Kara Swisher

Recent Posts by Kara Swisher

Kara Visits Graphing Social Patterns West and ETech

My head hurts from a full day of geeky wonkery in San Diego, at O’Reilly Media’s overlapping conferences, Graphing Social Patterns West and its ETech or Emerging Technology Conference.

The pair of conferences are slightly different, although both cover what most conferences cover–the Next Big Thing.

GPS, of course, drills in on the business and technology of social-networking platforms, which has been the most hyped arena of the last year, as its proponents push the idea that everything in computing is going social.

I agree with the larger picture, of course. But I also remain dubious about the insane valuations that persist in the sector, which go hand in glove with the fact that business models remain in their infancy.

Still, it is interesting to debate important issues like widget development, data portability and changes in user engagement and consumer behavior.

By contrast, ETech, which takes place through tomorrow, is far less brass tacks, focusing on the kinds of technologies coming down the pike from hackers. That includes things like body, brain and genomics hacking, ambient data streaming, green tech, open source robots and bionic software.

Here’s a video I made Monday, which includes an interview with GPS West host Dave McClure, some clips from sessions and Tim O’Reilly’s opening speech for ETech:


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There was a worry before I started this that I was going to burn every bridge I had. But I realize now that there are some bridges that are worth burning.

— Valleywag editor Sam Biddle