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October 28, 2008

Camp For Mashups - Not Talking About Potatoes

The first time I heard about the word "mashup" other then telling my son how to make his own mashed potatoes was when my husband (Neil Blecherman) said he was going to Mashup Camp last year. Being a social media obsessed ex-programming geek, I had to say "What is a mashup"?

He sat down to explain to his ever-so geeky wife the techie details of what mashups are. Little did I know that I already had used mashups. Mashups are web application hybrids that bring multiple functionality together.  Some examples of mashups are Google Maps, Flickrvision and youMashTube.  Even better, is the explanation at the Mashup Camp Silicon Valley site:


Ask 10 self-proclaimed mashup developers what a mashup is and you might get 10 different answers. That said, most mashups (be they software or content-oriented) draw upon functionality and/or content from two or more sources, at least one of which is third-party to the developer, to produce a new creative work. For example, if a birdwatcher "mashed up" her own database of bird sightings by GPS coordinates with the functionality and content of Google Maps, the resulting visual presentation where the locations of bird sightings are interactively overlaid on top of a map within the context of a Web browser could be considered a mashup."

A website called "Programmable Web" has a dashboard with a listing of mashups. The most exciting thing about mashups is that they can be created by anyone - and your imagination is the limit. In Silicon Valley, if you like to create or learn about Mashups the place to be is at Mashup Camp. Here are the details about the Mashup Camp Silicon Valley (held at the Computer History Museum in Mountain View on November 17-19). The schedule looked very interesting. I enjoy going to these type of collaborative "un"conferences to share ideas:


Mashup Camp is a collaborative unconference and multi-track Best Mashup Contest for mashup developers, API and technology providers, and VCs looking to develop and/or discover the next big thing. Mashup Camp revolves around a multi-track Best Mashup Contest which offers the opportunity to win on several levels – for both attendees and sponsors alike! The format of Mashup Camp follows a Learn - Hack - Compete progression over a 3-day time period."

I decided to register this year. I proposed a discussion item about which mashups can be used for bloggers. For example, one mashup that I would like to see is something that can search my blog email account for PR and companies wanting to do business with me and load to some sort of CRM system. Many bloggers I know use their blogs to represent their business or online image, so organizing the blog emails would be a great tool  Let's see if that gets added to the list, of if that type of mashup is already developed somewhere!

Checking the list of "who's coming" I saw my husband had already registered. Great to know that parents can also go to camp!


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In a few years this could be our new alternative to Catalina Family Camp.

Seriously, I'm so jealous, promise to tell all when you get home?

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