Coming off the heels of Mashup University, Camp was even more impressive. The [un]conference moved down to the Hotel @ MIT and pretty much took over the 3rd floor, containing 8 or so conference rooms. For those of you that haven’t attended a mashup camp, as this was my first, I greatly welcomed the format.
At 9:30am, aprox. 200 developers, evangelists and even a few VCs packed into the welcome room. After a few announcements, and two key principals (below), we began selection of topics to be covered in the several conference rooms. It essentially starts with volunteers, those proposing topics come to the front, give a quick blurb about the intent of the conversation and gage audience interest, assuming there is, a time slot in one of the conference rooms is reserved and the topic is slated. This continues until all slots/conference rooms are booked. The range of topics include technology tools/platforms/vendors to tutorials, demos and even philisophical modeling of virtual currencies.
The two core tenents of the conference are:
- Law of two feet
– If you are not learning or contributing it is your resposibility to respectfully go somewhere you can learn or contribute
– those who are in the room are the right people
– what ever happens is the only thing that could
– when ever it starts is the right time
– when ever its over its over
– Oh, and document on the wiki.
Next, we began attending the sessions of our choice, a few of which i sat through entirely, others, i excercised my vote by walking into another room as my input (or interest rather) had expired. After lunch is where the real fun began, speedgeeking. Speedgeeking works just like it sounds, mashup developers and vendors have 5 minutes to persuade on-lookers they’ve built the most compelling mashup. Each developer gets one vote – the coveted wooden nickel. You give your wooden nickel to the developer of the mashup of your choice, the dev with the most wooden nickels wins. – Sponsors supply swag to the winner(s), and its actually some pretty cool stuff, such as a dual-core laptop to the winner, along with other various prizes for top placement.
Aside from the great conversations, presentations, and demos – i managed to learn a few things. Most notably were some emerging technologies. I met many talented developers from all facets of the web; php, ruby, zend, perl, python, dojo, microformats, flex, mobile, geo – you name it. Notice i didnt say .NET or JAVA? 70% of the devs sported MACs and I was anxious to see these tools/technologies in action and they were quick to offer some insight. Probably the most impressive to me was Ruby on Rails. For a quick tutorial showcasing the power and dynamic nature of ruby and why its playing such an active role in this arena check out: Creating a weblog in 15 minutes.
Special thanks to Frank, John Herren, Dave Nielsen, Kent Brewster, Chris Radcliff, Nate Ritter, Andrew Bidochko, Andreas Krohn and of course David Berlind. And without further ado, here’s todays [mashup] links of interest:
- Open Kapow
- RSS BUS
- Flickr Photos
In summary, I found mashup camp to be a great success. Having not attended others I had no basis for comparison, however the format was refreshing, ideas and conversation stimulating and overall I not only learned a few things, but equally important made some new friends. I, along with several others, built my first mashup there and will now begin my preperations go make a run at the 2008 mashup competition. hope to see you there!