Saturday, November 22, 2008

MashupCamp: DAY TWO

The second day of MashupCamp picked up where the previous day left off. Dave brought everyone up-to-date with the plans for the day and then the general assembly morphed into the first panel discussion: “Making the Case for Mashups in Business.”

Discussion panels are new to the MashupCamp agenda and are a welcome addition. They balance the “un-conference” nature of the program and provide a good transition between the various parts.

John Musser of Programmable Web, author and technologist Dan Woods, and security guru Hart Rossman brought their considerable experience together for the mashups in business discussion.

Following the always informative sometimes intense conversation, the conference moved into the un-conference portion of the agenda: scheduling for the unscheduled discussions. A huge grid was placed on the wall of the auditorium with meeting rooms listed across the top and time slots down the side. Anyone that wanted to could suggest a discussion topic, announce it, write it out landscape-style on a piece of paper, and tape it to an available slot.

The un-conference concept is dynamically generated crowd-conferencing where every individual voice has the opportunity to be heard. And if you find yourself sitting in a discussion that fails to hold your interest, you are encouraged to vote with your two feet – right out the door and into another, hopefully more engaging, conversation.

The session I hosted was entitled “Designing for DataPortability.” As you may know, I sit on the board of the International DataPortability organization. I was fortunate that three other members of the twelve person world-wide board also joined me, including the chairwoman of the organization.

There are lots of great things happening in the world of data portability and in particular with the DataPortability organization. The conversation was brisk, intense, and spanned many aspects of the current and envisioned state of data portability.

Following five hours of un-conference discussions, Dave held a wrap up followed by a mandatory meeting for “Best Mashup” competitors. The latter prepared the contestants for the day to follow where they and their creations would be the stars of the show, and one would be crowned king (or queen).

The second day of the conference officially ended around 6pm, however many eager (and harried) contest entrants were huddled in corners, strewn around the various tables of the main hall, or hunkered down in the conference-provided “hacker’s den.” This went on for some time into the evening as they all endeavored to create the next great award-winning mashup for fame, glory, bragging rights -- and cool prizes!

[This is the second party of a three part article]

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