Foo Camp

Foo Camp was a gathering of about 200 computer and Internet thinkers and inventors who were invited by publisher O'Reilly and Associates to spend a week-end brainstorming, collaborating, and otherwise advancing progress in information technology.

Foo Camp was a gathering of about 200 computer and Internet thinkers and inventors who were invited by publisher O'Reilly and Associates to spend a week-end brainstorming, collaborating, and otherwise advancing progress in information technology. The invitational brainstorming session was held in October 2003 in Sebastapol, California in the hills north of San Francisco. Among those who attended were Tim Bray, a co-inventor of XML, and David Sifry, founder of Technorati, a search engine for blogs.

Some of the ideas said to have been presented or worked on at the 2003 Foo Camp included:

  • A new approach for stopping spam
  • A new way to organize newsfeeds
  • A program that helps you search through your e-mail archives
  • A product, BitTorrent, that can serve large files simultaneously to a large number of users

Like other such synergy-raising meetings, those who attended seem to expect the benefits to accrue gradually and somewhat mysteriously.

The name of the gathering was a play on foo, a metasyntactic variable sometimes used by computer programmers. It could also be seen to stand for "Friends of O'Reilly."

This was first published in September 2005

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