Things I learned at eTech

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.