I went to the “London 2.0” event last night, which has been going for about a year. It started out as an event for Ruby on Rails developers, but when people using Ajax and other things started turning up the organisers (in the main, Sam Newman) held up their hands and changed the name of the event.
Essentially it is a free event for developers to get together and talk about some of these new-ish techniques. However, I think I rather startled some by being one of three other people who turned up who *weren’t* developers. In other words, there may be a change happening to the event where business people and the media start to hang out with developers. I hope so – it’s the kind of ‘less delineated’ culture we should foster.
At any rate, I ran across some interesting people and – potentially – some interesting ideas. There was a guy from Citysafe.org which is using Web 2.0-style techniques to develop a mapping system with lots of overlays to help emergency services. There was someone from Nature magazine which has created the Nature Network which uses social software for scientists. The noted blogger and ‘ideas man’ Tom Coates (lately of Yahoo!) also turned up.
Actual startups were think on the ground but one guy – Tony Yum (pictured) – mentioned he was working on a “location finding” idea which he had literally quit his day job as a web guy at Bloomberg for and wanted to pursue. I hope to get more on this later.
Overall the event was nice and simple and refreshingly technology oriented.