Some ideas from the conference that I'd like to jot down for safe keeping:
  • As software companies are held more and more accountable for problems in their code, insurance companies may take over parts of the design process or set standards. (think underwriter's laboratories, which was set up to provide safer electrical equipment.) [related presentation slides.]
  • As the technology industry matures, the problems become less technical problems and more human problems.
  • Dan Gillmore's phrase The Former Audience kept recurring. Cory mentioned it on his site. It's a great way to explain the effect that weblogs and other collaborative communication technologies are having.
  • The idea of copyright has been ingrained in everyone, and it's easy to understand. The idea of a thriving public domain has not been ingrained in everyone. There is a need for great metaphors and stories here so that it's easy to explain why a public domain is necessary for creativity. People should be debating it. Paul's Boutique couldn't be made today (without a thousand lawyers working around the clock). I want another CD like that...or I should be able to make a CD like that. I should be able to sample my culture.
  • Unfortunately, I'm beginning to wonder if in the near future, the only place innovation can happen is inside large corporations. They will be able to absorb the costs related to patents, copyright, and insurance standards while smaller companies will simply be litigated out of business. And, of course, disruptive technologies like the personal computer or Napster would never have been released from a big company because it interferes with the existing system of doing business.
  • Wireless technology will become ubiquitous, and hack the spaces that big companies won't provide high speed access to. And it's not because any company is pushing it or spearheading it. (It's not happening in the way companies have previously envisioned, anyway.)
  • Tim O'Reilly's question: Are webloggers building a city, or living in their own ghetto? [mentioned in Rob Flickenger's EtherPeg article.]
There are many more that I can't quite write down yet. This was the best conference I've ever been to for ideas.