Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Do you camp? Then you must try BarCamp-ing

Usually camping conjures up images of tents, lilos, bush, fires, mosquitoes, knots, nature, badges, stars etc and for some of us this brings back warm and fuzzy memories. For others it is the very worst idea of a good time. Thankfully I am one of the former but recently I have worried about the social acceptability of wanting access to my precious devices, or not finding enough like minded people with whom I could argue about the world and solve its problems.

Thankfully, some smart cookies have come up with a concept that solves both my problems - the BarCamp. According to them, a BarCamp is an "ad-hoc gathering born from the desire for people to share and learn in an open environment. It is an intense event with discussions, demos, and interaction from participants." You should also be handy with a laptop and expect access to hotspots.

Participants (no voyeurs, you have to jump in) give a demo, a session, or help with one, or otherwise contribute in some way to support the event. All presentations are scheduled the day they happen. You must prepare in advance, but they say come early to register your slot on the wall. The people at the event will select the demos or presentations they want to see. Presenters are responsible for making sure that their notes/slides/audio/video are published on the web for the benefit of all. People are, and have held BarCamps all over the world, from BarCampTokyo , BarCampMexico, FutureCamp Seoul, PodCampWest San Francisco and many others.

I like this concept so much that I have to tell you that the first ever BarCampAustralia will be held from 3-4 March 2007. The event is in the early stages of planning, but it is decided that there will be at least four locations (check out BarCampAdelaide, BarCampMelbourne, BarCampSydney and BarCampCanberra) with the possibility of more (see BarCampPerth). Sponsors and venues are still being sought.

I might see you there.

1 comment:

Nick Goodwin said...

The latest from the BarCamp Canberra blog: "it is with heavy heart (but with a sigh of relief) that I announce the postponement of BarCampCanberra. With no confirmed venue (long story) we’ve decided to postpone until April - most likely the week after Easter (which will make it 14-15 April)"