BarCampBlock gets me thinking 2007/08/19
BarCampBlock was yesterday in Palo Alto and was awesomely nerdy and I actually learned a lot. I'll spare the play by play of a strange day and night and keep it geeky here.
Mike and I participated in a discussion of our responsibilities with user data led by Leah Culver. We centered on what was public and what was private and this led into a lengthy and educational digression into the legal issues surrounding user data. My conclusion: when I start a company, I will without a doubt break more than few laws.
Next stop for Mike and I was a talk on grid computing, data grids and Hadoop. This was admittedly way over my head. The approaches and software we talked about are probably the future as we generate more data and process it in ever more complex ways. I noticed that grid software, like enterprise web apps before, is starting out in Java. Since I hate Java, I think I'm going to wait for Powerset to get Ruby up to speed.
And the rest of the day had a very OpenID theme. First some SixApart guys, including former SixApart dude and LiveJournal creator Brad Fitzpatrick talked about their plans for abstracting the friending action common to way too many new websites to a lower, more automated level. This will do two cool things: first it will prevent repetitive friending all over the web and second it will create a more complete "social graph." But most importantly, I can be just a bit lazier next time I dream up a vaguely socially-networked web app.
This segued nicely into a talk about oauth and standardizing authentication for open web APIs. Flickr's API is pretty cool but would be even cooler with some friends. Lowering barriers to launching a good API is key.