FOWA ended on Saturday, but I skipped the Beach Day events to start the 6 hour drive home. Our last taste of FOWA was the party at Nikki's Beach Club. Scrapblog's sponsorship was noon-intrusive. Signage plus a flash presentation on a screen. Lots of networking.
One of the people we spoke with, Charles from NYC's stealth start-up, eluciv, is creating what can best be described as Google Alerts version 2. From his overview, it could certainly help me cut down on reading. (I spent the last 6 hours catching up on news, listservs, alerts, and newsletters to find out what I missed. Sadly, not much except for Tampa related tech noise.)
I had a pretty good discussion with Marta from Organic about monetizing sites such as Twitter. It's funny because Blaine Cook of Twitter was a speaker and he is a rock star to this crowd, but no one can figure out how they make money. There are ways to monetize it by selling the platform to corporations for quicker / better communication. The other way would be to sell the information. Twitter collects a lot of information about conversations people are having. Marta said that gaining access to what Twitter users are saying about her clients would be valuable. I am of the belief that the minute you touch that data, Twitter stops being used. Breaching that privacy would be the end of it.
OpenID was a big topic. I will be speaking with Kevin Fox of Vidoop tomorrow about their company and OpenID.
The other big topics were OpenSocial, hcard and XFN. That way you can import your social networking info. I get an invite to a new site every week. There is no way to continually create and maintain profiles on (for me) more than 2 sites. Hcard and XFN are supposed to make this easier. We'll see. It would need to be adopted my lots of sites.
Leah Culver from Pownce is cool. She was one of the speakers who spoke loud enough to be heard as she went through her learning experience at Pownce -- and the importance of creating API's early on. She noted that API's allow others to work with your app. Her explanation helped me to better understand what an API is and why it is useful.
Another sponsor that I spoke with is White Label. They are launching WhiteLabelDating.com to enable anyone to create a dating site in a revenue share model. Everything is housed at Global Personals' data centers. They will be rolling out White Label Social Networks soon.
Every get tired of Quickbooks? (I do). Toronto's FreshBooks provides for painless billing / invoicing. One thing you will notice about companies from FOWA, they are passionate about what they do.