Bar Camp was really cool

Given that we were “camping” in a corporate office, it was really more of a geek pajama party than a “camp” (though there WAS a tent). More coverage here and here gives a really good sense of what went down. Some cool things that I saw, in no particular order…

Pandora: An awesome (Laszlo-based) implementation of the old savage beast music recommender system. A GREAT way to find new music based on music you like, based on the “Musical DNA” (as analysed by 100s of musicians along a number of dimensions). You can make a music channel based on the music you know you like, and find new music that way! The technology is great (and has been for some time), it’s great to see that someone understands Recommender Systems work better in a Service context (like netflix) than in an ecommerce context (like Amazon).
Flock: A Web 2.0 layer on top of firefox that makes using, technorati, flickr, etc, etc, super-easy. I missed this demo, but boy were people fired up about it.
A REALLY cool app that modelled telephone activity as a non-interupting process (the computer calls both people when they signal that they are accepting calls, the interface looks like an email client). Sorry I didn’t get the name for this one.

Ross Mayfield
of SocialText demoed WikiWYG, a nice innovation in editing paradigm for WIKIs. More generally, he sold me on the idea that blogs and wikis will come into the enterprise “through the back door”, the way all useful technology (PCs, LANs, email, the web) has.
Generally, I think it’s pretty amazing how the internet has made it easy to organize this kind of thing. The collectivist spirit reminded me of my old hippy days a little bit, and I bet the old computer clubs in the 70s in Silicon Vally had a similar vibe.

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