Arrington and Calacanis announce new conference

I’m sitting with Mike Arrington right now (the guy who does TechCrunch) and he and Jason Calacanis are starting a new “demo” conference. Here’s Jason’s writeup. Here’s Mike’s.

This is a great idea. A large part of Demo is Web stuff anyway.

UPDATE: Mike asked me to be on the advisory board of this conference since I see a lot of interesting companies for ScobleShow (I don’t charge any company to get onto my show, either, except for my sponsor, Seagate, and truth be told I’d put them on my show whether or not they are paying). I’m honored to help out Mike and Jason.

Some demos of stuff brought out at Demo…

Over on ScobleShow there are three new videos that just shipped of stuff that we’re seeing here at Demo.

I sat down with Splashcast and VodPod to talk about their approaches to media distribution. Splashcast is one of the companies that was featured in that BusinessWeek article this morning.

Splashcast demo.

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Splashcast interview.

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Vodpod interview and demo.

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Nexo: Yahoo Groups Killer

OK, I’ve been walking the aisles meeting with tons of companies and this is the first one that motivated me to pull my laptop out and blog it right from the company’s booth. OK, Zoho’s Notebook got close, but that won’t be out until March, so didn’t feel the pressure to tell you about it RIGHT NOW.

Nexo changes all that. Think Yahoo groups. But done right. I’m here in the Nexo booth talking with Craig Jorasch, CEO of Nexo.

I can’t explain it all. I’ll get a video with them, but every part of their service is better than Yahoo’s groups. Their look. The way you can add images. The fact that they have RSS and Atom and OPML support. The way you can layout the group’s pages. The way it sends out email and integrates different events into email. The polls that you can add.

It’s all better than Yahoo.

I’m going to use this. In fact, let me start a group right now and see how long it takes me to get started.  It took about 20 seconds. No weird Yahoo ID needed.

My group is here:

One thing I learned that isn’t quite ready yet is a public group for a site like mine. I have to invite you into my group as a member before you can send messages or participate in my group. That’ll change next week.

Either way, this is a great demonstration of what happens when Web 2.0 technologies gets applied to an old problem of how groups of people can interact with each other.

Best recovery from a failing demo

Wow, Total Immmersion’s technology relies on 3D objects interacting on screen with real ones. The problem was their demo wasn’t working. But the presentation team kept working the problem, got it working, and did a stunning demo. That’s called grasping success out of the jaws of defeat.

I can’t explain what this stuff does. I will get a video demo. It’s amazing stuff, though.

My favorite demo so far: Jaman (movies for your computer)

A great demo silences the crowd. Gets them to look up from their emails or their RSS readers. Jaman is still on the stage here at Demo as I published this post (you only get six minutes on stage) but is the first demo I’ve seen so far that made me want to interview them. It’s a cinema site that brings you great movies from around the world. Killer site.

Following Demo07

Why go to Demo? I used to think that it was for PR. You know, getting your company in New York Times or Business Week or get blogs to talk about you. Yeah, that’s part of it, but it’s not why entrepreneurs tell me they shell out $30,000 (and go through a pretty picky process to get picked to be on stage).

Why go? Well, all the VCs in the audience here give you one clue: this is a great way to get funded. Why? Everyone on stage has been pre-filtered. Chris Shipley interviews each company, which means that everyone on stage has reached a certain bar and the $30,000 fee makes sure that entrepreneurs have some skin in the game. Some even put the fee on their personal credit cards because they know that if they do a killer demo they’ll get funded.

Another major reason? It’s a forcing function. It forces your development teams to SHIP and get the product done. I think this is the more important function. After all, your company has its future riding on this event and there’s $30,000 on the line, not to mention you had to do a lot of work just to get picked.

Chris Shipley forces you not to talk about your product until the show, either, which is why at 4 a.m. yesterday a slew of new things were announced.

Anyway, how can you follow along at home?

For one, there’s the official Demo07 Blog. But, that really isn’t showing you the live blogging that’s going on here.

So, let’s do the blog search test that I ran yesterday. Only this time, let’s do it for “Demo07.”

Google BlogSearch. (Remember to click on “Sorted by Date” on top to see the blogs sorted from newest to oldest).
Ask’s BlogSearch.
Technorati’s BlogSearch.
IceRocket BlogSearch. (no results? Mark Cuban, this sucks).
Sphere’s BlogSearch.
Which one finds you more results? Google wins again on my screen.

Oh, Google’s Blog Search recommended trying “Demo 07” instead of Demo07. So, let’s rerun the tests.

Google’s search for “Demo 07” . (Sorry for the question mark, is replacing closing quotes that I type with a question mark for some reason).
Ask’s search for “Demo 07” .
Technorati’s search for “Demo 07” .
IceRocket’s search for “Demo 07” . Whoa, much better!
Sphere’s search for “Demo 07” .

All four engines found MUCH better results for this query string which demonstrates something. Trying several searches will help out.

I still like Google’s Blog Search the best, which spells doom for smaller companies. UPDATE: I just did a new comparison at 10:22 a.m. and now Ask is bringing back better stuff. Why? Cause if I can’t tell enough of a difference between a big company and a small company’s services, I’m going with the big company’s offerings. And, in this case, the small companies aren’t doing as well.

That’s called a bad demo, or an unfunding event. No wonder that Technorati is trying to move its engine into other markets.