Under the questionable rubric of "Web 2.0" (see my treatise on the uncomputer), there have been a lot of events that, if you ask me, run incredibly counter to this new culture of open API provision and mashup development. They involve technology executives talking to large audiences in a traditional, highly commercialized conference format and they don't involve the sort of quality face time between the people doing the real work; the ones who are already driving this wave of innovation -- the mashup artists and the API architects themselves. Sure, the content at these conferences (some of which are strangely invitation-only) is interesting.
But if you want to experience the real excitement that the uncomputer is bringing about, then we need a completely different event. One that not only includes the real innovators, artists, and architects, but one that ditches the talking-head format in favor of the much more productive and engaging unconference format. So, right now, I'm working on making that event a reality. For example, while many of you were Christmas shopping, I was busy domain shopping and I picked up the domain mashupcamp.com (it's not live yet, but I hope to turn the lights on soon).
My goal for Mashup Camp is to do the opposite of what all these other Web 2.0-esque conferences are doing. It won't be invitation only. The pilot event will be modest in size guaranteeing intimacy and low or perhaps even no cost to attend (perfect for some of the people doing the real innovation on a low budget). And, it will involve a mix of open networking time, leader-facilitated discussions that address some of the most important issues and concerns that the API providers and the mashup artists actually need to work out, and fun (for example, a hottest mashup contest with an even hotter prize).
If you develop mashups, have APIs that mashup developers should know about, or have an interest that's tangentially connected with the mashup culture and want to know more about Mashup Camp please contact me at email@example.com. Given its grassroots nature, I can also use some assistance in organizing Mashup Camp. Everything from site preparation (the first one will be in the Bay Area) to volunteers to lead the discussions. So, please don't hesitate to contact me for that too. Thanks and have great holiday. [Tagged @ Technorati as MashupCamp and Mashup Camp]