Foo Baa La La La

February 7, 2007

Kiwi Foo Camp

(a.k.a. Baa Camp, or as Wayne notes in the comments on this Flickr group photo, Man Camp)

I’m finally back in Wellington after spending a great weekend at the idyllic setting of Mahurangi College at Warkworth, north of Auckland.

I didn’t really know what to expect. And, as it turned out, I was right!

The attendees were a crazy mixture of famous bloggers, media personalities, a former Shortland St star/ turned rock star/ turned web entrepreneur, lots of open source people (actually, lots of open source geeks) + one brave Microsoftie, government ministers, designers, legends of Mozilla/Google, hardware, software and content people, journalists, not to mention a couple of shameless fashion victims.

The schedule was created on the fly on Friday night and was all over the spectrum, from serious discussion of the state of broadband in NZ (well covered by Russell), to body modification, wok-fi (proving the spirit of #8 fencing wire is alive and well!) and performance art. Some warewolf. Plus some exciting software demos (Xero and Firefox 3 + Gecko).

I especially enjoyed Tim’s session on raising cash and Justine’s session on faceted navigation (we already use this idea a bit on Trade Me, specifically within Property, but I hadn’t come across this name for it before).

I get the feeling that it would have been a lot of fun even without the sessions. The place was just so full of interesting people. Everywhere you turned there was an interesting conversation just waiting to be started. I even found myself getting a bit angry at myself towards the end when I realised that there were going to be lots of attendees left over that I didn’t get a chance to talk to.

I got totally hooked by a Wii. Those who know me will tell you I’m the last person to get excited by games, so cheers to Glen from NetRatings for bringing that along … I might have to get me one of those!

And, I wasn’t the only one mesmerised by the growl of Rod’s Maserati.

Nat (or, more kindly, Nat) opened the conference by suggesting that we each try to put in more than we take out. I got the impression most people did. I hope I at least did enough to be invited back next year.

Extra: there is (an apparently controversial) Wikipedia entry here.