Let’s have more OPEN conferences – a LOT more.


I've been to all or portions of about 7 internet conferences in the past year, and without a doubt Mashup Camp was my favorite in terms of the quality of the information and the way it was delivered.

Unlike the highly structured MIX06, WebmasterWorld, AD TECH, and Search Engine Strategies, MashupCamp lets attendees decide the topics, interact via wiki and other features, and in my favorite session had developers present their stuff to small roving groups in 5 minute "speed geeking" sessions.

Rather than take a nap because the topics were rehashes of what I knew, I had to take a walk outside to cool my brain from the firehose of Web 2.0 information overloading me in Mountain View during the 2 day conference.

I think and hope that events like Foo Camp, Bar Camps, and Mashup Camps are the future of power networking, because this type of conference builds a much stronger type of relationship between attendees and powers more effective idea building than the traditional "lecture/session/track" model. It's a wild west out there and the conferences should reflect that.
Conspicuous is the fact that this conference charged nothing to attend, cleverly getting corporates to sponsor the meals and other needed items. I did chip in a few hundred because that was helpful but I don't think it'll be needed at the upcoming conferences, which now have even more active support of Yahoo, Google, MSN, ASK, and many more key industry players.

Huge KUDOS to David Berlind, Doug Gold, Mary Hodder and Doc Searles who not only put on a great event but are doing it again in July and expaning the camp to include "Mashup University".