So the very first BarCamp Copenhagen took place this Friday, and it was great, I went home with new ideas and confidence that my own ideas aren’t “completely off the meter”.
I didn’t really know the format of BarCamp, other than what Henriette Weber had told us in the invitation, but I think we did quite well, and all the participants had something to bring to the table.
I suppose that the other participants will write about their respective subjects, but I’d say that the GEEK factor was VERY high, with subjects ranging from marketing to blood donation over the “new new isn’t the new but the old”, which, by magic, was a recurring theme in three of the presentations, including my own.
Henriette Weber talked about marketing, and an idea that she had, she’s actually tired of the “new new”, e.g. viral marketing which she thinks is nothing but “old-school marketing”.
Peter Brodersen presented his simple and brilliant Google Maps application, findvej.dk.
Frederik talked about how to bridge the gap between business and technology, they rarely speak the same language. That could have been an interesting discussion, but I was too busy documenting what was going on the IRC channel, that right now seems to have been lost in the black bit hole, next time I suggest that we use iChat or Skype.
Karin Høgh presented a great list with 14 items on how to please your podcaster, basically they need encouragement, comments and donations to keep doing what they’re doing, so if you listen to a podcast, remember to please the people that are producing it.
Olle talked about the new and the old, and that put us on a track where we discussed programming languages, and Karin mentioned that she once had taken a course in Java programming…What a waste for the world, and her. She actually thought that programming languages were something akin to a real language, so she was surprised that it was basically mathematics. This started a track where we discussed the old Knuth paradigm of computer programming as an art form, vs. the current predominant paradigm, where computer programming is seen as a science.
Now it was my turn, and I also talked about the old and the new, we’re currently tied to our desktops, laptops, mobile devices. What if we could have dedicated hardware that could help strengthen and build a community, and this brought me from the visionary Minitel to the equally visionary Wired Rabbit – or “Lapin Communicant”, the Nabaztag from Violet – The smart object company. J’ai vu le futur et le futur étiez Violet.
Here’s my presentation: Adopt a rabbit (1.4MB Open Document Format).
Now we took a break to go get something to eat.
After the break we went into a more free format.
Thomas wanted to discuss how to utilise cell phones for more than texting and voice, well this was not your typical audience, so we all surfed the web on mobile devices. My personal favourite mobile web applications are Google over WAP (http://www.google.com). Google over WAP is brilliant because it utilises Google cache to serve pages optimised for mobile devices, and it works like a dream, even with hyperlinks. Next is Gmail over XHTML (http://m.gmail.com), now I’m as mobile as I ever want.
I also mentioned my traditional collaboration project Æbletræet, where we’ve build a sizeable knowledge base of Apple and Macintosh related subjects using a wiki based on MediaWiki. This has been great being involved in, because you can “hype” each other – when somebody writes an article you get inspired to improve it, and/or write your own. Like one of the comments reads IRC+Kim Bach=Inspiration.
I also mentioned how we’re using MediaWiki combined with Google Maps, to visualise the location of volunteers and users in Hjemmelektiehjælpen – a volunteer project, in collaboration with the Danish Refugee Council (Dansk Flygtningehjælp). We’ve actually worked with the developer of the MediaWiki Google Maps extension to improve it.
Morten is venturing into GEEKDOM as well, he talked about how to improve the Drupal administration interface with standard Tango icons, what a remarkable and simple idea, for a geekstradionare comme moi, I have few problems navigating the Drupal admin interface, but after I went home I could see how right Morten is.
Finally Christian engaged the geek warp drive, first he talked about the perfect match RSS and XMPP is. And you know what? Nabaztag understands XMPP!
But Christian also had a surprise, and I guessed it a Simon game! WOW, I just love that. He made a historical account of the start of the gaming industry, and with the Nintendo Wii, Nabaztag etc. it’s like we’re coming full circle game play and plain fun is important once again.
Christian ended by pitching blood donation! A noble cause, he felt that he need some counterweight to my shameless pitch of Nabaztag.
“Geeky shit” as morten.dk said…Indeed!
Thank you Henriette! Looking forward to the next BarCamp Copenhagen. I think the attendance was about right. Yes it was sad with the late cancelations, but if we’d been more people, we’d had too little time to go into the discussions. I love the open space format, but we sometimes we need to respect the “speaking order”.