I attended BarCampBlock this weekend. I only attended on Saturday, and for what I attended, it was amazing.
For those of you who are lost on what BarCampBlock is, I'll give you a quick once over. BCB is a BarCamp, which came in response to FooCamp, an invite only event held at O'Reilly's Sebastopol offices. The concept of both conferences is basically take a normal conference and cover it in web2.0 and chaos. The web2.0 because the attendees are the ones giving speeches. Everyone is expected to give some sort of talk, or at least contribute to the discussions. The chaos comes from the fact that the schedule is as the attendees make it. You show up, put your topic in a time period and go. But somehow it all works out, and everyone learns a lot. As Tara Hunt said at the opening of BarCampBlock, BarCamps are what you make them.
So, what did I do at this little shindig with over 900 people in a little corner of Palo Alto? Well I showed up around nine am on Saturday with Andrew Yates, originally planning on helping out at the front desk. The help didn't seem to be needed, so we grabbed a cup of coffee and then helped put the infamous grid together.
Then there was a little opening ceremony and the gates were figuratively opened and the grid was bum rushed as people went to get their topics up on the gird. Mass chaos ensued. It was awesome. :)
Due to the fact that I really just want to get this article out, I think I'll just give you a list of cool things from this event.
- Met Ethan of opensermo.com. Interesting college student out of UofFlorida who runs an interesting news videopodcast on his site.
- Met Nathan Schmidt, the CTO of PBwiki. Nathan was a lot of fun to talk to and kept me rather entertained during Ross's Wikiality session.
- Went to a very interesting session on "Craft 2.0." This was actually my favorite session, mainly due to the variety of topics we covered including the shift away from geographical based styles to preference based styles, and the mashup culture.
- Ate pizza.
- Went to a session with a much different topic than I had originally thought it would contain, but it was awesome none the less. This session was on BarCamp Sponsorship, and instead of speaking on how to get sponsors for BarCamp, the session was a discussion between two evangelists for Microsoft(Update: Anand Ayer and Jas Sandhu were their names) and four of the BarCampBlock organizers (Chris Messina, Tara Hunt, Ross Mayfield, Tantek Çelik).
- Attended an amazing session on exactly what is needed in web2.0, an app that actively tells you what other networks your friends are on. (this is a great review of the session)
- Also attended what ended up being a Q and A about OAuth.
- My photos of all of the nerd conferences this summer that I have attended this summer
- the Flickr Group