Author Archives: Julie Blaustein

by Julie Blaustein

Welcome to the SanFran Music Tech Summit

The SanFran MusicTech Summit at the Kabuki Hotel in San Francisco this past week was perhaps sprinkled with voodoo magic to ensure all the attendees, logistics and sponsors involved would show up and do their thing. Rather, its success was truly due to the magic of Brian and Shoshana Zisk who oversaw every detail of the conference along with Todd Tate who secured over 20 sponsors (including Bub.blicio.us). Perhaps it was also due to lessons learned as this is their fourth Summit produced in less than two years. Over 600 attendees came together including entrepreneurs, lawyers, activists, artists and musicians seeking to make money and make sense of the rapidly changing world in the music industry. Many in the audience could have  easily been one the incredible speakers representing the industry.

The following statement sums up the continued quandary that the music biz finds itself in and continues to face. As stated in January of 2008 in the arstechnica site, “…music isn’t on its deathbed yet; in fact, people are listening to more artists than ever before, on more white earbuds than ever before, in more places than ever before. They’re just not paying as much.” Its the SanFran MusicTech Summit that provides the ideal place for all the players to come together  to seek out the solutions.

Laura Evenson, a first time attendee of the Summit and  Director of Communications for ImageSpan, shared with me her thoughts about how inspiring the the conference has been during these tough times. With the fragmentation of content and revenues online, everyone is talking about how the costs of current manual licensing and billing processes grow so burdensome that it’s tough to make any money. Despite the uncertainty many people are expressing at this Summit about where the industry is going, the optimism expressed by many others here is infectious. It’s inspiring to see so many people sharing their vision for how to survive the transformation of the music industry, and even thrive as we all move forward.”

The sessions spanned topics ranging from Social Networking Technologies to Improve Monetization, Music Activism, The Future of the Music Industry, Mobile Apps and, oh, so much more. CLE credits were offered along with their program that included an interesting discussion of the future of music licensing on the Internet. According to the official site , the most  popular sessions attended were Social Networking & Music, The Future of The Music Industry and Monetization – Idealism in Practice. As I was also taking pictures during the Summit, I noticed there was standing room only in the rooms, indicating additional interest in the many other sessions offered. I even overheard attendees lament that it was hard to pick which session to attend. Networking abounded throughout the day in the hallways, during lunch and at the sponsored breaks that provided coffee, sweets and other vitals to keep folks alert and energized.

There was plenty of Social Media coverage of the Summit including photo coverage by me, Mona the Cocktail Photographer, Ustream who live video streamed the sessions, along with many others. Overall the sessions were lively and full of heated discussions such as during the Social Networking & Music Session when the moderator, Dave Allen of Nemo Design tied his question to a company’s transparency. He appeared to put Geoff Ralston, CEO of LaLa on the spot when he inquired about patents that he had applied for recently. At first it appeared Geoff was not going to be transparent with the audience, but he then elaborated his view in full detail, revealing that it was part of a group of 15 patents that had the DRM title in it that caused the stir.

As usual, the Summit’s grand finale was a packed banquet room full of networking, food and all types of beverages. Food was served, High Flyer poured wine, panty melting Love Potion #9 was offered and positive moods were in abundance. Another great day in San Francisco full of learning, negotiating, partnering, music and lots of new friends for all.

The Summit Session

Reaching Fans Session

Social Networking & Music Panel

Social Networking & Music Panel: Ali Partovi of iLike, Chuck Fishman of Cisco and Anthony Batt of Buzz Media

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Krystyl Baldwin, Maddie Mat Mat & Laura Wiggins - the gals who kept it all running smoothly

Standing Room Only

Standing Room Only

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Matthew Gonzales Sharing the SanFran MusicTech Experience

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Local Music Vibe who power a national network of local music communities

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Leon Rogers, Heather Rafter, Sean O'Connel and Brian Zisk

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Cocktail Hour has arrives at last!

