Office 2.0 Conference October 12-13

I’ll be speaking on a panel at the upcoming Office 2.0 Conference in San Francisco October 12-13.

"Office 2.0" refers to Web 2.0 productivity applications — stuff to help you save time online, get stuff accomplished, and share your work with others. Many of these apps (too many, I’d argue) involve creating not-quite-good-enough versions of conventional client applications like editors and database applications in the browser, but a lot of them are starting to take advantage of the unique properties of the web to facilitate things that aren’t easily accomplished using client software.

We’re on the cusp of something very interesting with Web-based productivity applications. The next year or two is going to be revolutionary as people begin to utilize the Web to achieve things that simply aren’t possible using existing client productivity suites. The key, I think, is to refrain from re-inventing Word for Windows 2.0 in the browser and focus on the things that make the web a unique medium: always on, accessible from any browser and any device, powered by people with user preferences at the center of everything, and so forth.

I was in the audience at an Under the Radar session on Office 2.0 applications last night. It was an interesting preview of what we’ll see at the conference in October. All four demos were quite impressive; Zoho deservedly took the audience choice prize. The depth of what those guys are doing is nothing short of amazing.

As I mentioned on the blog last week, I’m currently working on a web-based tool that attacks a small facet of document-sharing that has bugged the crap out of me for years. The site is almost ready for public consumption, but if you’d like an advance peek, let me know and I’ll hook you up.