Inaugural Barcamp Gold Coast
6 July 2008 7 Comments
I was one of a group of 40 attendees at the inaugural Barcamp Gold Coast held on the Griffith campus on 5 July. This barcamp was organised by a team headed by Steve Dalton who has attended Barcamp Sydney and also organises Barcamp Brisbane. T-shirts, soft drinks, text book prizes, pizzas for lunch and a bar tab for the following pubcamp were provided by sponsors. We only needed to pay for coffee from the convenient mobile coffee van that appeared a couple of times.
Within minutes of his arrival Steve had the well-tried butchers paper and sticky notes notice board system up and running with boards for 20-minute formal presentations, informal BOF sessions, local groups and jobs available/wanted. Using two adjacent small lecture rooms, one for presentations and one for networking, informal sessions and prizes, worked well. We started with an introductory informal discussion about the purpose of a barcamp and how to get the word out to likely participants on the Gold Coast.
Fearing it might be a one-eyed open source gathering I was pleasantly surprised that the Web 2.0 orientation meant that the platform wars were very much in the background. More importantly many attendees were switched on to social media and twittering went on throughout the day via the excellent wireless Internet service provided by Griffith, at cost, for the event. Des Walsh about his work in creating the first Australian chapter of the Social Media Club in Brisbane on Friday this week. I was able to chat with him about the possible formation of a Gold Coast chapter.
I attended all the more formal presentations on topics such as:
- software development and IP from Darren Mackay
- social media in high schools and in general (video live streamed from http://www.live.techwiredau.com/ using Ustream ); Ben Grubb was the speaker
- IT Bondy David Novakovic showed us how to create a Del.icio.us text search in 100 lines of code; see his blog post for details and his photos especially of my back!
- another IT Bondy Ben Novakovic talked about using AJAX for web-based messaging systems – an extension of his Bond Honours project; his blog post about the barcamp contains his slides and code
- Aaron Spence showed us how he constructs his amazing map-linked, very high quality panoramas at www.panedia.com – wins my personal most impressive web site and software development prize
- Fabienne Rabbiosi spoke about SEO with some useful tips; her site is at www.untanglemyweb.com and she specialises in the tourism industry
- there was further Bond involvement in a couple of impromptu talks:
- Bond IT School staffer Harry Sukumar talked about virtualisation
- IT Bondy David T Baker gave us the shivers as he demonstrated the horrors of XSS – see http://barcamp.dtbaker.com.au/
With formal/informal presentations running in parallel I was not able to hear Chris Saad’s data portability talk.
I was impressed with the range of attendees and their depth of technical knowledge. There was much that is valuable for my professional life. The format and simple administration were very effective – this is how conferences should be run in the future. With the addition of live streaming of speakers from afar this can eliminate the huge costs of traditional conferences. The social media tools both during and after the event allow the information to be published in a relatively structured fashion. It just needs the professions and academia to recognise this is the new way to conduct professional training and research.
Look out for later posts as more information is published about this barcamp.