Techies converge to talk mashups

Around 300 people are expected for MashupCamp, the first gathering of developers and API providers to talk about mashups.

Hundreds of technologists, reporters and investors are expected Monday morning in Mountain View, Calif., for MashupCamp, the first conference devoted to discussions about the custom programs that come from merging multiple application program interfaces.

In the wake of last year's launch of and the slew of applications like --a blending of the mapping service and Craigslist housing listings--that quickly followed, many people have been focusing on mashups.

Now that interest will coalesce as about 300 people arrive at Mountain View's for two days of meetings, panel discussions and hard-core networking among those who seek to develop mashups and those providing the APIs behind them.

Among the companies that are supporting --a nonprofit event in which anyone who signed up had the opportunity to organize a talk--are Google, Yahoo, Microsoft, Sun Microsystems, Adobe Systems, and

MashupCamp co-organizer David Berlind is executive editor of business technology for, which is owned by CNET parent company CNET Networks.

In any case, the idea behind the event is that as an increasing number of companies make their APIs publicly available, more and more developers will come along to create mashups. Those in attendance--and dozens more who were unable to sign up in time to get in--will have the unique chance to network among each other and hopefully, Berlind said, figure out the next stage of the mashup ecosystem.

It's important to have an event like MashupCamp "because all the other events so far under the rubric of Web 2.0 have been executive-level events," Berlind said. "But we've never really before had an event where the actual developers of the mashups get together with the API architects to talk through what's going on."

At the end of the event, attendees will vote for the best mashup. The winner will receive a Sun Niagra server.

And while those in attendance will surely be working on creating all kinds of free and publicly available mashups, Berlind said the companies and developers alike will also be thinking beyond shareware, software that can be tried without cost.

"The real elephant in the room is what's the business model," he said.

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