There were several people in the audience who kept asking "where's the business model?" even though most of heard the obvious answer — if you have millions of users and tiny operating costs, it doesn't take many cents (or fractions of a cent) to produce a profit. Advertising is the number one model, although premium or adjunct services (think posters and albums from you photos site) also helps. I think they understand this is Silicon Valley, what's wrong with the New England crowd?
Rick Roth (of TnR Global) had a good question/ observation from the audience: Taking the information consumer's point of view, the big contribution of RSS has been help with content overload; now, with a proliferation of specialty social networking sites, there's a problem of identity and linkages between communities. Where is the single sign-on solution that works across all the social networking sites? I didn't hear a good answer, but I certainly agree there's a problem here.
John Furrier's afternoon keynote was excellent, covering his career as a blogger, podcaster and vblogger, and explaining the industry in a fashion that matched my views. :-) Best of all he showed a 5 minute clip of Jerry Zucker speaking at last November's Vloggie awards. Very amusing. Here's the YouTube version.
The summary, transcript and mp4 video version are available on the PodTech website here.
Besides the program, the event brought out an excellent cross section of the New England startup scene — old friends and new acquaintances. Definitely worth the time!