Hoo boy, four San Francisco conferences in one week! Starting with today's MashPit, this week is a con junkie's dream, as long as you have a guide to getting through.
MashPit III: Tuesday 10-5
Made by: "Pinko Marketing" evangelist Tara Hunt; designer Chris Messina; Technorati coder Tantek Celik
Gist: Coders make mashups of their favorite Internet tools
Attendance: About 22 people as of 11 AM, room for more
People to meet: Tantek Celik, Chief Technologist for blog-tracking startup Technorati and king of Microformats (meet him again at Supernova)
People to avoid: Kevin Burton, because he's not allowed to talk until he sells his startup.
Fringe benefit: Free Starbucks and pastries, unless you'd rather watch the live video feed.
Supernova 2006: Wednesday to Friday
Gist: Speakers like Craigslist founder Craig Newmark, Technorati founder Dave Sifry, and Yahoo Senior VP Usama Fayyad speak about the business of technology. But you're here for the networking.
Attendance: Several hundred geeks and wonks hailing from Wired Magazine, Microsoft, Plaxo, and other places you want to get hired
People to meet: Kyle Brinkman, co-founder of MySpace, to ask if he's grown up and joined Facebook yet
People to avoid: The Ponytail (and Jon Schwartz, the interim Sun CEO attached to it)
Fringe benefit: Have fun drawing six-degrees-of-Kevin-Bacon maps connecting all the panelists — "So he's from Technorati, and she's on Technorati's board, but she also used to work for Sun, where this other guy works after leaving Microsoft...and these two are totally sleeping together."
Bloggercon IV: Thursday night to Saturday evening
Gist: Bloggers like RSS innovator Dave Winer and Gnomedex conference founder Chris Pirillo discuss blogging, how to make money from it, and how to win elections with it — things that bloggers currently suck at
Attendance: Capped at 125, with a long waiting list
People to meet: MAKE Magazine blogger Phil Torrone, man of many tech toys (jammers! robots! LEDs!)
People to avoid: Winer — which might be hard, since it's his conference
Fringe benefit: Winer declared the whole conference "on the record." Exploit this every time you overhear a whisper.
BarCamp: Friday to Sunday
Gist: Much bigger, funner version of MashPit — one of many BarCamp coding and collaboration events held around the world. Hosted by Microsoft, who really wants to prove how indie they are
Attendance: Room for 250, with 204 signed up so far
People to meet: Techmeme founder Gabe Rivera, if only to ask whether he and roommate Michael Arrington really have a "Tech-cave" and "Tech-mobile" in the basement
People to avoid: Anyone with a podcast microphone
Fringe benefit: Brag about getting invited to O'Reilly Media's Foo Camp, so "I just thought I'd drop by to see the little people."