Last night was the 26th DemoCamp in Toronto, and the 3rd held at Ryerson University’s Ted Rogers School of Management with a crowd of ~300 or so. We are now in our 5th year (Five!!) of DemoCamps and this one felt like it retained some of the spirit of the older days.
The pre Demo activity was food catered by Liberty Noodle which was some good beef/chicken/veg with noddles/rice and it a cost effective way to grab some grub before the main event (not always the easiest thing after a busy day) – plus per-event gossiping.
The main event was a keynote and 5 quick demo’s (the current DemoCamp format):
The Keynote was a interesting and informative talk by April Dunford who related her experiences marketing with startups, and talked about customer development and product fit as it related to the Lean Startup. (Call it Lean Marketing?) April has a summary of it up on her site at Startup Marketing 101 with links to the slides, but the really good parts were in the talk!
Then after a short break there where the demos :
- First up was OpenApps, as demo’d by Kristan “Krispy” Uccello, which would allow you, as a web site owner, to add new functionality or content to your site with the same look and feel. It currently (march 2010 ) has a few (free) search shopping and shopping applications, it also allows developers to build new many new applications and sell them on a marketplace, so there should be many more “Apps” in the near future. OpenAPps has done a amazing job of building a framework, which is as eay to use as it is powerful,and the beginnings of a marketplace for website plugins and/or micro applications. Krispy is a
cerealserial presenter at DemoCamp and it’s always great to see him pull the whiz bang out of the hat!!
- Next up were Chris Nguyen and Lee Liu who are also veterans of DemoCamp 8 being 2 of 5 young founders (at the time Ryerson students, now alumni) having shown their JobLoft site for the service industry, before going on to CBC Dragons Den TV show, and then acquired by onTargetjobs.
Having learned a lot from their previous experiance, we where presented with a early look at the soon to launch (10 days?) TeamSave a group buy – or Social Buying – web site. I’m looking forward to seeing this launched as it looked good and it sounds like they understand the infrastructure issues, plus who doesn’t like saving money!! I think they have another hit on their hands, this time in the direct Marketing space.
TeamSave is Launched! BlogTo has a writeup Collective buying sites battle for the attention and wallets of Torontonians.
- Kobo Books is a e books platform (iPhone, Blackberry, Palm Prē and Android, Desktop), as well a having their own slick eReader (regretting I did not try to play with it) and they showed off their upcoming iPad application. The eReader looks very nice with a good balance of features (like usb syc and sd card for data and eInk for the display) at a decent price (I’m hearing ~CND$ 149). If it was < $99 dollar I would so jump on it, but even at that price it's tempting
- SWIX is a analytics for social media tool (currently in beta but soon to be launched) will give you metrics on a bunch of Social Media web sites. They have made it very easy to gather all this data in one place – none trivial – in a way that very easy to use. Try it! Now!
- Last for the night was James Walker, another
cerealserial presenter at DemoCamp, from Status.net. Status.net is the wordpress of Microbloging/Twitter/FriendFeed which might be better know for it’s Identica web site, a twitter micro-blogging like site/service powered StatusNet open source software. Status.net with let you run or own Twitter service either open or closed, within your firewall or outside, and let you run it in a federated or distributed manner, as opposed to Twitter centralized model (hence the Twitter fail whale issue).
After answering the what is Status.net question, James went on to talk about some of the underlining and emerging protocols used by Status.net and other services, covered by the wrapper protocol for Open Micro Blogging called OStatus which uses existing protocols like:
- Activity Streams encode social events in standard Atom or RSS feeds.
- PubSubHubbub pushes those feeds in realtime to subscribers across the Web.
- Salmon notifies people of responses to their status updates.
- Webfinger makes it easy to find people across social sites.
Really cool and interesting stuff which will have a big impact in the next couple of years. Now big? Well early in that day a post come up on Read Write Web titled Cracking Facebook’s Dominance: New Cross-Network Commenting Protocol Could Be a Game Changer all about Salmon and Status.net.
(and that was before beers and Ben’s “the Hand in the Gum” incident).
2 additional writeups to point to :
Sandy Kemsley wrote an in-depth look at OpenApps at DemoCamp 26: Easy Functional Extensions of Your Website and Ian Chan reviewed all the Demos in DemoCamp26 : What You Missed