Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Mashup Camp: Another Successful User-Generated Conference

Mashup Camp was a total success and a lot of fun.  It was great example of a user-generated conference —  they really held true to the camp/unconference format.  This despite having 300+ people and what appeared to be a healthy amount of cash and in-kind sponsorships.  Congratulations to David, Doug, , Kaliya, Mary, Doc, and their team.

Building on many sources of inspiration, this camp’s success was based on how they found a way to give just about every attendee a chance to share.  The format alternated between all-hands-on-deck sessions, which gave 30 seconds of mic time in front of the entire audience, and appropriate time and space to gather and dig deeper.  For example:
  • API providers/enablers announced their wares, and could then grab a table and put up a sign for followups. 
  • Folks interested in leading a session on their pet topic were given the mic, and then given a free slot on the schedule. (They had a lot of rooms!) 
  • Mashup devs pimped their mashup to the entire audience, and were then given a table and ample speed-geeking time for demos.  The speed-geeking (think speed-dating for demos) ensured folks saw lots of demos in a short period. 
This was just the right amount of *camp style bottom-up vs.organizing structure IMHO.

I attended great sessions on business models, rapid app dev of mashups, and mashing wikis among others.

But the real action was the speed geeking.  I saw 15 mashup demos and each one impressed me in a different way. 

  Danny Markham mashed up EVDB to show you where your favorite bands are playing.

  The Mozes crew let you control a Flickr slideshow by sending tags via your cell phone.

  Anurag Nigam of Partysynch.  Organize parties with your mobile phone.

  David Quiec of Rrovedel.icio.us for locations/maps.

  David Schorr of weatherbonk and skibonk.  Microclimates and maps  (a favorite).

  Stewart Nickolas of QEDWiki.  IBM’s version of a JotSpot Wiki (very nice).

  Robert Metcalf with FlySpy. Buy airline tickets by finding your spot on the price curve.

  Daniel and Taylor McKnight Podbop.org.  Music and events and mp3’s (contenst winners!)

  John Herren of Tagcloud.com and Mastrbeta.com.  Get tag clouds and get notified of secret betas.

  Chris Radcliff of EVDB.  There ware a bunch of EVDB-powered mashups.

  Chao Lam of ClipClip.  del.icio.us for copy/pasted web page clippings.

  Adam Trachtenberg with DudeWheresMyCar.  Fun eBay/maps mashup.

  Brad Hintze of Bungee Labs. Mashing up Salesforce.com, MS Exchange, maps, and a bunch of others.

  Adrian Holovaty showing Chicagocrime.org. Crime + maps mashup.  (My favorite – check it!).

  Brian Richer with RunningAHEAD.com. Mashup your exercise or health training program.

And to think I missed 12 others.  There were a lot of mashups on display, and I was struck by their overall quality. 

From the poll I took, the majority of these were started as hobby sites or to scratch an itch, and have evolved to become either resume sites or sites w/enough traffic that they’re looking to mine some ca$h.

One mashup I demo’d around a bit was a JotSpot Tracker / Upcoming.org / Last.fm mashup that alerts you to touring bands you’re listening to.  It’s is a Tim and Abe production and is very cool, but we weren’t quite ready to show it widely yet.

There’s already a signup page for the next mashup camp, details TBA.  Attend if you can!

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