FOWA 2007

By Nuno Mariz, on 14 March 2007 @ 12:46
I went to FOWA 2007 in London and here some notes taken:
The emphasis of the conference was more about business, I was aspected a more technical approach. But was nice though.

Mike Arrigton(TechCrunch), Bubble 2.0 - are we in a bubble?
He said there are still a lot more to come:

We have not yet seen the peek of what's happening in the new web 2.0 era.
Some advices:
  • Have a good idea:
    • Invert a market
    • Destroy a market
    • Remove friction
  • Have a business plan
  • Have a revenue model
  • Build it cheap, test the waters

Tara Hunt(Citizen Agency) talked about the "Community Building":

  • Lightweight social processes
  • Low-barrier social involvement
  • Collaborative information structures
  • High end collaboration
  • Simple platforms

Simon Wadly(Fotango) talked about Zimki, personally I don't understand the idea of selling this product.

Mike Anders(Adobe) gave a nice technical demonstration of Flex, he created a interface for searching photos on Flickr. Was quite impressive.
He also talked about Actionscript 3, which ships with Flash 9 plugin and has some improvements in performance(up to 10 times faster than Actionscript 2.0).

Chris Wilson(Microsoft) was talking about the future of web browsers. He talked about the features in IE 7, namely tabbing and alpha transparency in PNGs(WOW, no comments on this). He also focused in the effort to follow the standards.

Matthew Ogle & Amil Bowa Cavia( gave some "Early growth lessons":

  • Don't overextend - Scale with your growth, not before
  • Make some revenue, scale with increased usage
    • Google adds
    • User subscriptions

Kevin Rose(Digg) talked only about the Digg annual report.

Khoi Vinh( exposed some of the design challenges at the New York Times.

Simon Willison rock the crowd with his speech about OpenID, Simon you're the man!

Daniel Appelquist(Vodafone) gave a nice talk about the future of mobile.

Ramus Lerdorf(Yahoo!) the creator of PHP, gave us a trip down memory lane, he talked about Mosaic, early versions of HTML and PHP. Not very interesting stuff.
Some quotes:

I hate programming. It's tedious. It's no fun. It's like flying: setting in a smelly metal tube with other people. But I love problem-solving.
Basically, you can never click on a link.
I have two browsers: one to for browsing and one for sites that I have personal data.
I think this quotes says all.

We had a Portuguese in the speakers, Bruno Figueiredo that talked about JEDI(Just Enough Documentation for Interactions), a documentation technique.

Final thoughts:
This is only a few speakers, you can take a look in FOWA 2007 website for more details and MP3 recordings.
The overall result of the conference was good, the best was meeting the people and exchange some ideas.
The bad was no WI-FI and Carlos that couldn't make it, I went alone.


  • #1 By Bruno Figueiredo on 14 March 2007 @ 13:55
    Shame we haven't met there. I was with some other portuguese friends there.
  • #2 By Nuno Mariz on 14 March 2007 @ 14:20
    Yes, it was. Maybe next year will met. ;)
    By the way, you had a good presentation, congratulations.
  • #3 By Bruno Figueiredo on 14 March 2007 @ 14:26
    Thanks. You can always go to the III Usability Seminar in Lisbon next April 4. And we can meet there.
  • #4 By David Ramalho on 14 March 2007 @ 15:11
    Yeah ... I was there too, shame shame shame :) , I knew you where going, but thought you had some trouble like Karlus :)

    cheers ;)
  • #5 By AndrĂ© on 15 March 2007 @ 02:27
    Thank you for the sum up. As always, I have to stick to consuming whatever media show up on the web post-events.

    Seemed like a hell of an event, despite the technical issues. presentation reminded me of one Brad (from Livejournal/OpenID) did documenting the expansion of Livejournal's system based on LAMP. Pretty interesting stuff, both of them, although Brad was more technical.

    Bruno, any chance to get a glimpse at your presentation? Will you present it again in a future event?
  • #6 By Nuno Mariz on 15 March 2007 @ 09:29
    Hi André,
    You can take a look the Bruno presentation in
    You can also see the rest of the speakers presentations in
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