Barcamp Brisbane IV Report

With a rotating attendance of 40-50 at any one time I spent the day at Barcamp Brisbane IV at the East Brisbane Bowls Club yesterday. It was a leisurely start of 10 am to allow extra time for people to arrive. The organisers and early attendees soon had the open space of the club partitioned into 4 meeting spaces, 2 with projectors. The Twitter hashtag was #barcampbne but the tweeting activity was down on last time.

See the CoverItLive Replay for the full tweet capture and the mesmerising VisibleTweets for the animated version.

The main organisers Paul O’Keeffe and Steve Dalton did a great job as usual, and timekeeper/wrangler did excellent duty with his cowbell. The event attracted an impressive list of sponsors, all of which gave talks during the day. It was good to see a wide variety of sponsor products and services. Like many others I took advantage of the free portraits being shot by DJ Paine of Studio Promise and look forward to seeing the outcome. Had I known this was to be available I would have dressed more formally than in my Twitter t-shirt!

There were varied talks on SEO, Google Wave in which I was a live participant, legal structures for companies, startup incubation and advice, developments in image panoramas, driving CMS with XSLT (innovative but hard), real-world agile development, Linux install from USB drive, and a run through Amazon Web Services.

A big problem was what I dubbed the hacker’s corner where a group sat at their laptops all day. They rarely mixed with others, and chatted and guffawed non-stop during the event often drowning out the speaker giving the main talk, despite suggestions they desist. This stereotypical, antisocial nerd behaviour was sad to see even though it was a tiny minority.

I enjoyed the barcamp and made some useful contacts. Thanks again to Paul and Steve for their major efforts in staging another successful event. However significant changes at the bowls club or a different venue will be needed to entice me back.


About Michael Rees
Academic in IT interested in Web 2.0 and social media

4 Responses to Barcamp Brisbane IV Report

  1. David Tangye says:

    Nice report Mike.

    Regarding the “hacker’s corner”, I have just emailed Steve and Paul with suggestions, including perhaps using a venue that can better cater to the diverse needs of formal presentations as well as informal groups (which is a core feature of Barcamp “unconferences”).

  2. Michael Rees says:

    David, glad to hear I am not the only one who thinks some changes are needed. Hackers’ gatherings are at the core of barcamp and should be encouraged but they need their own space, and they need to learn some social skills.

  3. Kerry says:

    The viewpoints are valid enough but perspectives are like blobs of glass. For every one that came, there was a reason or need met or unmet even if it couldn’t be seen clearly. Voluntary contribution is multi-level – sometimes just being there as a loud presence does count. The venue had some serious shortcomings in that regard and dare I say, even informal spontaneity (was it “unconference”?) needs some pre-considered environment building to weave the fringes into the design – such as subtle structure that facilitates the practise of social or presentation skills.

  4. Pingback: Great Photos by Studio Promise at Barcamp Brisbane IV « Impressions Scholarcast

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