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This Thursday, WebGuild’s Annual Conference – Web 2.0, The New Web

I’m going through my calendar of upcoming events, and it looks like I’ll have time to make it to the WebGuild 2006 Annual Conference: Web 2.0 – The New Web.

Since I am not invited to O’Reily’s Web 2.0 conference (like the rest of us), I’ve decided to attend the WebGuild event, especially since much of the content and speaker line-up is similar – not to mention the vast contrast in price, $239 compared to roughly $3,200.

This event is targeted at web professionals, such as usability & design engineers, internet marketing professionals (SEO and SEM), web application developers and internet entrepreneurs, as well as anyone that creates applications or services for users. From my conversation with the WebGuild, registered attendees include CxO, VPs, and Directors of Engineering and Marketing from Google, Yahoo, Cisco, AOL and more. There will also be VCs from Intel, Sequoia, Mayfield, Storm, Shasta, among others.

If you’d like to attend the event, they’re offering a “member” discount of $198 instead $239. Use code WGDY6 when registering.

Honestly, it’s an impressive lineup.

Ram Shriram, Founding Member, Google Inc. and Sherpalo Ventures is going to kick things off by sharing his recipes for building consumer internet companies and helping others transition from 1.0 to 2.0.

Marissa Mayer, Vice President, Search Products & User Experience, Google Inc. will then share Google’s formula for creating and launching new products and managing the user experience and expectations.

During lunch, Stephen Benedict, Principal Product Manager, AIM Service, AOL, will discuss how Web 2.0 companies and widget creators can tap into the 63 millions users on the AIM platform, and how to rollout new applications to enhance the overall consumer experience.

Other interesting panels include:

AJAX – Creating a Rich User Experience
Moderator: Om Malik, GigaOM
Bill Scott, Ajax Evangelist & Design Manager, Yahoo!
Scott Isaacs, Architect, Windows Live
Jeff Whatcott, Senior Director, Product Marketing, Adobe Systems

AJAX is enabling the creation of applications with better functionality, usability, and an overall better user experience. This panel will discuss how desktop-like applications can be delivered via the browser with Ajax, the efficiency of developing such applications, and the importance of the GUI. They will also share their thoughts on highly successful applications and the shortcomings of using Ajax.

Web Usability—What Makes a Design Seem Intuitive?
Jared Spool, Usability Expert & Founding Principal, User Interface Engineering

User Interface Engineering’s recent research has given insight into why it’s hard and how to get past major obstacles. To build an “intuitive” interface, a designer has to do two things: (1) Take complete advantage of what the user already knows, so that what they see is completely familiar to them and (2) make the act of learning anything new completely imperceptible to the user. It turns out that, if the interface requires the user to realize they are learning something, the “intuitive” label disappears instantly. Jared will show:

1. How to teach users concepts without them even realizing it.
2. How some designers have managed to make simple concepts complex.
3. Examples of popular web sites that have made complex topics intuitive.

Mobile Web Trends
Moderator: Mike Rowehl,
Co-Founder, Mobile Monday
Kelly Goto, Principal, gotomedia
Pamela Mead, Director of User Experience, Yahoo! Mobile

As the mobile web grows in popularity, the implications to users and the overall user experience has become a hot button issue. Learn about the latest and greatest in the mobile web industry with respect to mobile content and services, current global trends, usability and accessibility, and how the mobile heavy weights are addressing the surrounding user issues.

When speaking with Daya Baran, President of the WebGuild, earlier today, he stated, “The conference will focus on web 2.0 from a user perspective. It will feature the top thinkers and best minds in the field of user experience and user aggregation. They will share their thoughts and best practices for reaching users, ingredients for creating a successful user experience, monetization and marketing strategies.”

For more information, contact the WebGuild at

Afterwards, we’re heading up to SF Beta: The San Francisco Web 2.0 Mixer.

I hope to see you at either one of these events. Contact me at if you’d like to arrange a meeting.

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