FOWA hopes and fears

So, it’s off to the sprawling Excel centre in Docklands tomorrow for the Future of Web Apps expo and conference (FOWA), a grand gathering of the geeks of the Web 2.0 world. While I’m excited by the buzz and by much of what’s happening at the moment, there’s a side of me that feels it’s all horribly reminiscent of the ‘scene’ just prior to the dotcom crash of 2000-1. There’s far too much talk of ‘monetization’, and too many hyperinflated egos and valuations. I’m certainly all for people making money from their ideas and creative endeavours, but I believe if we are all to truly benefit from the momentous advances that the semantic web is only just starting to bring, then we must do so in the same spirit of co-operation, openness and respect that built the web in the first place – not in the spirit of greed, self-aggrandisement and mendacity that caused the first dotcom crash. I’ll be particularly interested to hear what some of the movers and shakers have to say about Brad Fitzpatrick’s recent post on opening the social graph and the subsequent call for a Bill of Rights for an Open Social Web.


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