One month later, I wanted to share some observations about microformatsDevCamp and my thoughts about why it was so successful.
Clearly, it all begins and ends with the people who participate: we were thrilled to have several dozen developers and designers drop in over two days. Over thirty folks went further and donated at the door, but more importantly, everyone contributed their time and enthusiasm.
Applying the lessons of prior devCamps, the group proposed dozens of ideas and came together around 7 projects. Many of them ended up sharing their results as open-source on github; others created bespoke sites and yet other conversations impacted projects folks were already working on.
In an increasingly online world, I think the primary lesson of this devCamp was Robert Cailliau‘s classic quote, “there is no such thing as a virtual beer.” It’s refreshing to see that putting this many bright and opinionated folks in one place, at one time, actually results in concrete progress. I’d like to think at least a little of the credit is due to the minimalist philosophy of the microformats.org movement…
Probably the only serious glitch was softwear-related; our initial rush t-shirt order didn’t turn out as we expected, so we’re spending a bit more to order new, higher-quality shirts. In the interests of transparency, we will be posting the full, final details online once those are printed and mailed out.
Of course, an event of this magnitude requires more than just a volunteer labor of love: it takes real resources too. Huge thanks to our sponsors!
The venue, hosted by Automattic, proved first-rate, with wonderful spaces for separate teams to collaborate, along with an awesome bar and views of the San Francisco Bay.
“Spinn3r is a web service for indexing the blogosphere. We provide raw access to every blog post being published – in real time – so you can focus on building your application, mashup, or search engine.”
“CommerceNet is an entrepreneurial research institute that invests in exceptional people with bold ideas.”
“Oomph: A Microformats Toolkit is for web developers, designers and users, making it easier to create, consume, and style Microformats.”
“mBLAST spiders data daily to power search, product directories, publisher sites, buyer’s guides, and other mashups.”
Individual donors also pitched in personally, such as Carla Borsoi, Vice President, Research & Analytics at Ask.com; and Steve Ganz, Principal Web Developer at LinkedIn.com. Thanks also to Cindy Li for the wonderful microformatsDevCamp logo and buttons, and to Object Adjective for microformats stickers.