Just back from Internet World 2007 in Earl's Court. There are days I wonder why I bother with these events - full of sales people who seem to be more interested in looking at your name badge (busy working out the "company name x job title = budgetary control = purchase /15% = my personal commission [optional licking of lips and rubbing of hands]" equation).
Interesting to see some of our existing suppliers there, and worrying to see so little technical innovation. More worrying than any of that though was the truly horrible sight of consultants, agencies and vendors trying to talk up the hype around web 2.0. Seriously, look... over there, on the horizon - those sails over there... that's the ship leaving port. Some of the seminars were pretty relevant, giving guidance to webmasters on how to incorporate some of the social stuff, how to build trust etc. However some of the tat on offer was truly shocking (pretty much anything with "next generation" or "2.0" in the title kinda missed the boat *points at horizon again*).
I'm not sure what I was most uncomfortable with - that digital professionals aren't familiar with the basics of this stuff yet (and can kinda see through all the hype), or that companies are still lazily bandwagonning (see "portals" in about 1999) and looking at social networking content as almost a replacement for innovation and new ideas. I would have thought we'd moved on a lot and people would want to see real world examples for UGC and ways to use online social networks, other than trying to surreptitiously "blog-flog" the latest gadget/pizza/car.