It’s often said about conferences that you don’t go for the speakers, you go for the networking. However, yesterday at FoWA had some of the finest presentations I have seen in the past twelve months. I ended the day buzzing with ideas for LouderVoice. Sure there was some misfires but overall Ryan had a very successful day on his hands.

Highlights for me were: * Mike Arrington - Just good solid stuff and well able to handle all the questions thrown at him (except for the Adobe Apollo ones) * Ben Holmes from Index Ventures - Loved this presentation.Tough, upfront, “when not to look for VC”. Some of the T&Cs shocked me as he predicted they would. Best detailed information on VC funding I’ve seen * Bradley Horowitz from Yahoo - Just a great presenter who gets you excited about even simple things. Got a good feeling for pipes. Lots about APIs. Really good stuff on how Flickr built community. I preferred his material in this area to Tara’s because it was practical and specific rather than aspirational. * Matthew Ogle and Anil Bawa Cavia from - These guys talked about things that were most relevant to LouderVoice. I learned a ton of lessons in a few short minutes. Tag noise and tag “attacks” are things they have been able to push down. Attention data is obviously the core of what they are about. They brought up one topic that Bradley also mentioned which was around implicit attention data.

The humour highlights included the Zimki guy and the absolutely hilarious Soocial guy (“because all successful web companies have two O’s in their name”). He was on one of the Spotlight slots for which he paid £5k and I think he got his money’s worth. However I have no idea what BT was doing in one of those slots and I hope the quotations guy didn’t pay to present.

Some slight disappointments were Tara Hunt and Kevin Rose. Nothing wrong with either presentation, I just learned nothing new, it felt like they were going through the motions.