Always On Thoughts

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A few thoughts since last week:

The AlwaysOn Network conference at Stanford was superb. I met some great people (including some journalists, bloggers, VCs, and CEOs) and enjoyed some excellent sessions. But to pay almost $2,000 to attend a conference only to learn that the entire event was being webcast around the world for free. Ouch. I didn’t see that in the signup pages that I went through! But I’m sure I still would have gone. There’s nothing like being there in person, especially on the campus of Stanford University. Leland and Jane Stanford are, in my view, some of the greatest philanthropists of all time. Imagine the impact on the global economy and on politics that Stanford University has had in its 100+ year history! I have a feeling of reverence when I walk the campus, and not just when I’m near the beautiful chapel in the center of the Quad. Stanford is a great gift to humanity. (One of my other heroes in philanthropy is Jesse Knight, who helped fund BYU in its early stages. I read on Sunday that Jesse Knight was a young railroad worker in 1869 and was one of 3,000 workers and officials who gathered at Promontory Point, Utah in 1869 to watch Leland Stanford, as President of the Central Pacific Railroad, drive the golden spike which marked the completion of the first transcontinental railroad.)

Google made what to me was a stunning acquistion last week when they bought Picasa, a P2P photo-sharing solution, and the owner of Hello.com. I can see pieces of their domination strategy coming into place: search, news, blogging, email, photos. Free content, free communication, free services–all subsidized by the world’s most efficient online advertising machine. This company makes smarter moves than any company I’ve ever tracked. I love Google.

Microsoft bought Lookout, an X1.com type product written by two guys, including the former CTO of Netscape. I’m all for having better search built into Outlook (it’s about time); but X1 is a great solution and I don’t have to wait for it.

I am reading Joe Trippi’s book, The Revolution Will Not Be Televised. I’ve heard Joe speak three times now, including twice last week at Stanford. This guy is amazing. Anyone who cares about the future of politics should pay attention to what he did and what he says. He gets it. Politics is going to change forever, for the better, as more and more of us turn to the Internet to learn, to connect, to organize, and to make a difference. I bought 4 autographed copies of Trippi’s book.

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