Barcamping a very British unconference.
As I began to write this I was sitting at the introduction session of Barcamp Brighton 2. The post session kick off was already buzzing and it was great seeing so many faces that I dont know and a few faces that I do. Glynn from Open Rights Group is here as is Jeff Barr of Amazon Web Services. One or two names from Twitter are around and such as Aral, CodePo8, Tommorris and quite a few more to boot.
Bacon Butties and Coffee are the order of the morning for a very British start to an Unconference and catering for the day was superb with a most excellent tab value left behind the bar courtesy of Yahoo that despite several trips to the bar was never not utterly consumed until a few hours later.
The day began with an explanation of the grid and a short introduction from each of us, saying our names and adding three tags that describe us. I was of course Nik Butler : LOUD MOUTH MAN which when delivered woke a few at the back.
Once completed it was a dash to the grid where everyone attending has the opportunity to post a 30min talk about any topic they wish in one of the many designated speaking areas. This part is very much the free for all as people flip between polite and direct as the pimp ideas and talks and conversations. Its not uncommon to be asked “Are you giving a talk” and I have to confess that had I more time to return I would have talked about the Friend/Follower/Fan ratios of Social networks ( another time maybe ) .
The talks I did attend included Seb The Particle Guy demonstration of Particle Affects with Flash, Locomatrix Real World Virtual Games, Business Processes in Second Life courtesy of Jeff Barr and finally The Dataportability Panel. In between trying to get my USB to work and my photos from the N95 to upload to Flickr.
Consumption of ideas and the conversations in the corridor though is where the “meat” and “flavour” of the event come to fore and the attendees of these Events are the real value for the visitor if you step up and engage. Of course just about everyone was Blogging, Tweeting, Facebooking, Mooing or Werewolving!
To sum up, location, conversations, sessions, catering and fascillities for the day were very much above par and should in their own right convince you to come to the next Barcamp Brighton whenever that might be. Congratulations to the organisers for creating a very British Unconference Experience.
Thanks for reading.