The Web 2.0 economy hangs in limbo
The atmosphere was radically different during the day at Web 2.0 Expo, as talk of economic recession was unavoidable. TechWeb's Jennifer Pahlka, one of the expo's organizers, told attendees in a welcome address on Tuesday that she thanked them all for coming to the conference "in this time of budgets that are being scrutinized, and some bad headlines." Veteran entrepreneur Marc Andreessen was grilled in a keynote interview on his use of the term "nuclear winter" as a justification for his start-up Ning's new round of venture funding.
With investment banks going down and food prices going up, the gloomy economic forecasts have cast a dark cloud over cloud computing (and everything else getting talked about at Web 2.0). Yet tech companies like Apple, Google, and Amazon are posting healthy earnings, and despite talk of an advertising downturn, new digital-ad networks seem to be debuting by the day.
The economic attitude of the Web 2.0 Expo hangs in an awkward limbo: The tech industry relies on innovation, but no one can deny that these economic times demand caution. What's a geek to do?