The inaugural meeting of the Silicon Valley Search SIG was titled, "Audio Search: Selling Picks & Shovels at the Podcast Gold Rush." It was hosted at Yahoo! Sunnyvale, on Wed. 9/14, by SD Forum.
Don't' worry if you missed it. Very soon you'll be able to download the audio and listen to it at your leisure, using some of the tools we saw.
Here's an excerpt from the Search SIG's mission statement:
"…to offer a communication and collaboration platform to the Search ecosystem: search engines, marketers/advertisers, users and developers. Through a series of monthly events, the SIG will cover a large diversity of topics: from the latest developments in search to the needs of brands and advertisers, through the issues and key learnings of starting, funding, building, and exiting a search company."
For the opening session, venture capitalist and consummate Frenchman Jeff Clavier and Dave McClure, of simplyhired.com introduced the poderator. Elder statesman Doug Kaye of ITConversations was assisted by a cufflinked and well-coifed John Furrier of podtech.net, and the InfoTalk podcast. Doug was producing and freely distributing great niche audio content (interviews and discussion among technology thought leaders), long before the word podcast had even popped off the vine and onto the lips of entrepreneurs, long before the 2005 podcaster's summer of love, launched by iTunes 4.9 in late June.
Folks in the audience were keenly aware of the ascent of podcasting, the flow of funding to young companies, the rising flood of content. Many in the crowd were seeing familiar faces from past conferences or previous companies.
David Marks spoke about Loomia.com, his podcast and videocast startup where you can find good stuff via search, recommendations, and personalization--with a little help from a community of users who are building a metadata layer of tags and ratings.
Eric Rice, CEO of Audioblog.com, described his subscription publishing service that offers to help you "become a… Blogger. Pundit. Podcaster. Rockstar. In 5 Minutes. " For about $5 a month. In humorous enclosures tagged with sarcasm, Eric Rice's irreverent fervor for the podcast frontier reminded me of the spirit of the Onion mixed with a pinch of GeoCities.
Fashionably black-clad Ev Williams showed a working demo of Odeo, in beta, of course. Odeo makes it easy (and cool) to listen, sync, and create -- and explore the world of audio content via MP3. The Blogger.com founder is well-positioned to take his vision of publishing of, by, and for people to the ears of his peers.
Jeff Karnes of Yahoo! Search discussed the Yahoo! Audio Search beta , which indexes a vast range of audio content on the Internet, including obscure or hard-to-find music, podcasts, interviews, speeches, e-books, and more. Yahoo! Search continues to build on its FUSE mantra: find, use, share, expand. You can personalize your preferences and focus results on the audio service provider of your choice (e.g., garageband.com, iTunes, or Yahoo! Music Unlimited).
The after-panel questions from the audience were wide-ranging and thought-provoking, and the evening ended with a vocal and varied announcement session, in which people pitched their products and services.
P.S. You can find several online accounts of the event from guests and participants. Thanks to Jeff Clavier's Software Only blog for collecting them. Read more about it from Mike "Bitsplitter" Rowehl, Elisa Camahort, Ho John Lee, Miss Rogue (aka Tara Hunt), and Dorrian Porter.
Special thanks To Miss Rogue of HorsePigCow for aggregating the URLs of the 30-second spots.: StanleyMusic.org, YorZ.com, Podornot.com, VoiceIndigo.com, Truveo.com, and Feedblog.org. If we missed your media search or podcast-related announcement, please feel to add it here in a comment.