Berlin Web2.0 Expo and some FOWA, London reflections

imageOne of the great things of working in a web startup, that might be one day high profile, is ability to go to different conferences. Following the footsteps of last months Future of Web Applications in London, next week brings our team to Berlin Web 2.0 Expo. The Conference format seems quite different from FOWA, since they mix keynotes speeches over the course of whole week and have much more parallel tracks since it is much bigger conference.

The other thing is that “hip” conferences nowadays seem to come with their own social network that somehow helps you being in touch with other conference attendees. While FOWA rolled out their own mini social network, Web 2.0 Berlin uses CrowdVine, a white-label social network, similar to Ning. For now it seems that it is full of conversations between a small number of people, but maybe it will liven up by the time the conference is in full swing.

What I’m wondering is, how useful is such social network, given that conference wireless rarely works well, with a few 100 active laptops on a single access point. While social scientist in me can see the need/wish of everyone to get better networked I don’t think “social” web is ready yet.

The other possible outcome that comes to mind is that with OpenSocial alliance we won’t be joining new social network next year but just adding web2expoberling widget that will help connect all the people across different platforms and plot (public) conversations and buzzing on a Google Maps mashup that will be projected on one of the big screens at the conference.