Widget DevCamp Wrapup

Quick highlights from Widget DevCamp DC this past weekend:

  • Zvi Band did a presentation on creating Facebook Applications. When he was finished with his presentation, he created a Facebook App from scratch in PHP and FBML! It gave me a few ideas that I probably won’t get around to doing for a few months.
  • We had a roundtable discussion on making money with widgets. Some people proposed including Google ads, but others mentioned that this strategy tends not to work so well for such a small content set. It seems that the most viable route for “business widgets” is to use them for brand reinforcement.
  • Alex Eagle demoed an application (based on Metro’s website) he wrote for Google’s Android project during DevCamp. While there aren’t any Andriod capable phones out yet, Google has the dev environment available with a phone emulator. There’s built in support for GPS, if you have a capable device. Looks very promising, but what will Apple’s iPhone kit offer? We shall see…

Overall, Widget DevCamp was much more relaxed and open ended than last summer’s BarCamp. We had a smaller crowd and more flexible schedule. I personally think we could have done the session planning on the same day: we did this during a Friday evening happy hour instead. The time constraints of doing everything on the same day keep things moving and prevent talks from dragging too long. However, I definitely enjoyed it and I’m looking forward to the next camp hitting DC: eDemocracyCamp.

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