Web 2.0 Panel at Davos

A webcast is available of this panel from the World Economic Forum: “The Impact of Web 2.0 and Emerging Social Network Models

The panel, moderated by Peter Schwartz, Chairman, Global Business Network, USA, includes:

  • Caterina Fake, Founder, Flickr, USA
  • William H. Gates III, Chairman, Microsoft Corporation, USA
  • Chad Hurley, Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer, YouTube, USA
  • Mark G. Parker, President and Chief Executive Officer, Nike, USA
  • Viviane Reding, Commissioner, Information Society and Media, European Commission, Brussels

The “challenger” is Dennis Kneale, Managing Editor, Forbes Magazine, USA.

It’s interesting to see the different concerns:

  • Hurley and Fake talk about making it easier for users to share media with each other.
  • Gates talks about the centrality of the PC and the need for a more sophisticated digital rights model.
  • Parker talks about the NikeID product line where you can customize sneakers with logos, colors, and the challenge of entering into a true dialog with customers.
  • Reding talks about the challenge of territorialization of rights across national borders, as well as linguistic diversity and multi-lingualism. She also asked about individual user rights, and privacy?
  • Kneale pushes for profit-motive companies to handle these challenges rather than the EU.

Unfortunately, other than the basic notion of “giving everyone a voice changes the world,” there isn’t much in the way of specific “impact.” Everyone seems to agree there is a huge impact, but not a lot of specific examples.

Good moments:

  1. Gates: “Where was there ever a bust?” (In response to questions about the boom/bust cycle and whether this is a next bubble and will it bust)
  2. Schwartz: “Why are you worth 1.65 billion dollars?”(to Hurley), followed by “Google got YouTube basically free” (Kneale, referring to Google’s market capitalization rise following the announcement)
  3. Hurley: “We’re creating a new market opportunity for the networks”
  4. “Is there anything interesting happening in Europe . . . are people just as creative?” (Schwartz, tongue in cheek, to Reding)
  5. “We started in Canada” (Fake, in response to Schwartz’s labelling of the panel as American entrepreneurs and business people)
  6. “This is a tool of transparency . . . but I am worried also about the rights of the invididual” (Reding, referring to the ability to share photos/video from cellphones quickly and rapidly)
  7. “The European Union is for Net Neutrality” (Reding)
  8. “Getting it to work across manufacturers – you can call that the iTunes problem” (Gates, responding to a question about digital rights management)
  9. “We’re working to make sure that the copyrights of the people uploading images to Flickr remain with the people uploading images to Flickr” (Fake, in the same thread)
  10. “You get the opportunity to wear something you’ve created.” (Parker, in response to questions about what rights users who design shoes in NikeID get)
  11. “The urge to share is much stronger than the urge to earn” (Fake, in response to questions about payment back to users contributing content)
  12. “This is a place where Microsoft is behind at least one other company” (Gates, referring to Google’s ad placement ability)
  13. “I’m not feeling any incredible moral burden about having hyped Web 2.0” (Kneale, responding to an audience question (from Stewart Butterfield?) about the media’s role in creating the Web 2.0 meme).
  14. “If you don’t embrace this movement, this change, this access, this empowerment for consumers I think you’re at risk, and potentially . . . it’s deadly” (Parker on the impact of Web 2.0)
  15. “Lots of money to be made, lots of money to be lost, but in fact the power really is in fact shifing” (Schwartz, summing up the panel)