May 2007


What did attendees think were the hot trends at WWW2007? I’ve got my own ideas, but of course, all the parallel sessions I went to were “self selected”. I saw a lot of discussion of security and privacy. And a lot of interest in parlaying the extensive personal information that is available, on the web or on the desktop, to produce higher quality and more targetted features and functions. And some overlap between those two topics.

My favorite quote so far:

If it’s visible, you fail.
        Bill Buxton

(Authored by Neel Sundaresan, eBay research lab, plenary speaker)

Over the past decade we have seen the web change in dramatic ways. Static html web pages are facing a stiff challenge from blogs and video clips. The notion of relations, networks, and reputation which were largely built on web page linkage have matured into community voting of sites and documents. Social network sites have become common and the notion of identity, trust, and reputation are commonly defined between users and the pages or objects they interact on. As eCommerce matures and blends with social networking search, classification, and recommender systems take new shapes. Social trust, reputation, and identity form key entities that help commerce thrive in the generation of the social web. Further, peer-to-peer networks provide for new platforms and challenges for search and social network structures. eBay, as one of the earliest known social commerce companies, provides a great context to study these concepts as applied to a marketplace. In my discussion I will touch upon many of the topics mentioned here as we have been studying them at the research labs.