What I think often goes missing from the story is that the original BarCamp was planned, organized and executed by a small scrappy group of upstarts, only one of whom had previously been to FOO Camp (and who ended up being invited back last year anyway). It wasn’t anti-FOO, it was just different — with different goals and a different raison d’etre.
In fact, I’ve personally reached out to the O’Reilly folks on a number of occasions to try to coordinate our events better and to even ask for favors. On the whole, they’ve been as gracious as anyone with as much going on as they’ve got and personally see no reason to chide them for focusing on their own business interests.
There’s value to an invitation-only party, but it’s not the only sort of party we need. That’s why I’m so happy that the original FOO Camp spurred the invention of unbarred BAR camps that are structured like FOO but are open to anyone. There’s a place for both.
Those who appreciate and have a sense for this duality — of there being both privilege in being invited to anything exclusive and those who, at the same time, can question what they have to offer and why they made the cut — get why both FOO and Bar can and in fact, should, co-exist. At FOO Camp, someone else invites you and you wonder why; at BarCamp, you invite yourself and over the course of a weekend prove why you did.
What I think Tim is still missing out on, however, is that the Spirit of BarCamp is very at odds with the competitive angst and jealousy that spurs events like NoFoo (no offense
Robot Robert, but why define your event by what it’s not? i.e. BarCamp isn’t an “unconference” — it’s an “ad hoc gathering” as it says on our homepage). And, Tim, I’d humbly suggest that you consider your own advice:
Stop worrying about what Winer thinks.
The way I see it, a year out, FOO and Bar represent the very yin and yang balance of openness and proprietariness that the open source community and its offshoot industries have struggled with since their inception (which has also been well documented in Markoff’s Doormouse). While one does not need the other to exist, that they both exist, espouse different organizing and ownership models and appeal to different people on different merits is what’s important. This is the reality and benefit of creating non-zero-sum economy where network effects and community rule the day. It’s not one other other, it’s both for one another.