EricSkiff.com Open Source Everything

21Apr/061

What is Barcamp

BarcampBoston is coming up, and one of the members of an email group I'm on wasn't quite sure what to make of it. The following was my response. I think it sums up barcamp fairly well from a personal perspective, so I'm reposting it here.


Barcamp is, simply put, an
unconference. No vendors, no high level keynote speakers, no preset
agenda.

People get together in a space (which is often loaned by a local
business) and talk about things they want to talk about. You're very
much encouraged to present if you go. Attendees are also enlisted to
run all the tech, bring wifi nodes and projectors, and do just about
everything (including developing the presentation tracks) themselves.
It ends up working surprisingly well.

Oh yeah, and it's free.

At BarcampNYC, I heard presentations from people who were actually
excited about what they were doing. I chatted with Andrew Baron of
Rocketboom and got inspired. I gave
a well-attended talk with John Resig on "gaming social networks" and using myspace for
promotions. I met and began working relationships and friendships with  Amit Gupta, Chris Messina, and Tara Hunt. I connected with
bloggers, podcasters, coders, and "web 2.0" business people.

At BarcampAustin, I chatted with Matt
Mullenweg
from wordpress and sat next to Doc Searls for hours as we attended
the same talks. I heard about the municipal wifi network Austin is
building and the business and technological opportunities there. I talked endlessly with
folks about the potential of IPTV and why 100mbps to the home might not
be enough. I heard the beginnings of Tara's Pinko Marketing and how
she's using and building upon the cluetrain to promote Riya. I learned more and interacted more in
the 1 day at BarcampAustin than I did at the whole of the much bigger
and more expensive SXSW.

People don't just present, chat, and connect at barcamp. Sometimes they
just sit right down and code. Mashups and new projects have resulted.
It's an incredible event that's spreading across the globe like
wildfire. You don't need a massive convention to convey and consume
good ideas... We don't need a "convention industry." We don't need to
fly all over creation to meet the movers and shakers - we've got plenty
in our own backyards. We just need to start getting together.

That's what barcamp is about.

Comments (1) Trackbacks (2)
  1. Wow – I have my own category now!

    Are you coming to BarCamp Boston? I’m definitely going to be there, since I’m moving to Cambridge come June 1st. Let me know and maybe we can hook up for another presentation.


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