GigaOm Structure: What's next in clouds

My friend Om Malik and the GigaOm crew have been hard at work on a few things. First, there’s the new GigaOm Pro, a paid offering that’s part analyst firm, part intrepid reporter, and part real-world clue-check. This is a good thing.

Done wrong, analyst firms can sometimes look like the protection rackets of the attention economy — a pay-to-play pact. This is a trap many traditional firms fall into; it’s inevitable that the biggest paying customers expect more love.

But a blog as an analyst firm has built-in honesty. The GigaOm crew has a pedigree of reporting that goes back to TV and print journalism, and anyone who reads Om knows he’s unflinchingly honest, even when that means breaking some glass. So GigaOm Pro looks like a refreshing change.

That’s not all GigaOm has been up to. Their Structure conference, now in its second year, is fast approaching. Last year, I helped with the conference and moderated some great panels — including one where Google was summarily attacked by a bunch of other cloud vendors for not being open. This was the first real debate on a subject that’s come to dominate cloud computing in the past year.

Which is typical GigaOm. Structure was ahead of its time last year — for example, while others were just talking about Green Computing, they brought in Jonathan Coomey to talk about his first-hand research.

So if you can make it to Structure 09, do so. The GigaOm folks passed along a discount code for Bitcurrent, so if you’re thinking of going, now you have no excuse; they sold out last year and likely will do so again.