Web 2.0 panel at the Commonwealth Club

Moderator Amy Shuen, author of "Web 2.0". Opening question to panel: How many of you are in Web 2.0 companies? Give us a one sentence tagline about your company, what is web 2.0?, why is your company a web 2.0 star and a model to be learned from?

Christa Quarrles, "As a representative of the large companies"

The MC quoted somebody calling her the "number two" analyst for whatever.

Josh Elman, Facebook platform program manager.

Seth Sternberg, Meebo.com, The web's live communication platform. If users want to chat, anywhere, we want that to happen. Just as everybody outsources search, and monetizing search, to Google, they should outsource chat to Meebo Rooms or Meebo Community IM.

Moderator asks for show of hands, how many have used it. I see about 10 hands. I count about 70 people. Moderator says, "so, a little bit less than half."

Michael Veys, COO of jahjah. "How can we bring the power of those new tools (IP telephony?) to ... and make it as easy to use as a search engine? We've opened up our whole platform and made it available to businesses so businesses can take advantage of, can enjoy all the advantages of web 2.0. The business has evolved and is much more of an infrastructure business than the original consumer business."

Can you explain in detail the business model and revenue stream of your company?

Christa: Ballmer said nothing's changed in search in five years, it's just 10 blue links. That overlooks the improvements in monetization. What's beautiful about the Google model, so scalable (only took $25 million of invested capital, now worth $100 billion+), is the self-service model. How do we get the right ad in front of the right consumer at the right time? ... Myspace is using Google as its monetization engine. Google in their 1st quarter call said they were having problems monetizing Myspace.

Q: How much does Google make per day on some of the most popular keywords? A: mesotheliomia gets $150 a click, top mortgage keywords $15/click (not anymore), debt relief is skyrocketing. If you try to create an equivalent CPM, Google's effectively getting about $120 CPM. Superbowl ads are probably $30 CPM equivalent. Sitewide, Yahoo gets about $1 CPM.

Josh at facebook: As the world becomes a lot more social online, we think new, interesting [advertising] models will appear. A lot of advertising is generating demand; people use facebook to share with each other. More money is spent in demand generation than lead generation. We're doing really well with our current model, advertising. 25,000 different applications, some of those developers have monetized, over $1 million per month reported, users paying for virtual currency. Moderator: Also talked about, iLike and flufffriends, "just such amazing examples of the way in which the facebook platform allowed other companies to be able to monetize on the web." Josh: startups face the challenge of how to get users and monetize users. Facebook provides that. iLike started as their own website and moved to Facebook. Got to 1 million users on facebook in a week, sustained and leveraged that. make money off of ticket sales, music sales, and other things. Users spend a lot of time and money caring for their (virtual) pets, buying people pets and accessories.

Seth of meebo: Google is the panacea for direct response marketers. Brand advertisers, Coke, Pepsi, not served by Google. Where can they advertise on the internet? Nowhere. ... we are aiming to be the best place on the web for brands to park their ad dollars. Three criteria: you have to be able to create very high engagement with the brand. The average meebo user spends over 2 hours per day, and has it active over an hour per day. We give advertisers 10 minutes with the user; when they click on it, we give them something engaging, if it's coke, maybe a game to keep the coke away from the bears, make it social, invite your friend to play with you, the funny thing is you're inviting friends to an ad. Nike did a shoe configurator, you could configure it and send it to your friends. You could set your icon to Chris Brown, using the networks of all the people to let them share that cool branded content with their friends. Second criteria is sharing. The last thing is metrics. How does a brand figure out if they created affinity with a brand? Show them x% click rates. Second thing is to show them the impact of conversation streams in Meebo. Real example: Weezer was being talked at let's say 2000 mentions per day, just to have a number. They released an album and hyped it and went up to 10,000. Then they advertise on meebo, and it spikes to 20,000. You need to give hard metrics to the brands, are people talking about them, is it positive stuff or negative stuff. People spend 300+ years of time in meebo per day.

Joel's note: when the moderator responds to a lengthy piece of answer/bulshytte with fawning praise, I wonder if she's slipping in any indirectly revealing questions, or if she's just fawning? Update: well, the fawning and the fudging of numbers at least are consistent: "If you were one of the fortunate 100 attendees at the beautifully-appointed Silicon Valley Bank auditorium yesterday, you know the answers to the following questions:"

Jahjah: "... disruption .... Apple came to the online music problem and said, how can we do this better without upsetting the whole apple cart? They partnered with the content providers. Jahjah ... enables [some companies] to have some of the new things that are happening, like facebook and meebo, or ip-only phones. We'll give them whatever [?] they need in their value chain so they can go to market with it." Ways to monetize ... subscription model, people will prepay for services, use those minutes, and renew, ofter automatically. Or they pay a monthly fee. We provide a lot of the services, provisioning, fraud, customer care, for yahoo voice premium services. eHarmony, they have a subscription service, you pay every month, you can they have IM conversation on jahjah completely embedded in that environment. Or a revenue share model. The third monetization is advertising. "Still there is no real advertising on the phone. Typically the phone will ring 6-7 seconds before the other person picks up, and that's effectively dead space. So we [use it] ... always with the authorization effectively of the user. Keep the ringtone in the background and play a message over it. Nike can say about a shoe. Or if we see a pattern where users will call between San Francisco and London, the airlines can easily insert a short ad in there, 'try the new promotional services of Virgin between SF and London' We've used that on our own network."

Moderator: notice that there are at least five kinds of network effects that all of them are using

tips: ... "you'll have that passion, and that will translate into something you'll bring to market."

Joel's note: I'm personally aware of two coherent definitions of web 2.0. The first is web applications that use AJAX to behave more like desktop applications, such as Gmail. The second is websites that rely on user-generated content, such as Facebook. To the extent that this panel has any coherent definition of web 2.0, it's the latter. And we are out of time and there are no audience questions. There were a few audience survey showings of hands. Those notwithstanding, this was probably the least interactive event of the forty or fifty public events I've been to since last year.