Future of Search Event Nov. 30 to Draw Top Startups, VCs, and Execs to UW

Online search and information discovery are being transformed before our eyes. It’s no longer just Google, or Google and Bing, or even Google, Bing, and Twitter—there are big problems in technology and business to solve across all areas of social media search, real-time news and information, mobile search, user interfaces, search marketing, vertical search (travel, products, people, video, you name it), and other related topics. Just imagine what the landscape might look like in another 10 years.

A lot of the action is happening around Seattle. If you want to hear what the big companies are doing to stay ahead of the curve, and where startups and venture capitalists have some real opportunities, you’ll want to join us for the Xconomy Forum on “The Future of Search and Information Discovery” on November 30 at the University of Washington. (Registration info is here—the early bird rate ends tomorrow, and tickets are going fast.)

Search touches almost every aspect of business today. So get your tough questions ready for our panel, which will feature Brian Bershad from Google, Harry Shum from Microsoft (Bing), Steve Hall from Vulcan Capital, and Oren Etzioni from UW, Madrona Venture Group, and Farecast (acquired by Microsoft last year). Ed Lazowska will moderate the discussion, and I’ll be there to help stir up the crowd and make sure your questions are heard.

We’ll also have a series of startup “bursts”—short presentations from some of the most exciting young companies in the field. They include Evri, which is creating a smart index of the Web to help you browse for information more effectively; Gist, which sits at the intersection of e-mail, social media, and search, feeding you updates about your contacts; Sage Bionetworks, an effort to do for biology what open source did for software and Twitter and Facebook did for social networks; SEOmoz, which helps businesses do search engine optimization and online marketing; and Topsy, which is developing a new search engine for social media (starting with Twitter).

I can’t think of a better way to kick off the holiday season than to spend a couple hours being inspired and challenged by these guys. And, of course, some of the best stuff isn’t even in the program, it’s in the networking—besides our stellar panelists and speakers, you’ll be mingling with a first-rate crowd of entrepreneurs, investors, VCs, executives, researchers, technologists, and students.

Come to think of it, let’s get the discussion rolling right now. What do you really want to hear about at the event? What are your most compelling questions about search, information discovery, and online marketing? Leave a comment below, and we’ll address it.

Gregory T. Huang is Xconomy's Deputy Editor, National IT Editor, and Editor of Xconomy Boston. E-mail him at gthuang [at] xconomy.com. Follow @gthuang

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