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Web 2.0 Expo 2009 was not as big as 2008's show, but still busyRafe Needleman talks with expo co-chair Brady Forrest, as well as Expo attendees. Many are happy with this year's show--but not all are happy.
[ Music ] >> Rafe Needleman: Hi. This is Rafe Needleman from CNET News.com at Webware here in San Francisco at the Web 2.0 Expo where the web geeks and the web suits are getting together trying to figure out how to make sense of the economy that we're in right now and how to motor through it. We're going to talk about that with Brady Forrest, the co-chair of the Web 2.0 Expo. So Brady, what is the economy, where do you think it is right now mean to web entrepreneurs? >> Brady Forrest: It means that they need to buckle down with what they're doing with their products and their business plan. Build a non-advertising revenue model in from the very beginning. So premium services to here deciding to do developer services to make sure it works on as many platforms as possible. Have a cloud and a business model associated with it. And then third is make sure you have a mobile plan because mobile is where a lot of growth is going to be coming over the next couple of years. >> Rafe Needleman: No ads, cloud, and mobile. >> Brady Forrest: Yup. >> Rafe Needleman: So, would, would you say those are the most important technologies, or, or are there specific technologies people should be looking at as well? >> Brady Forrest: On the technology front, I feel like Phone Gap, which is an open source cross, cross platform mobile development framework, which just won our Launch Pad today, is really important. So what I mean by that is a developer can create an application once, just write it once, and it'll work on an iPhone. It'll work on Android, and then in the future work on like a Blackberry. >> Rafe Needleman: Should we be worrying about those web startups that are still focused on building their, their product and aren't, haven't figured out how the revenue stream will work yet? >> Brady Forrest: Well, startups in a lot of ways are distributed R&D. I mean, and, I think they know that, and they embrace that, and for a lot of these companies, the, the developer has a day job, or their startup costs are just very minimal, and they've decided to live on, you know, they're working from a coffee shop, and their servers are hosted by Amazon and really, they just have their living expenses and their laptop, and that's all they're paying for. And then a, a few cents a month to Amazon for, for a server. >> Rafe Needleman: What do you think this show will look like next year? >> Brady Forrest: I'm hoping that it's bigger and better. >> Rafe Needleman: You've done a show in Berlin, but you had plans to do more Europe shows and a Japan show, which you've put on hold. So talk to us about that. >> Brady Forrest: Well, you know, in this economy, it's hard to project overseas. It's hard to make a foothold in that market. We were over there. The events were successful, but just given the economy, we don't feel like this year is the right year to continue those shows right away. So they're both just on hold, and we're hoping for 2010. [ Music ] >> Rafe Needleman: So we talked to several attendees at the Web 2.0 Expo here to see if they agree with Brady's perspective. Some did, but not everybody. >> Well, I'm amazed about even in these economic times that there is this much audience. >> I find it incredibly disappointing to be very honest. I would have expected the Web 2.0 Expo to have some of the energy that I felt with Web 2.0, some wave that people are riding, and some real startups here. And when I look around, I see great rounds who are doing great things and aside from some of the technologies, but I don't see any, any real startups, anything that makes Web 2.0 what it is. >> This place is great for two reasons. One is we partner with a lot of the people that are here. We have great services, but we don't have all of them, and so we partner with other guys to bring in their technology and then distribute on our platforms. We actually launched zoomprosperter.com [assumed spelling] a year ago at Web 2.0. >> Rafe Needleman: You came back this year? >> Yes. >> Rafe Needleman: And does it compare to last year? >> Well, I think definitely we're in a different economic environment. We decided to not, to not exhibit this year. We'll see what happens next year. >> Rafe Needleman: So this is Rafe Needleman from CNET News.com at Webware at Web 2.0 Expo where things are downsized but not out. [ Music ]