Sometimes reading blogs makes you feel like you are in high school. People sometimes chase popularity and wear their immaturity on their sleeve in ways you haven't seen since you were struggling with puberty. One such example is the hubbub around the MashupCamp vs. BarCamp started by Ryan King in his post MashupCamp jumped the shark. Basically some folks who got upset because they weren't invited to Tim O'Reilly's FooCamp came up with a knockoff conference called BarCamp then got upset when another conference called MashupCamp started getting press for the knocking off the same concept. Amazed? I can barely believe it either.

Although the debate [if one can call it that] has been pretty pointless, I did find one quote from Ryan King that I thought was worth highlighting. In his post Live by the Snark, die by the Snark Ryan writes

Wait, no it’s not just me.

David Berlind busted his ass to put together something not vendor-controlled that unavoidably involved vendors because vendor APIs were what was being mashed up.

I see no reason why vendors have to be involved because their services are being mash-up’ed. Aren’t the people writing the mash-ups actually more important here?

The above argument seems weird to me. If I was attending a conference about building Java applications, I'd expect to see Java vendors like Sun and IBM there. If I was attending a conference on building Windows applications, I'd want to see Microsoft developers there. So, if there is a conference about building applications based on data and services from various service providers, why is wouldn't you expect to see the data/service providers at this conference? I think sometimes people take the big companies are bad meme to ridiculous extremes. This is one of those examples.

Personally, I think one of the problems with the discussions around Mashups I've seen at conferences and in blogs is the lack of high level discussion between providers of services/data and developers who use these APIs and data. This is one of the things I miss from when I worked on XML APIs for the .NET Framework. Back then it was clear what developers were interested in our APIs and what they wanted us to do next. The uncertainties were around prioritizing various developer requests and when we could deliver solutions to their problems. On the other hand, now that I've been in discussions around various aspects of the Windows Live platform I've found it hard to figure out who our customers were and what APIs they'd like us to provide. What we need is more dialog between developers building mashups and vendors that provide APIs & data not an us vs. them mentality that builds unnecessary animosity. 


Monday, March 6, 2006 4:29:23 AM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)
Ah, but it's more than popularity. It's VC deals, and investment funds, and buy-outs, and all that flows from "connections". People say "High School" because that's where the competition for social status starts in earnest. This is the version with money in it :-(.
Monday, March 6, 2006 6:00:28 AM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)
To add perspective, how many webloggers will be attending any form of conference this year? How many can afford to? So much greed and pettiness.

This is about money, but it's always about money now. It's enough to make you want to quit.

Monday, March 6, 2006 3:42:01 PM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)
They just want to use you. Pull the plug or define the conditions sooner rather than later.
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