Online Information 2010 – it's quiet, too quiet

We dropped in to the Online 2010 event at Olympia this week, and were immediately struck by how quiet the event was: yes, there’s been some terrible weather recently in the UK but there were fewer stalls than last year, a smaller exhibition space and very few exhibitors in the enterprise search space – no Autonomy, Google, Vivisimo or Endeca for example. Unlike previous years there was no dedicated ‘search’ area on the exhibition floor, and we did see a few unmanned stands from mid afternoon. Is this is a sign of difficult times or of an event that needs a rethink about its focus?

We didn’t attend the conference that runs next to the exhibition hall this year. This report on the closing panel shows that one question to the panel was about the rise of open source search – not surprisingly, the panel members (all being from closed source companies) weren’t very enthusiastic about this. According to Autonomy open source is only for the commodity end of the market, which is the smallest part. I’m not sure Twitter (1 billion queries a day), LinkedIn (30 million users), The Guardian (innovative open platform) or the Financial Times would agree…

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