Tue 20 Mar 2007
This weekend, something so absolutely sweet is happening — BarCamp LA! (Official Wiki and Official Blog). It’s a full weekend gathering in Downtown LA (including camping out Saturday night at the warehouse) where people interested in technology and its application for good and craziness are coming together to discuss. The concept of this “un-conference” is supercool — people show up Saturday morning and sign up to present something (everything from new internet technologies to yoga for computer geeks to organizing your life to Making a Digital Video Camera for $35) and then the party begins.
I’m going and will hopefully present something informally on internet technologies/tools and the health justice movement (the two concepts haven’t really met yet). I’m stoked to share a bit of this movement and the potential for uniting online, and even more excited to receive feedback from people who know so much more about internet technologies (maybe engage with some interested folks too? the health justice movement needs more geeks!).
BarCamp LA’s last major weekend gathering was a few months ago, called BarCamp-LA 2. And there are monthly Geek Dinners attended by some of the same folks (lovers of internet technology), much smaller scale though. I’m going to try to go to the next one this Tuesday. Check out the Geek Dinner wiki.
The BarCamp phenomenon is huge — there are BarCamps all over the world! BarCamp Nairobi is coming up in Kenya later this month! I was just in Nairobi in January, and I wish this barcamp would have overlapped with my trip — it would have been so exciting to experience. I had a blast networking with a few African attendees (who were interested in internet technology and community organizing) at the World Social Forum in Nairobi in January, which was exhilarating. Hopefully there will be an online wrapup of BarCamp Nairobi. Good luck folks!
Here’s a snippet of a great post on the BarCamp blog entitled “Dispelling Social Anxiety and Fears about attending BarCamp LA”:
1. Fear of not being “Tech-savvy” enough.
BarcampLA is not just for coders. Though the focus is on technology, we gather people of all disciplines, philosophies and skillsets for the purpose of knowledge sharing and community building. The use of technology to connect people and improve lives is a shared goal and passion of most Barcampers. You will not be ridiculed or diminished if you don’t speak in binary, or if you have no idea who Ruby is, or why she’s on Rails, or why people would be talking about the cleaning product AJAX. People who come to Barcamp are programmers as well as users, and if you don’t understand something, someone there will be kind enough to explain it to you. Isn’t that beautiful?
So come join! It’s not too late to sign up. And if you don’t want to present something, you can help with setup or other duties during the gathering.
Now the big question is this — has my coolness factor increased or seriously plunged after this nerdy post?