SES 2005 Executive Roundtable

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Mike McDonald of WebProNews reports from SES 2005 on a discussion held with several big names in attendance.

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SES 2005 Executive Roundtable

Mike found some great quotes and insights for WebProNews at this morning’s Executive Roundtable.

Bradley Horowitz, Director of Technology Development at Yahoo!, reviewed some of the Sunnyvale-based portal company’s recent product launches, like audio, personal, and social searching. Mike observes that the social search looks like it will be more community than algorithm focused.

Yahoo has added a couple of features to Flickr. A clustering technology called Buster’ will make it easier for users to tag images. Expanded functionality will let users indicate the “interestingness” of images in Flickr.

Ken Moss, General Manager for MSN Search, noted one major difference between SES last year and this year: “Last year we brought a strategy, this year we brought a search engine.” He noted that MSN wants to fix the problems users are having with search today.

Gerry Campbell, VP and general manager of AOL Search, talked about his firm’s shift from walled-garden supported by subscriber revenue to an advertiser-supported portal. The company’s forays into video and local search, and its new formation of a dedicated wireless group, should help AOL in the long term. AOL hopes to capitalize on the “fantastic relationship” they’ve had with their customers.

Craig Silverstein, Google’s Chief Technology Officer, once presented a vision of the future, where users could talk to a computer and have it respond with the correct information. “We should be there in about 300 years. That was 5 years ago so we have about 295 years left, and I think we’re right on schedule.” He further noted Google sees the Net moving from a “semantic web” to more of a global community.

David Utter is a staff writer for WebProNews covering technology and business. Email him here.

SES 2005 Executive Roundtable
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