Blog Post


Tim O’Reilly has built a publishing empire based on geek love. Now its time for him to face the ire of the very same geeks, who are now organizing a rival camp to Tim’s Foo Camp. “I really love the people who COME to O’Reilly events – but have you ever seen Rael or Tim at anyone else’s conference?,” asks Marc Canter, the Silicon Valley raconteur and a digital provocateur. Good point, Marc.

Russell Beattie, one of the kindest souls (when not ranting against stupidity) is more explicit when he says, “Unlike Jason, however, I’m quite upset about it. But I’m also a bit annoyed because I spent quite a bit of time and effort this past year *being* a Friend Of O’Reilly.” Jason Shellen, incidentally is the Jason mentioned in that comment.

Hey maybe its time for some geek solidarity – those who think of Marc, Dave Winer, Scoble, and Russell as friends, maybe it is time for them to step-up and decline their FooCamp invites. Say what Jeremy? Time to show, Tim, that geek giveth, and geek taketh!

Dave Winer has his say. Robert Scoble is being polite. Chris Messina thinks I am posing as media, I am spinning it. I don’t know – this is my opinion, based on what others wrote. No posing dude… you are off the mark here. :-) Everybody says there is no fight. Fine by me! I have heard different opinions – in private of course. Most are sanguine about the whole thing. I, personally, don’t care either way – I hope everyone goes “CAMP”ing and has fun. Tim explains what and how of Foo Camp selection process. Makes sense… it’s business after all.

60 Responses to “Foo(camp)Fighting”

  1. I am getting quite a kick reading this whole meme. It seems to me that many are a little too touchy about the whole subject. The underlying assumptions do make a lot of sense. There is more than enough place in the world for FOO and Barcamp and anything else. But if it becomes a game of one upmanship, that sort of defeats the whole purpose of the exercise.

  2. btw — the *original* definition of “bozo filter” goes back many many years and refers to the *delicate* process of handling outright schizophrenics and psychotics when in a position of leadership. The diff between that and Tim’s definition is telling.

  3. The bozo filter is idiotic. It is *impossible*, thanks to the classist attitudes of Tim and his social network, to pass that filter while doing genuinely good work. It’s thanks to Tim and his ilk that there is such a high degree of class “warfare”.

  4. Glenn Mandelkern

    This difference happens in the music scene too.

    Some headliners at musical shows feature a special guest, by invite only (Foo Camp.) It can be difficult from all the musicians that performer knows which to include. Professionals who wanted to be part of it yet weren’t invited may wish those who were well, and indicate willingness to help out in the future. Rejection is inevitable in any business, and how one handles it can speak volumes.

    Then sometimes, that very headliner features a jam night. Anybody can sign in on the guest list with their instrument and play 1 or 2 tunes with the “star.” While there is always the possibility that some players will be lousy, the real reason people go is to see new talent in the making. Some people have been discovered this way. Some people who also want to switch lines of music or are out looking for work also go to jam nights.

    Incidentally, maturity (or lack thereof) can be found at both formal gigs and jam sessions too. Some people take their jams very seriously regardless of their age or time in the music world. Maybe that can be transposed to the technology world too.

  5. Wanderer

    > Or should say, attempted to leave those comments, but
    > the O’Reilly system excluded them. How fitting.

    You not only left them, you left them twice. Nice move.

  6. Please don’t stop. This is great entertainment. Free reality-TV online: a mashup of “Geek Survivor” and “The Apprentice.” Does Tim O’Reilly have great pectorals or bad hair?

  7. Every social group has its backchannels, and they’re often semi-private. Presentation aside, it’s just a chance for a bunch of people to hang out with each other and talk – and, I suspect, for Tim to experiment with social environments. Both public and private events are found in human social interaction.

    I think it’s a brilliant idea to respond to Foo with Bar – but it need not be powered by fighting. We’re all on the same side here, right?