I’ve been telling people that there have been three major movements on the Web.
The first major movement was pages and search.
The second major movement was social and interactivity.
We’re seeing the third major movement now, which is the addition of mobile and location.
A great demonstration of just how mobile and location are opening new opportunities and changing everything we do is Blackboard’s mobile app.
What kinds of things does it do? Well, it shows you where transit is on your University Campus. It lets you sign up for classes (when I went to college I had to wait in long lines to do that). The app also shows you assignments and grades and lets you interact with other people on campus.
Why is this important to pay attention to?
Well, you might remember that another important company, Facebook, started on college campuses just a few years ago. Enjoy this look and interview with Kayvon Beykpour, vice-president of Blackboard Mobile, at a ground-breaking app for college students, but think about how much our world has changed due to smart phones and location-based services.
A couple of years ago at Techcrunch 50 they picked a Twitter clone, Yammer, to win. That made sense, because it was the best business. But looking at the final seven companies at this year’s Techcrunch Disrupt, just announced, I see one that sticks out. Opzi. It’s a clone of Quora for the enterprise. Badgeville is a clone of Foursquare’s game for other things.
I hope that none of these win this year.
Silicon Valley needs to be sent a message that we need real innovation and interesting new ideas. There are a few other ones.
OK, to me, there are really two that stand out from the crowd. Cloudflare and Datasift. Real technology innovations. If I wear my Rackspace hat, I’ll vote for Cloudflare, I can see how that will help a lot of our customers make their sites faster. If I wear my Scoble hat I’ll vote for Datasift. That will help me (and other companies and users) find the best tweets and get rid of noise and spam in their streams.
But I’m afraid that Arrington will, once again, vote against technology innovation and go for the clone. Please don’t let that happen! You can vote for your favorite company until this afternoon. Please do and help me tell Arrington to support technology innovation.
I talked at length today with Mike Arrington after he and CEO Heather Harde sold TechCrunch to AOL this morning on stage at the Techcrunch Disrupt conference. He then gave me a funny short interview. Some of what I learned he covered in the interview, but here’s everything I learned from him before I turned on my iPhone to interview him.
1. He won’t discuss the price. Others are reporting rumors of $25 million to $40 million.
2. TechCrunch will keep its SF office.
3. The entire staff will stay, or be welcome to, Arrington told me. He said AOL bought TechCrunch for its news brand, which they expect to continue, and their events business, which will expand.
4. TechCrunch’s hosting will move to AOL (Techcrunch is hosted on WordPress.com and other TechCrunch properties, like CrunchBase, are hosted at Rackspace, the the web hosting company I work for).
5. AOL will give TechCrunch some more technical resources.
6. Arrington says that he’ll stay for “years” and that he could see having a great time expanding the TechCrunch brand at AOL.
7. He knows he can’t cover AOL in the same way, especially in telling a positive story about AOL.
8. He said that AOL execs expect him not to screw it up, and want him to have an independent media voice, like they give Engadget and TMZ, among other media properties that AOL owns.
It’ll be interesting to see what’s next for Arrington and this tech brand, but I bet it’ll be interesting. For me? Back to searching for world-changing technology. Congrats Mike and team!