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1/30/2007
06:26 PM
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Reporter's Notebook: The Road to Demo 07

The theme this year seems to be sharing, as opposed to last year's, which was searching.

With less than two hours before I have to head out to catch a flight to DEMO 07 in Palm Springs, Calif., I have less time to cover some of the interesting companies presenting at the conference than I've have liked.

The theme this year seems to be sharing, as opposed to last year's, which was searching.

I'm particularly intrigued by SplashCast, a free online service that helps users create and syndicate channels programmed with their own content. Contrast this to how YouTube allows you to syndicate a single video (so that it can be embedded, say, on a blog or MySpace page) and you can see how this might be appealing.

SplashCast isn't just about video -- users can include photos, text, music or other audio in their channel. What's missing is a revenue sharing model, which the company promises in the months to come. Another major question mark is how the company will handle the posting of copyrighted content, which is sure to be a significant portion of the "user-generated content."

Along similar lines, there's Mixpo, a service for sharing multimedia collections. The company has positioned its service as a sort of multimedia calling card or online showcase. It's not clear to me what problem it is that Mixpo really solves. Perhaps that will become apparent tomorrow.

Mission Research will be demonstrating its SalesWorks contact management software that works both as desktop software and an online service. It looks quite appealing for small businesses because the interface is very easy to use.

Social software company Trailfire plans show of its combination of Web annotation, user-created navigation, commentary, and a social network. The idea of shared Web annotations isn't new but if Trailfire can do it right, it could be very useful. Sadly, CMP's Web filter blocks Trailfire.com as a sex site, so I'm unable to investigate further at the moment. I suppose I'll have to wait until tomorrow.

Serendipity Technologies new WorkLight should appeal to businesses that want to dress up corporate data in a Web 2.0 interface. Think of the new server software as MyYahoo for the enterprise -- a personal portal for presenting business data. I suspect it will be welcomed by workers who feel that the typical enterprise app isn't designed with the end-user in mind.

Anyway, it's time to pack up and hit the road. Next stop: shoe and belt removal at airport security.

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