Saturday, February 25, 2006

Mighty Tots

There are 168 preschools within 5 miles of my house, at least according to Mighty Tots, a new web site launched by my friend (and Bee collaborator) Nick Chim. The site promises to become a valuable resource for parents of preschool aged children. The first feature, naturally enough, is a tool for finding preschools in your area. The hope is that directors of these preschools will fill out the information so that it can be a useful comparison tool. And that parents will write reviews... And what will the next resource for parents be? Stay tuned!

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Transparency in Engineering

It is an interesting experiment -- develop a new product in the full light of day. Well, we don't release every bug-strewn version of The Personal Bee out into the wild, but we have been pretty close to our goal of a 2-week release cycle. The details of our latest release are here on the Bee Blog. Mostly we are hammering out bugs but cool features are sneaking in. But I can't wait for us to get this current nuts and bolts phase over with and start moving forward with work on the user experience. That will be exciting!

Talking to Larry Lessig at Mashup Camp

originally uploaded by dsearls.
Mashup Camp was one of the best conferences I have ever attended. I wish I could go down again today, but we need to get a new release of the Bee out the door... In the meantime, it is fun to see all of the Flickr photos of the conference showing up -- here is one that Doc Searls took of me talking to Larry Lessig about the future of software copyrights...

Monday, February 20, 2006

Larry Lessig at Mashup Camp

A long time ago (and I'll go and dig up the blog post link later) I had an extended debate with Larry Lessig about software copyright. It was great to hear him speak today at Mashup Camp and to hear how his thinking has evolved. Or maybe I just misunderstood him... The core of the debate was about whether when someone asserts a copyright claim over software, whether there should be a published human readable form of that software provided to the marketplace. I pointed out that if software companies were compelled to do so, it would gut the value that copyright might offer in the first place.

Today, Lessig offered a similar point, but with the clarity that such human readable form could be provided in a "time-encrypted" format, such that it could only be readable at the point that the copyright had expired. Now that idea makes sense.

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"Type O" - Mashup

Doc Searls made the comment, I think on the fly, that we are all "type O" here at Mashup camp -- which is to say, the blood type that can mix with any other... I have to say I am positively impressed with the results so far. 300 smart people in a room will result in interesting conversations, productive relationship development, and (I bet) a whole bunch of cool new ideas unleashed on the rest of the world...

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Bee About Mashup Camp

I am using Personal Bee to track the blog posts coming out of Mashup Camp -- check it out here

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More on the idea of Mashup Camp

"You are in charge of deciding what happens here, which also means that you are responsible for what happens here." OK, sounds reasonable. Talking about why they are trying this format -- the organizers are trying to achieve the "coffee-break like feel" that sometimes is the most productive part of a conference, throughout the conference... I love experiments in conferences. I really do. Because as I have written before (say about the first BlogOn conference) the way most conferences operate is completely broken. It sort of makes me want to run a conference...

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Mashup Camp

So here I am at the Computer History Museum, early on Monday (Presiden't Day). While most of the Bay Area sleeps, 300 geeks have converged on the museum to compare notes, collaborate on projects, and show off --> Mashup Camp Website. We are told that this is an "unconference" but I think it might be more appropriate to call it the anarchy conference...

At best we might say that it is "self-organizing" which might work... In the great Heideggerian tradition (thesis, antithesis, synthesis) I think the style is more of a reaction to standard conference style. So maybe this is an anti-conference rather than an unconference... But this is another way to say that I think we are on our way to another kind of conference but that we aren't there yet.

Right now there are a line of "technology providers" introducing themselves... at 30 seconds each none of this information is going to stick. So I guess this part of the morning is to give us a chance to wake up... Next up we are supposed to propose conference sessions and build our own conference organically -- hey, I'm game... just skeptical ;-)

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