Live stream the Web 2.0 Summit on mashable now. They’ll be speakers like James Gleick (Author of The Information), Bill Maris (Google Ventures), and Sean Parker (Founders Fund). The conference kicked off at 2:00 p.m. PT Monday and will start up again at 9:00 a.m. PT Tuesday and Wednesday.
The focus is on data, online identity, privacy, human rights, innovation and the economy. I found Christopher Poole (4chan) and Genevieve Bell’s (Intel Labs) presentations to be particularly inspiring. Poole laid bare the problem with online identity today. People are not mirrors who reflect the same identity in all situations. People are more like diamonds or prisms who can appear as completely different people depending on the angle of observation, but who are always essentially the same person. Christopher feels that social nets like Facebook and Google + are treating people as if they are flat, dimensionless caricatures of themselves. He feels that Google’s identity requisite is ridiculous because it forces all users to be tethered to every online action they’ve ever done. This is especially detrimental to youth, who should be free to explore and make mistakes without lasting repercussions in order to grow. Christopher insists that he is not an anonymity guy, he’s just a choices guy.
Out of all the endless permutations of what constitutes “advertising,” this is by far my favorite: awesome brands sponsoring thinkers to get together think. TED. BMW Guggenheim Lab. The Creator’s Project. Sundance New Frontier Story Lab. Brands look great purely through association with these mash ups. The more brands allow thought leaders and creatives to autonomously run the show, the better the brands look. Less is more. It’s a beautiful, symbiotic relationship that has been propelling innovation since the days of the World’s Fair. Free to all, this is branded content at its best: an unquestionable contribution to society, an audience who grows in numbers and quality, a brand that continually renews its values with the social milieu. Bravo Adobe, Bing, Intel, Nielsen, IBM, Serve, Dell, Yahoo!, and all the rest.