I'm happy to say that the afternoon of Le Web picked up and was less of a back-patting fest and more of a focus on the web...even the future of it! It was kicked off nicely with Chris Pirillo of Lockergnome (and Gnomedex) fame, who brought humanity to the discussion with his 'Community is...' presentation. He highlighted that community is not a tool (saying that you are a tool for approaching it like that) and that you need to leave your ego at the door to make it happen. I also love that he stressed the importance of letting go of control and letting leadership emerge naturally. Chris should know. He's been doing this for many years. I was heartened to hear his refreshing perspective even if some of those jokes were a little lame. (joke)

I was interested to hear that Chad Hurley (YouTube) has an additional business...in fashion! His site Hlaska has some really beautiful products, including these yummy cufflinks (added to my wishlist!). I was very impressed that such a young entrepreneur has so many complex sides to him.

I fell in love for the umpteenth time with Marissa Mayer of Google. She brims over with passion and excitement every time she talks about what is happening and really knows where the web is going. Google is a leader for a reason and I think Marissa is a big part of it. She's passionate about Google users and being one step ahead of our needs. I drooled over Google Goggles, Chrome (now available for Mac - will be giving it a whirl tomorrow) and her general discussion of how the offline is becoming part of the "connected" world. This is a conversation I was really hoping would come up during the conference and she really delivered.

I had to run before she was finished, but I was also enjoying the bubbling do-gooderness (said in a positive way) of Toronto's Jennifer Corriero (TakingITGlobal) who has an impressive list of ways her projects have led to amazing impact around the world. She has used the tools to create positive world change and I was bowled over by her passion and dedication. She listed 6 archetypes of people who are active in the social change sphere:

  1. The Dreamer - people who think big and imagine a better world.
  2. The Megaphone - those who take those dreams and act as wonderful promoters of these ideas.
  3. The Spark Plug - highly enthusiastic carriers of that message.
  4. The Task Master - people who take those messages and put them into executable plans.
  5. The Sherpa - all of those who are happy to pitch in however they can to make the dreams come to bear.
  6. The Storyteller - those that spread the word that change is happening (or has happened) far and wide.

I was very proud to see another Canadian woman entrepreneur (and a social one at that!) on the stage.

So, all in all, I'm not eating my words from this morning (yet), but I was very impressed on the quality of the talks in the afternoon and how far removed they are from towing the same old company line. Looking forward to tomorrow.