Just yesterday, Facebook announced their second F8 conference, to occur July 23, 2008. This Developer-targeted event is said to possibly include some major announcements, including the new Profile redesign, more information about the fbOpen platform, and most significantly, possibly the launch of their E-Commerce platform. What hasn’t been announced or shared however is the odd timing of the event.
The event occurs right smack dab in the middle of O’Reilly’s Open Source Convention, scheduled to occur for about the past year now from July 21 through July 25. This conference is known as an essential “Mecca” for Open Source developers around the globe, and has presentations from such players as Google, MySQL, Sun, Meebo, and even SixApart. Everyone who is a developer (unless you solely develop for Microsoft) or Sysadmin will be at this conference.
As a developer, this is tough news to hear that Facebook will make me choose between OSCON and them. Frankly, I would by default choose OSCON if I were any smart developer, as I would get more. So why isn’t Facebook just joining OSCON and doing an “F8” track there? Do they really want to tick off Open Source developers? You better bet that OpenSocial will have a presence there. If Facebook really wanted to target the Open Source crowd, as they have “claimed” to do with their fbOpen Platform and a few other contributions back to the community, they would try to have a presence at this conference and not interrupt it as they are currently doing. I was actually going to go to OSCON to promote my FBML Essentials book to potential Facebook developers for O’Reilly. Now I’m forced with a decision. I’ve contacted Facebook with no response, and I’m getting a little frustrated as a Social Media developer. Which conference will you choose?