Some things I learned at eTech
- FOAF is on everyone's mind. It came up in just about every session I attended.
- Latent Semantic Indexing could improve information retrieval (and information context) with a bit more development.
- Alan Kay and Clay Shirky both showed that it's important to study the history of your industry. "Learning from experience is one [step] up from remembering." - Shirky
- Small, simple bits of software working together can be more powerful than a top-down, engineered solution.
- People use social software to connect with each other, not with the space in which they're gathering.
- Technology has a strong emotional component. "I'd like my work to touch people."
- Social rules can't be baked entirely into the software.
- Geography is finally starting to be mapped virtually, with an emerging ability to "annotate space".
- If RDF could be made a bit easier to work with, great things could happen.
- There are great tools that help publish more to the Web; no great tools to help us consume more of the Web.
- Hacking hardware is an accessible art.
- DRM (Digital "Restrictions" Management) software in conjunction with the DMCA circumvents current copyright laws. (Goes far beyond copyright's intended restrictions.)
It was a fantastic conference.