More pics at Julie B’s Flickr Site

By Julie Blaustein

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Its the 3rd day of the Web 2.0 Expo. You would think the scene would start to chill but instead the momentum has picked up. Its more crowded, there are great keynotes and so many great sessions, its a major head ache to choose which session to attend; not the worst problem to encounter at an expo of course. The Expo was packed, especially when the booths turned into bars with free alcohol for the Expo web crawl. Numerous languages were spoken due to the many international attendees and many vendors hailed from other countries. The folks from Ghost, from Palestine and Israel, provide a Global Hosted Operating System. This is a Virtual Computer (VC) service that includes a personal desktop, files and applications, available from any browser or mobile phone. Even more fascinating than their technology is the fact that they are a collaboration of an Israeli and Palestinian team, working together and backed by Benchmark despite the differences in their countries.

dsc_0655 I attended Launch Pad where 5 start up companies competed through real time voting to win the approval of the audience. It was moderated by John Batelle of Federated Media. It was great to have the founder of not only Wired Magazine but the Standard as the moderator, but other than introducing each company, he sadly did not contribute much to the conversation. There were luckily three great judges though; Marshall Kirkpatrick of the popular blog, ReadWriteWeb, Matt Marshall of VentureBeat and Anand Iyer of Microsoft who asked great questions and kept the presenters on their feet.

It was an entertaining way to spend part of the afternoon. There was 80 Legs, a web scale application that provides crawlers to look at databases, search engines and other things on the Internet with lots of pages. It could potentially save companies millions by avoiding expensive data centers with their solution. Bantam Networks provides an online workspace for businesses. Its dashboard provides updates and features that integrates a number of social media components such as LinkedIn, Twitter and more to come. DubMeNow seeks to shift the process of exchanging business cards via paper to instead via one’s mobile phone through applications such as the iPhone and the Blackberry. Or through SMS text, anyone can can use their technology. ZeaLog provides ways for one to track and measure goals through the apps that they build for the site. The most popular apps track one’s weight or sit ups. Sponsorship is based on the community, so not surprisingly you will find lots of ads for weight loss. And, finally there is Nitobi who has been around for 1o years, but just last year launched PhoneGap which is behind their success. They were chosen as the overall WINNER. They are also a darling of open source allowing anyone to develop apps to run on a number of devices including the iPhone, Nokia, Android and the Palm pre. They plan to monetize by providing tools to build, host and test in the Cloud. After the session I tried to decied where to go next. Go to my Flickr page to see the many more options at the Web 2.0 Expo.

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By Julie Blaustein

Opening day has arrived for the Web 2.0 Expo in San Francisco. This multi-track conference that includes workshops, expo show floor, an unconference, networking and more. It takes place Tuesday, March 31 to April 3, 2009 at the Moscone Center in SOMA. It all started back in 2005 when Tim O’Reilly coined the term Web 2.0 and the games began starting with the 1st. Web 2.0 Expo. At its peak, the Web 2.0 Expo was full of optimism and enthusiasm for the numerous opportunities based on new practices and principles that produced innovative services and business models. Before one used directories, now one tags; before Double Click was the main advertising product, now the new sheriff was Google Ad Sense. It was the beginning of a new era.

Is the party almost over? America is in the midst of an economic downturn like it has never experienced before. The launching of companies founded by two engineers without a business model is no longer sustainable. In fact, according to TechCrunch‘s Layoff Tracker, there have been 317,796 layoffs since August of 2007. In fact, just today hi5, the 3rd. largest social network site, laid off over 50% of their employees! Not to ruin the party with all this doom and gloom, just pointing out that it’s not debuting in the best of times. Not surprisingly, its theme is “The power of less.”

Entering Moscone West, the Web 2.0 Expo shouts we will survive with its bright yellow logos plastering the walls and hanging from its ceilings. Despite all this, there are still impressive numbers flocking to the Web 2.0 Expo and a large group of both start ups and enterprise organizations. IBM was a main sponsor with a huge presence branded everywhere one looked. Although their gloomy black nylon welcome bag, was not exactly welcoming.

