CrunchUp Tackles Real-Time
Yesterday, about 600 Silicon Valley entrepreneurs, VCs, and social media geeks piled into the historic Fox Theatre in Redwood City for the 4th annual TechCrunch CrunchUp. Instead of turning off our cellphones and keeping it dark and quiet, we filled the room with the blue glow of laptop screens and the rainstorm sound of typing. And instead of sitting back for a summer blockbuster movie, we watched Robert Scoble on the big screen, video streaming live from England. (Well, okay, there were other panels and presentations, too.)
The topic of the day was Real-Time Streams, and it focused on the usual suspects: Twitter, Facebook, Twitter, Friendfeed, Seesmic, Google, and Twitter. A few curveballs were thrown in by way of the product demos, which tended to represent the smaller, more focused startups happening today: apps that aim to be a better Twitter, and apps that aim to make Twitter better. In the realm of real-time content streams, everyone seems pretty clear on which company is the winning horse to back.
When I create content, I select that I want it to go to everybody, but you don’t make it public and searchable. I want it to be public and searchable. Why won’t you let me have a public stream?
Cox reiterated that they’re examining a number of things, and tactfully dodged the question. (At which point Kevin Marks leaned over to me and whispered, “It’s public to ‘everyone except Google.’ No really. They’ve said this to me.”) The questioner jumped back in:
I don’t think that’s an answer! And I think that if you don’t get this sorted out in the next year or so, we’re going to meet again at another little conference like this in the future, and we’ll find that Little Twitter will have taken over.
The audience applauded.
Meanwhile, back out in the commotion of the lobby (where a platter of pastries stood in place of the traditional popcorn machine), Twitter for Dummies author Laura Fitton was quietly unveiling her super-secret angel-funded startup project, OneForty.com. “It’s a Twitter app store,” she announced, and proceeded to show off the cross-referenced catalog of 1100 twitter applications. “It’s going to be a marketplace.” When someone in the crowd asked why the apps didn’t have user-generated ratings or reviews on them yet, she responded, “That’s because you’re the third person to see this.”
The busy lobby was also the home to a makeshift gallery of large works of art by cartoonist, Hugh McLeod. Hugh designed the poster for the event, and spent the after-party sitting at a table by the entrance turning each poster into a custom signed cartoon. He announced in his conference recap at gapingvoid.com that every single piece of art displayed at the conference sold that day, and then some. (Congratulations, Hugh!)
The after-party was held at the August Capital offices on Sand Hill Road — a shoulder-to-shoulder outdoor gathering of cocktails, decadent sorbets, and a brilliant sunset.
[Photo Credit: All photos (cc) Kenneth Young -- www.thelettertwo.com]