Google, Bing, VCs, and Startups on One Stage: Xconomy Forum to Tackle the Future of Search

Search is hot again. Just when you thought Google had it all figured out, the Internet landscape has changed. Microsoft’s Bing has debuted to a generally positive reception, and signaled that the search war is far from over. The rise of Twitter and social media has spawned intense competition in the emerging field of “real-time search.” Advances in semantic understanding of the Web have led to new opportunities in Internet search for startups and big companies alike. Indeed, the world of online information discovery is being transformed dramatically—and much of the action is happening here in Seattle.

So I’m pleased to announce that Xconomy’s next Seattle event, on November 30, will tackle some of the most compelling questions in this exciting field. What are the most disruptive new technologies, interfaces, and business models in Web search? How is the proliferation of social media and smart mobile devices influencing companies’ strategies in information discovery? How should entrepreneurs and investors discern the real problems—and the most promising opportunities—in this industry? What lies beyond the current state of the art in search, and how will the field evolve in the next five to 10 years?

For one evening, we are bringing together some of the world’s experts in search and information discovery—and some of the deepest thinkers in computing, software, and entrepreneurship. This group includes Brian Bershad, Google’s Seattle site director; Harry Shum, Microsoft’s corporate vice president of search product development (Bing); Oren Etzioni, professor of computer science at the University of Washington, the founder of Farecast, and a venture partner at Madrona Venture Group; and Steve Hall, managing director of Vulcan Capital, who has put seed capital to work in a number of intriguing search-related startups, including Evri and Gist.

The moderator of the discussion will be Ed Lazowska, the Bill & Melinda Gates Chair in Computer Science & Engineering at the UW. We will also be adding to the program in the coming weeks with short presentations (“bursts”) from startups working in the search and information discovery space.

This star-studded event will take place on the campus of the University of Washington in Seattle. We’re still finalizing the exact room location, but will keep you updated. I’ll be the emcee, and will be passing around the microphone to elicit a bunch of good questions from the audience, for what we intend to be a highly interactive conversation. We’re looking forward to having a great crowd on Nov. 30.

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