There were a number of fantastic workshops to choose from for the 1st. day of the expo. For the morning session I chose SEO: from Soup to Nuts. Stephan Spencer of NetConcepts guided us on how anyone can gain high rankings in 7 easy steps. He focused on the search engine Google, as its the most market share in the market. If you want to learn more, his slides are available here.

dsc_0521My afternoon session was with Building a Social Media Strategy Using Social Map led by Mark Silva. He is the founder of Real Branding and he has worked with a number of impressive clients such as AOL, ABC, Anheuser-Busch, Coca-Cola, Disney, HBO and others. He introduced a great tool that is used to assess populations called Social Technographics, introduced by Forrester’s Charline Li. It provides a way to categorize behaviors based on levels of participation and to then determine a social media strategy based on it. Build your very own audience profile with the easy to use social technology profile tool.

I met incredibly enthusiastic attendees and knowledgeable speakers. I am looking forward to checking out the the Expo, meeting new companies, new people and going to FREE events!

 

By Julie Blaustein

CNET hosted Lunch 2.0 with a question and answer session with Mary Jo Foley. She has been covering the tech industry for 25 years for a number of publications including her blog.  She recently came out with her book, Microsoft 2.0, How Microsoft Plans to Stay Relevant in Post-Gates Era. which covers the future of Microsoft. Dan Farber, who was named Editor-in-chief of CNET’s news.com in February, was not at a loss of questions with his in depth knowledge of technology from being in the industry as long as Microsoft.  

Mary Jo Foley and her new book, Microsoft 2.0

What happened to Microsoft? Mary Jo is not thrilled about Microsoft losing its stature as The Champion, but she does have lots of thoughts about its future, in fact an entire book on it. One of her main concerns is the lack of leadership at Microsoft now, both technical and spiritual.  Her belief is it will only become worst once Bill Gates officially steps down. The lack of innovation and success that is apparent with its launching of products such as Zune, Vista, Tablet PC and SharePoint that provide glaring examples of the need for Microsoft to refocus on new, invigorated leadership. I am looking forward to reading her book and learning what insights she has for Microsoft’s future saga. 

After the Q&A and book signing, there was a fantastic lunch provided in CNET’s courtyard on a rare, San Francisco sunny afternoon. A big thank you to CNET’s BNET who is hosting a Speaker Series. They are the go-to-place for management information. If you do have a chance to get away for lunch, I recommend attending future Lunch 2.0′s that are found in both Palo Alto and in San Francisco at hosting companies. You can join the group on Facebook at or learn more about it here.

I will leave you with this YouTube Video; The Party is Over or is it?

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By Julie Blaustein

I attended the latest edition of Under the Radar Thursday and had a chance to view first hand the latest, hottest emerging businesses along with its leaders and VC’s in the industry. The focus this time around evolved around the business of web apps. This is an area of huge interest as it has created financial success not only for developers but also for entrepreneurs and corporate entities and there is much to come.

Our very own Brian Solis was a member of the selection committe that was responsible for choosing the 32 companies that presented during the day long conference. Below are the winners chosen not only by the panel of judges but by the audience broken down by the category that they presented in.

Business Calls
Judges Choice: Ribbit
Audience Choice: Vello

Virtualization
Judges: Universant
Audience: DeviceVM

Get Aggregated
Judges: Kwiry
Audience: Kwiry

Manage Up
Judges: Netbooks
Audience: Magento

Happy Customers
Judges: SupportSpace
Audience: Get Satisfaction

Virtual Worker
Judges: SlideRocket
Audience: SlideRocket

Working Together
Judges: Blist
Audience: Blist

Marketing and Measurement
Judges: Nuconomy
Audience: Nuconomy

Overall Winner
Judge: SlideRocket
Audience: Get Satisfaction

Networking after a day of networking at Under the Radar

Alison McNeil of Bub.blicio.us posing as Brian Solis

Robert Scoble excited about something that Wetner Vogels of Amazon said.

CEO & Founder Mitch Grasso of SlideRocket Happy about all their wins!

Sean Tierrney, Co Founder & COO and Kimbro Staken, CEO of JumpBox

To see more pics go to Julie’s Flickr page

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