One of the benefits of covering new technology and startups on a daily basis is that you can see trends as they begin to swell and repeat themselves. One shift we’ve been keeping a very close eye on is the rise of realtime streams, and how they are fundamentally altering the way we communicate and interact with one another.
We are not the only ones who think this is a big deal. Back in July, TechCrunchIT editor Steve Gillmor and I organized a Realtime Stream CrunchUp. It was the first major realtime conference (there are a bunch of them now), and the response was overwhelming. It attracted 650 people and ended up as a launchpad for about 20 new realtime products, from Seesmic’s Web client to Pubsubhubbub (PuSH) to Brizzly (read more here).
A lot has happened since then: Facebook bought FriendFeed, Twitter raised $100 million, Google Wave launched in private beta. So Steve and I thought it would be a good time for another Realtime CrunchUp. The next one will be an all-day-event on November 20 in San Francisco. I don’t want to give away too many details just yet, but mark your calendars, and we’ll start to release tickets next week.
For our first event we simply wanted to establish that the realtime phenomenon is in fact real and spreading widely beyond just Twitter. There is no question about that now. The next Realtime CrunchUp will take a deeper dive into where these streams are taking us. But here is what I’m really excited about. To help us think through these issues and guide us as we put together the themes, panels and people for our November Realtime CrunchUp, we have assembled a Realtime Board. These are all heavy-hitters making big bets on realtime. The inaugural members of the board are:
Marc Benioff, CEO and founder Salesforce
John Borthwick, founder/investor betaworks
Paul Buchheit, founder FriendFeed
Lili Cheng, GM of FUSE Labs, Microsoft
Ron Conway, angel investor
Chris Cox, VP of Product, Facebook
Borthwick and Conway are the preeminent investors in realtime startups today. Benioff is leading the charge to bring realtime social streams into the enterprise. Cox oversees all products at Facebook and is responsible for its heavy emphasis on the stream. He was also instrumental in the recent $50 million purchase of FriendFeed, which Buchheit co-founded. (Buchheit also started Gmail when he was at Google). Cheng was recently named the general manager of Microsoft’s new Future Social Experiences Lab under chief software archietct Ray Ozzie. And that’s just the Bs and Cs. We are tremendously honored to have such a distinguished group give us their time and energy to help shape the realtime debate.
If you want to launch a realtime product at the CrunchUp or have an eye-opening demo, please contact us at realtime [at] techcrunch [dot] com.
The CrunchUp also gives us a great sponsorship platform for start-ups and brands to reach both conference and networking attendees. Please contact Heather Harde to learn more about sponsorship packages and custom opportunities.
Stay tuned for more details soon!
(Photo by Marc Salsberry)