscone West in San Francisco.
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Ben Horowitz

"Shift happens," said Ben Horowitz, co-founder and general partner of VC firm Andreessen Horowitz, during his keynote address yesterday.

Horowitz noted that major disruptive technologies have unexpected trickle-down effects.

One example he cited: the automobile. The introduction of the car produced then-unimaginable side effects, including the creation of suburbs, fast food, and the oil and gas industries.
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Reid Hoffman

LinkedIn co-founder Reid Hoffman, who spoke with AllThingsD's Liz Gannes as part of Web 2.0, reiterates the idea that the next Web will be data driven, with behind-the-scenes interactivity that will use shared pieces of data in unexpected ways to our benefit.
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Osama Beider

Osama Bedier, Google's vice president of payments, speaks of a Web with a smarter, easy payment system.

Like a friendly shopkeeper in Egypt, he said, the Web will offer more personalization and intimacy in the connected, cloud-based digital payment cart.
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Theme at Web 2.0

The theme at this week's Web 2.0 conference seems to be that the next Web can be improved by the sharing and trading of data and ideas and will know the answers before we even ask the questions.

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