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 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
  • ???
  • Profit!

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.

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4 thoughts on “BarCamp

  1. 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.

    Isn’t this the same as Web 1.0? In a world where technology business models seem to come in exactly two flavours (give it away for nothing to everybody, or hype it until BigCo buy it from you for megabucks), isn’t this always going to be the case?

    I really don’t like the way Web 2.0 is progressing. It isn’t adding anything of value to me to the world. I dislike the thought that in four or five years’ time the free software community will have managed to pick up just enough bits from the next burst bubble to get VCs to open their wallets to the Web 3.0 people.

    – Chris

  2. Sorry for going off topic, but you might be happy to hear that Microsoft is doing the same thing that you are doing when it comes to disabling SSL-2 (see link). You might want to put a link on the Wiki.

  3. Damnit. I live in Amsterdam, hadn’t checked the blogs for a couple of days, and only knew of Axel and Ben doing a presentation during EuroOSCON. Going there was too expensive for my liking (after open source and open formats, couldn’t we have open conferences too?), and O’Reilly apparently didn’t react on my study associations questions whether we could come as a group on a reduced entrance fee. Either way, I felt I had little incentive to go (stand outside, and then what, ask for autographs?), and stayed home. Now I missed it – bah! :-(

    Anyhow, after all that whining (my apologies), good to hear you had a great time :-). Come visit Amsterdam again soon ;-).

  4. very cool to meet you gerv and i want more flickr hacks!
    and yes there’s a large contingent people of Web 2.0 people who don’t know about open source (we do since we work with Drupal)