While we thank our lucky stars that rumors of a rampant April Fools' converge virus turned out to be just that, we feel even luckier to be in San Francisco learning the ins and outs of the social Web at O'Reilly Media's Web 2.0 conference. Coining the term in 2005, Tim O'Reilly's Web 2.0 has been around just as long as the concept of a “social Web” and can be likened to a more meaty, less whiskey and pizza soaked SXSW. (This being SF, conference devotees can grab ginger martinis and a snack at French bistro Annabelle's across the street.)

With the current socioeconomic climate, this year's Expo theme is “less is more” and conference chair Jen Pahlka expertly underscored the need in 2009 to pare down both our business model and the way we live our lives; the best thing about this year's Web 2.0 is that it gives ” the opportunity to focus on a different view of how to achieve our goals. “

The reference standard for tech conferences, so far everything is running smoothly at Web 2.0. Perhaps this streamlined efficiency is why it attracts a remarkable amount of international attendees; the hallways are like a mini United Nations and you are more likely to hear it referred to as “le Web Deux.”

We arrived on “Workshop Day” where developers, community managers and entrepreneurs had the chance to join workshops specific to their field. We were roped into visiting the exhibitors lounge instead but we did hear that “Visual Story-Telling” was the all around fan favorite.

Conference badges were decked out with tags meant to start conversation — “Twitter Addict” was a popular one — which led me to wonder, how fast do you really need to talk at Web 2.0? By the time you're finished with your speech, the next big thing has already hit.

On that note, here is our selection of Wednesday “panels to watch” so get them while they're hot. Links to our full schedule here.

Wednesday's Panels to Watch:

9:40 a.m.

WWCMD? What Would the Community Manager Do?

With Micki Krimmel (Sugar Packet Inc.)

Marketing & Community

Location: 2006

2:40 p.m.

Best Practices in Social Media Integration for Web Publishers and Content Providers

With Bob Buch (Digg)

Marketing & Community

Location: 2006

4:15 p.m.

Open Source Administration

Keynote with John Maeda (Rhode Island School of Design)

Location: Ballroom – 3rd Level

7:30 p.m.

Ignite Conference Party

Location: Mezzanine (444 Jessie Street @ Mint)

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