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Web 2.0 Malaise; Election Fallout; Brit Splits

November 11, 2006 Leave a comment

The Web 2.0 Summit opens against a backdrop of Web 2.0 funding doubling over the previous year to $455.5 million. Hype is also soaring; witness the breathless piece on Web 2.0 in the San Francisco Chronicle‘s pre-conference coverage, (colorful commentary via Valleywag) followed by a Top 10 Lies of Web 2.0, including “We learned our lesson last time.”

See Read/Write Web and TechCrunch for a whole bunch more logos-er, start-ups-who presented at the Summit’s LaunchPad, including Adify (virtual ad networks), Stikkit (digital sticky notes) and Klostu (single sign-on for message boards). VentureBeat gravitates toward useful products like Omnify, which saves data from multiple sources to a single place. One thing that did get attendees jazzed was the interview with Google’s Eric Schmidt in which he denied the YouTube legal fund rumors.

 Still, few bloggers seem excited about the 13 LaunchPad presenters, and Monkey Bites thinks only one in three companies at the Summit were even Web 2.0. Om Malik complains of Web 2.0 fatigue, citing excess spin from companies desperate for some Web 2.0 fairy dust-but Deep Jive Interests shoots back that Om purveys some of that same spin. Silicon Valley Watcher wonders where all the Web 2.0 users are-not registered users, but user communities.

Even if the Web 2.0 Summit kick-off seemed anemic, the blogosphere added a healthy 100,000 blogs per day during the third quarter of 2006, according to Technorati’s State of the Blogosphere report (via Technorati Weblog). And vlogger creativity was on display at the Vloggie videoblog awards, with Alive in Baghdad taking Best Vlog and Best Political Vlog for its Iraq coverage.

The Web giants were also busy this week: MySpace is expanding into Japan, where it would go head-to-head with Mixi (via Mr. Wave Theory). Meanwhile, Microsoft announces it’s turning its Xbox360 into an HDTV and movie machine (via jkOnTheRun). Unfortunately, Kotaku blogs, the content will include items like Batman Forever and Pimp My Ride.

 In politics, election night started out strangely enough what with Dan Rather appearing with Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert on Comedy Central. But reality soon trumped comedy as a huge freshman class of Democrats won election to the House (via Eschaton). RCP Blog‘s gallery of big-newspaper front pages says it all. The hunt for reasons the Republicans lost started immediately: their role in runaway federal spending, blogs Instapundit. A failure to deal with illegal immigration, writes Radio Equalizer from the Republicans’ No-Sulk Zone. A failure to stop looting in both Iraq and the U.S., blogs Huffington Post. Or maybe just a habit of taking up big issues and doing nothing with them, muses Hugh Hewitt. Expect a lame-duck Congress that tries passing a lot of bills, and (gulp) Nancy Pelosi as Speaker, blogs The Agonist.

There was another electoral casualty as President Bush announced Donald Rumsfeld’s resignation as Defense Secretary, with former CIA director Robert Gates to take his place (via Yahoo News). Gates was offered the job Sunday while Bush was in Crawford, Texas, having previously turned down the director of national intelligence spot, blogs Confederate Yankee. So much for the Joe-Lieberman-becomes-SecDef rumors, chuckles Daniel Drezner. Too bad Bush didn’t cut Rumsfeld before the election, blogs Blackfive-it would have shown those  who voted against staying the course that he was making important changes. Maybe Rumsfeld just couldn’t face the idea of endless grillings before Democrat-controlled panels, blogs Tom Watson. On Deadline wraps up some of the early analyses.

Finally in entertainment, Gawker hails the end of our long national nightmare as Britney Spears files to divorce Kevin Federline (call him Fed-Ex) and asks for full custody of their offspring. Time to start looking for the next ill-advised marriage, snarks Defamer, but Popsugar loves Britney’s ironclad prenup while PerezHilton.com provides the ugly blow-by-blow of Mr. and Mrs. Spears’ last bitter days. Phew.

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