I’m just gonna come out at say it: MashupCamp took what was a great thing, co-opted it and sold it out. I know, I was there.
On news.com.com.com.com today, there’s a pretty silly puff piece about the camp, focusing mainly on David Berlind, one of the organizers (who happens to work for the same company as the publication who published the article).
The article talks about the unique nature of MashupCamp, how it was somewhat free-form, where the attendees created the experience as the event unfolded, rather than having it all planned up front. And the article makes it sound as if David Berlind invented the concepts.
Last August, me and some friends instigated an event called BarCamp, in which we took the same approach– no pre planning of discussions/panels/sessions and lose organization. But, we didn’t invent the concept, we borrowed it, without apology, from FooCamp, “Friends of O’Reilly” Camp, which was running at the same time (I’ll tell more of that story later.).
They had great idea, which was inspired, I’m sure, by Open/Free software communities. FooCamp’s great, we took their ideas, but we also did it in 6 days, for a couple thousand dollars!
Less than 10 people, six days, a few thousand dollars!
Let me repeat: few, fast, cheap!
Oh yeah, and about 300 people showed up.
Let me repeat, three-hundred.
The formula’s been repeated, too, with subsequent BarCamps in other locations - few, fast and cheap works.
So, then comes MashupCamp, which is planned in ‘a couple of months,’ has corporate sponsors but still asks attendees for donations, has a closed attendee list (not all of which actually show up) and it gets billed as ‘the new thing’. Please. This is ridiculous.
Update: I forgot, ‘MashupCamp’ has actually been trademarked, too. Lame. (thanks for the reminder Chris).
Update: Eugene Kim says it better than I can:
But what most people fail to get is that you can’t just steal the name and the format, slap together a Wiki, and expect to replicate the spirit of the original event, just as you can’t just slap an OpenSource license on a piece of software and expect the hacker community to shower you with love. You need to be authentic.