So much cool stuff happened at BarCamp that it’s hard to know where to start.
The first thing I noticed is that there’s an emerging “Web 2.0” geek community which only has limited overlap with the free software hacking community. They all have Flickr accounts, think del.icio.us is the best thing since sliced bread, and use the word “mash-up” several times a day. And Flock, which released their first public test version during BarCamp, is designed with exactly them in mind.
Also present were a big contingent from the Drupal CMS project, because BarCamp followed on from their DrupalCon; people from Mediamatic, the conference hosts who kindly let us crash in their workspace and cook in their kitchen; and a load of local Dutch hackers from various projects like Jabber.
One camper whose name I don’t know works for a Venture Capital firm, and did a session on how to turn an idea into a successful company. Maybe I missed something, but it seemed very much to me that his VC-recommended business plan for new startups was:
- Build a passionate community around social software
Hey, if it’s VC-recommended, Flock should be fine… [Chris Messina has a t-shirt design which says “Don’t ask me about my business model”, so I’m currently assuming it’s the one above. Of course, I could be wrong.]
Roland ran a “Fabulous Flickr Fun” session, where people were supposed to say the coolest thing about Flickr and a feature they’d like to see. Off the top of my head, I came up with AutoMashups, which would choose two CC-licensed photos at random which had either the left or the right side predominantly one colour (i.e. boring) and fade them into each other to get weird juxtapositions. While he was talking, I tried to do this manually, and found that there are far fewer half-boring photos on Flickr than you might imagine. I finally found two and mashed them up into something really cool, but then realised that they are both All Rights Reserved, so I can’t share the result with you! Constrained culture sucks. Note to Flickr: improve your CC-licensed-photos browsing interface. Currently, you can only see 100 in each CC category.
And that’s just a start; as my brain unwinds, there may well be more.