FASTfoward’09 (on Twitter & official blog) kicked off in Las Vegas yesterday with a bang. Over 1000 bright heads were gathered in a football size like room within the never ending halls of the Mirage. This years flavour is “Engage your users” as we are looking at the big picture on search moving forward. Heads turn to authors Don Tapscott and Clay Shirky.
Update: Press Release from Microsoft on search road map.
Don’s focus evolves around todays youth (The Net Generation, in his book “Grown Up Digital“) and how their adoption of web technology changes everything. The Net Generation are blending the lines between fun and work. Emerging technologies like social networks, shared bookmarks, blogs and wiki are challenging the old marketing models, leaving companies failing to follow through (or even banning such sites) behind.
Clay Shirky follows up on the subject, highlighting his book “Here Comes Everybody“. Examples are shown on how the power is shifting towards users as self organization is happening everywhere online. The old expert sites are challenged as online collaboration moves forward.
The message is clear: companies will have to make social networking and online collaboration a part of their business. Simply latching it on as a side feature will not suffice.
CTO Bjørn Olstad has more in store for us the coming days. Althoug the big trends have been outlined, we are still looking for the future of search technology itself. Those who did not make it to Las Vegas can follow the presentations online. Stay tuned here on Things On Top for my updates on day 2 and 3.