Put a bunch of passionate geeks in a hotel meeting room and what do you get? An "unconference," of course! I headed over to MashupCamp at MIT in Cambridge, Mass., on Wednesday to see what the avant garde of the Web developer world is up to.
There were some interesting sessions discussing issues in commercializing mashups (see this CNET News.com report). But the Speed Geeking contest, where people have five minutes to demo their mashup applications, was the most entertaining.
First and second prize went to two music-related mashups: the Hype Machine and Tourfilter. The Hype Machine, done by Anthony Volodkin, tracks mentions of songs and artists in blogs and lets you listen to the song from its site. It also has links to Amazon.com and iTunes if you want to buy the music. Like Pandora, this looks like a fun site where you can discover music that other people are talking about.
Tourfilter, by Chris Marstall, allows you to search event listings by band and listen to music from that band. It also tracks mentions of bands in blogs. You can listen to music and then find out where an artist is playing. The mashup collects event listings from almost 25 places.
Other well-received mashups were GangstaMap, which creates a 3D Flash mashup of Yahoo Maps and Google Video, as well as Gigul8r, which lets helps bands promote gigs through Eventful. Here's a full list.
Applications that use geospatial information are really great mashups. But clearly, the mashup crowd is trying to get beyond cool mapping hacks and push the boundaries of what Web apps can do.