One thing that was pretty interesting about WWW2007 is that both Sir Tim Berners-Lee and Prabhakar Raghavan mentioned in their keynotes the need for more of the soft sciences to study the World Wide Web. They talked about how we need to better understand our users and the problems that are engineering solutions solve and create.
The interesting thing is that the soft sciences were very under represented in what was presented in the WWW2007 conference program. I heard a lot of great talks but there were all about addressing some technical issue, showcasing a new technique, or demoing a new product.
What about the economics, psychology, and sociology of the Web?
Maybe we’ll see more of the non-technical side of the Web at the WWW2008 conference in Shanghai. I gotta start working on the paper that I’ll present.