I spent a short and sweaty evening at TechCrunch New York tonight. (Which will be last night by the time this gets posted.) The venue was hot, loud and not at all ideal for showing off Web apps. Ever been to a bar in Manhattan? Add small tables with placards and laptop displays and you can picture the scene. I would have preferred a location where I could see who was showing their wares and hear what they had to say. Instead, I ended up looking over shoulders and squeezing past trays of appetizers just to discover if there was a company I wanted to learn more about.
From what I did see, the themes of the night were video search, enhanced web browsing and platforms for Web publishing. More to come in future posts, but here’s one anecdote before I reach my train stop. I was speaking to a woman at Conduit who was showing off the company’s very cool little application for creating a branded toolbar. I liked the idea, but was having trouble believing that people would bother to download these toolbars in mass quantities. Then she mentioned the potential for exclusive video feeds coming through these branded toolbars. Would I download a toolbar if it meant I could launch an exclusive video feed of a particular college basketball game? (I won’t name any names) You bet.
The toolbars let you add all the standard stuff, from RSS feeds, to a search bar, to messaging, but the idea of the video feed with content I can’t get anywhere else is what put me over the edge. Great marketing tool. (You’ll notice there are a lot of new marketing models taking off.)
Conduit deserves more discussion. A few notes from a tired and weary traveler:
- They’ve been partnered with Ask, but will announce a new search partner soon. Given that they were showing the app with Google – well, guesses anyone?
- Conduit claims to have 5 million users (folks who download toolbars) and 100,000 publishers (folks who create and make toolbars available)
- Users can download several different toolbars and choose when to display which ones (A good thing. I can imagine going into toolbar overload.)
Check it out if you have a moment… And expect more TechCrunch New York coverage soon.