You may have noted my lack of posting on my various blogs recently. The main reason for this is that I was helping to organise a free technology conference in Cork called BarCamp. BarCamps are neither about booze nor barristers but are grass-roots unconferences where the agenda is only decided on the day by attendees putting themselves forward to speak or to moderate sessions on topics they are interested in.
We had the event on Saturday and it was a huge success. Over 80 people attended from all over Ireland and their backgrounds ranged from college students to programmers to Venture Capitalists. We were thrilled to be able to get tons of sponsorship for everything - the building, the wifi, the food, the drink, the t-shirts, the works!
It made me think that this model of a free adhoc grassroots conference is applicable to far more than just techies talking about the web. And of course I wasn’t the first one to have this thought since WineCamp was held in California and I see links to BourbonCamp and ArtCamp.
Rather than having top-down invite-only or pay-through-the-nose events, I highly recommend that people who want to have a get together with like minded others investigate this idea. You could have BookCamp, FoodCamp, FishCamp and with a nod to a very funny gross-out movie: “This one time, at BandCamp…”.
There is general BarCamp info over at BarCamp.org and the info our our event is at BarCamp.org/BarCampIreland. I ran a blog for a few weeks which you can read over at the BarCamp blog. We have the great site set up by one of our sponsors which collects all the blog posts, pictures and links between people. Check it out at the Backnetwork. If this idea does interest you, feel free to contact me with any questions on arranging them. If you’ve ever run a kids birthday party, then you are more than capable of arranging a BarCamp.