Applications for a Mobile, Connected World

A Panel Discussion

Supernova 2005
54 minutes, 25.2mb, recorded 2005-06-21
The Supernova Mobile Apps Panel
Community and mobility - these are major growth areas for new applications. Be it text, audio or photos, personal publishing is one of the main ways people use the internet today. Representatives of the biggest players in the communication software and application world engage in a discussion about the issues involved in this burgeoning market.

The panel features Lili Cheng from Microsoft, Caterina Fake from Ludicorp, Amy Jo Kim from SocialDesigner.Net, Mena Trott from Six Apart and Evan Williams from Odeo. They discuss personal publishing, whether small audiences really matter, and the blurring line between communication and entertainment. This discussion profiles the tools being used as people build their own networks as well as the drivers that cause us to want to participate in the internet.

This conversation talks about the need for trust networks and the ways that online publishing is used as a tool for remembering. The panel also discusses what happens when you no longer want the world reading your blog and how the archival nature of the internet can be problematic for creators as their needs change over time.

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Lili Cheng is the Group Manager of the Social Computing Group in Microsoft Research. Ms. Cheng arrived in MSR back in 1995 as a member of the Virtual Worlds Group. She played a major role in the development of the Virtual Worlds Platform, lead the design and development of HutchWorld a shared space for cancer patients and their support network and she was a key member of the team that created Microsoft V-Chat. Before coming to Microsoft, she worked at Apple Computer in the Human Interface research group on a series of projects that integrated digital video technologies, including QuickTime VR and QuickTime Conferencing. Ms. Cheng is also a registered architect and has worked for the architecture firm Skidmore Owings and Merrill designing urban, public spaces in both Tokyo and Los Angeles. She continues to participate in this field by guest lecturing at the Harvard Design School and working on projects with the MIT Architecture School.

Caterina Fake's deep understanding of online community, blogs and the collaborative web has helped launch Flickr into the photo-sharing juggernaut of the Web 2.0! Before joining Ludicorp, Ms. Fake worked as Creative Director of Yellowball, an online space which enabled people to create stories and animations collaboratively. Previously, she was an Art Director at, winner of numerous design and content awards including Time Magazine's Best Site of the Year and 3 consecutive Webby Awards. Enamored with the possibilities of the internet as a social medium, Ms. Fake has built and managed many online communities including forums at Netscape and Howard Rheingold's Electric Minds, created several webzines, and publishes a daily weblog,

AJ Kim, Principal at SocialDesigner.Net, is an internationally recognized expert on community architecture and social systems design. In addition to her consulting work, Ms. Kim is the author of Community Building on the Web, a strategic design handbook for building online communities that's available in 7 languages (English, Spanish, German, Italian, Japanese, Korean, and Chinese) and has become required reading in top design studios, consulting firms and universities. She is also an accomplished public speaker, and teaches multiplayer game design at USC. She holds a PhD in Behavioral Neuroscience from the University of Washington, and a BS in Experimental Psych from UC San Diego.

Mena Trott is co-founder and president of Six Apart, the company behind The Movable Type publishing platform, TypePad weblogging service and, after an acquisition in January 2005, LiveJournal, an online community organized around personal journals. Named one of Fast Company's "Fast 50 for 2004" and PC Magazine's "People of the Year" for 2004, Ms. Trott has been involved in the weblogging space since she began publishing to her own weblog,, in early 2001. She speaks regularly at industry conferences -- having appeared at Supernova, AdTech, DEMO 2004 and The Wall Street Journal's "D: All Things Digital." Ms. Trott can be found writing about weblogging and Six Apart at Mena's Corner.

Evan Williams is currently co-founder and CEO of Odeo, Inc., a new startup aimed at bringing podcasting to the masses. In 1999, Mr. Williams co-founded Pyra Labs and helped create Blogger, the web application that pioneered and helped define the blogging phenomenon. In early 2003, Mr. Williams sold Pyra Labs to Google, where he served as a product and engineering manager until October 2004. Prior to Pyra, in 1994, Mr. Williams started an early Internet company in Nebraska, his native state, and later worked for O'Reilly & Associates, Intel, and HP as a web application developer.


This program is from the Supernova 2005 series.

For Team ITC:

  • Description editor: Darusha Wehm
  • Post-production audio engineer: Bruce Sharpe
  • Series producer: Jim Alateras

This free podcast is from our Supernova series.