This weekend I have been to my very 1st Barcamp in Nuremberg. A Barcamp according to Wikipedia is “an open conference, where execution and content are produced by the participants themselves during the conference.”
The execution was thankfully provided, or better: well organized. WIFI, Coffee, Eating, Presentation, Schedule, Beverages, Projectors, Facilities, Wiki, Beer, Liquor, Music and the rest of the organization for 200 Visitors was smoothly set up by the Nuremberg Orgas.
The content of course was provided by us, the visitors. Each participant is supposed to present a session, no matter what topic. In Nuremberg, there were many sessions about social media, but also many technical programming subjects and sessions around self-employment. Such a session must not be thought of as a lecture, but at best as a loose discussion.
presents a session
The most interesting sessions for me, were those outside the non existent Frame, e.g. “Insight-Meditation”, “Segway driving”, “Game journalism”, “Toothbrush robots”, “Stagefighting”, “Knowledge Management”, “Global Brain”. My own session on Tabata was “Fitness for lazy people” and only got 4 People interested, unfortunately.
The wide distribution of Twitter among the Barcampers totally surprised me. Twitter for me sounds like a useless waste of time. But at a barcamp getting in touch is done by Twitter. So I have followed many Twitter Streams this weekend. At first glance, it is exactly the same chitchat, as 15 years ago on IRC, even when it comes to language, culture and “metaness”.
But in addition, many users utilize Twitter as an alternative to feeds, delicious, and even email. These different streams of information come together messily in one service. Unfortunately, it isn’t possible to seperate the chatter from the interesting contributions afterwards, except perhaps with a Yahoo Pipes orgy. Still, a good thing: Each person should have a (micro)blog!
It was a pleasure to meet so many curious and interested people in flesh and blood. At first it took a bit of getting used to, if your dialogue partner googles in the middle of a conversation. But that’s just as it should be: the Internet as an encyclopedia, the brain as an index.
Great, what some of these people had in their index. I counted:
an Evernote user
a Hacker News reader
a Reflection reflecter
a Confirmation Bias aware
a Prediction Markets adept
a Dunbar’s Number know it all
and much more.
Unfortunately my own Dunbar’s Number feels like 5 at the moment, but after the world tour, I will visit Barcamps more often.