Thoughts on the TechCrunch ChristmasCrunch (#xmascrunch)

22 Dec 2009

Last week I attended the TechCrunch ChristmasCrunch which came with the tagline “It’s a realtime holiday”. It’s great to see so many companies embracing the real-time web and building their businesses around it. Some companies that you would still class as start-ups such as TweetDeck, Seesmic and tweetmeme are now relatively established and there were a dozen or more startup pitches with the majority of these new companies focusing on the real-time web.

There’s so much data being generated by social networks that it wasn’t surprising that a lot of the focus was around analysing the data. The key words from the event in relation to the data were relevance, sentiment, curation, authority and location. All of these terms play off each other. Relevance can be determined by authority and location. Sentiment, relevance and authority can be determined by a curation process. Some solutions to curation pitched at the event were based on language and text analysis, whilst others suggested crowdsourcing and using manual intervention as a means of determining the quality of data.

Of all the presentations, panels and startup pitches there was not all that much time spent talking about underlying technology used by any of the companies. James Whittaker of TweetDeck reiterated Iain Dodsworths words from Le Web in saying TweetDeck would stay with the Adobe Air platform. He also mentioned that they were looking forward to the version 2.0 release of Air – I wish I’d asked why. Marco Kaiser of Seesmic, in my eyes TweetDeck’s main rival, talked about moving to the Windows platform to increase application performance and provide a plugin development framework. Other than that the only other mention of technology that I can remember were a couple of mentions of PUSH by David Maher Roberts of The Filter, who said none of their clients were using PUSH at the moment but there were requests in place and a POC ongoing, and Tim Morgan of Mint Digital who have recently released Football3’s which clearly relies on true real-time in order to be interactive.

It was a very interesting event and I’m really pleased that I attended but I would really have liked to have gained some insight into the technologies that companies are using and would have liked to see people talking about and moving to “real-time” in the true sense of the term rather than it being used as a marketing term.

You can view videos of most of the presentations on TechCrunch. Look out for one lady finding it particularly funny when I went to ask Marco of Seesmic a question and introduced myself:

Hi, I'm Phil Leggetter and I'm a Real-Time Web Software Consultant... I just made that up!

This was a joke, I really am a "Real-Time Web Software Consultant", but I thought it might be quite funny, but not THAT funny. You can see this at just after 7:00 on this video: