Startup Weekend RDU happened this past weekend and got great media coverage. Some in NandO here. It was @tuckcomatus last weekend before his macroeconomics camp, so I skipped, but the blog, video, and coverage look great.
This year’s BarCampRDU will be August 2nd at Red Hat World Headquarters. The registration looks pretty full, but if the past is any indicator, there will be seats. Folks will have things come up. Me for example. I’ll be happily reuniting with @tuckcomatus as we pick him up from his camp.
Ruby tells me that the purpose of this Roots Camp is to “de-brief on the election and get a jump-start on organizing for 2008 by interacting with and learn from other leading Progressives in a cutting edge virtual environment that is likely to play a major role in online political organizing for 2008.”
Roots Camps are modeled directly on Bar Camp right down to the wiki and nearly to the logo. They’re about getting down to your netroots, if your roots are progressive (NewSpeak won’t allow you to say Liberal).
Second Life is a 3D virtual environment built by the residents (NewSpeak won’t allow you to say Users). There were at last count about 1,305,950 citizens (they say people) inhabiting Second Life.
BarCampRDU was the 3rd unconference that I’ve been involved in organizing in the past 18 months. And I’d have to say that it was the best one so far. Fred did a bang up job of using the BarCamp infrastructure of wikis, blogs and lists to work for the conference in advance and in securing sponsorship.
Podcastercon drew over 300 people, but it was national — over half of the attendees weren’t from this area. Triangle Blogger Conference was my first and although it went well, I think our version depended too much on having too many people in the same room for too long. Also both of these were on the UNC campus in the winter which meant that parking and the like were more challenging.
BarCampRDU had the advantage of a great location and very good sponsorship from local tech oriented organizations — thanks to Red Hat (for the location and more) and to Lulu.com, rPath, 6th Sense Analytics, BlogAds, Aurora Funds, and the Council on Entrepreneurial Development.
We’re off to a great start! Plenty of people here — over the 150 but just slightly so the spaces work well. T-shirts given out and mostly good sizes. Needed more XXLs than we guessed. Bagels on the Hill did a great job of getting up fed. The coffee makers ran into a snag, but quickly rebounded by being very resourceful.
Having brief descriptions of the sessions by the leaders was really a great idea and put people in a place to sign up readily for their sessions. That’s working very smoothly.
Started out going to the GWT session led by Ryan Cox who works at NetApp. On the Google Web Toolkit. Nice developer oriented talk with good interaction. (filled room of maybe 35 – 45). Since my brain has solidified and can’t take in new developer ideas without actually being a developers, I did the two feet thing and headed over to —
Next session — Mugshot and design-thinking – Define, Research Ideate, Prototype, Choose, Implement, Learn (DRIPCIL). More of a talk about how Mugshot.org was created, implemented and tuned. From Design thinking see DRIPCIL to a somewhat detailed talk about many of the ideas and processing specific to mugshot.org. (about 30 folks here)
Great lunch from Neomode Deli in Raleigh coordinated by Ryan Daigle and sponsored by rPath. Good conversations all around.
Tara Hunt and Chris Messina introduce us to Mozes.com an SMS listserv or as they call it “Flash organizing site.” Really it’s listserv for SMS more or less. Very nice and very easy to use.
On to Fred’s Social Networking Sites. Good discussions here. Hard for me to do an Ethan Z level of blogging this session tho. Possibly 2/3rds of the attendees are here. Talk of core values as essential. Fred pushes for a more complex mathematics than Reed’s Law states (as Reed is mostly binary — or entirely binary).
Fearless group prediction: Flickr will last because of strong core values and lots of data while MySpace could be killed quickly by a new competitor. Quality of connections is important. Flickr offers opportunity to move thanks to opening their API. Speaks in favor of MySpace and its ability to change to maintain share.
Are MySpace and FaceBook the same? No. But why? Motivations are often different. FaceBook is gated so that you must be part of an existing network such as those that have a UNC.EDU mail address. 95% of FaceBook users logon at least twice a day.
Fred on Situational Relevance. Going to college causes reforming of social networks in a new context. Lots of college students first join FaceBook in the summer before coming to school. They want to explore their new world in advance of going there.
Older folks in 30s say don’t need FaceBook in the same way. People use social networks to explore their world for their own needs.
MySpace is open to all so that it can be used for a number of uses based on content. LinkedIn doesn’t get used daily, but do people need daily interaction. Fred talks about how LinkedIn and Friendster tweeked their sites after bottoming out and sent their access back up. How? By adding content that their folks wanted. In LinkedIn they made it much easier to connect. That worked for me. I had left LinkedIn idle for a long time. Then suddenly I got a lot of link requests and I went back and updated my profile and accepted friends etc.
Craig’s List gets props as social network for serving the needs of older (than college) people.
Discussion of gated (ala FaceBook) v open (ala CraigsList). How would you make sure that someone is actually in a bounded network? Send them a letter?
At WillR‘s social activism/Kirk Ross’ Journalism futures session. About 25+ people. WillR is more interested in hyperlocalism than national activisms. What does tech add to the equation? Bit of digital divide added to the conversation. Is tech at a local level useful? Most folks have experienced positive effect of neighborhood lists and web sites. How to engage citizens? Who subscribes to the WashPost RSS feeds on their congress criter’s votes? No one.
Someone says they have a company that is creating a site to provide like services with authentication but it will have some anonymity.
Fiona talks about OrangePolitics.org a little and about how to cite and how to verify etc. GeorgeE talks about his experiences on OP etc also about the difference of filters and summaries and commentaries and full tapes/text.
Greg. All about access and personal use but also using the tools together in a wikiworld to create a game plan. Bret and WillR about long tail. A bit about agenda setting and about framing. Trust transativity discussed. Jacob says need votebook aggregators that combine say Sierra Club ratings and Christian Coallition rating.
TomZ profiles of contributors. Self and citizen created.
How to reach out to general public and give general filtering? Raleighing.com guy talks about his site and what they do to make local political issues cool.
* BarCampRDU doors will open at 8AM on Saturday. Get here early to avoid the rush.
* We need people to bring WAPs. Can you bring yours? If so, configure it to broadcast “BarCampRDU” as the SSID. You’ll just plug it in the wall on the day of. Label your WAP.
* We need people to bring power strips AND extension cords. Bring one and share alike. Label your cords and power strips.
* BarCamp confirmed attendance is at almost 120, and we’ve got a few spots left for the pre-event. If you haven’t confirmed, do it now as you’ll lose your spot on Thursday!
* BarCamp will end around 6, rather than 5:30. This is so we can accomodate 4 afternoon time slots.
Just back from a BarCampRDU Organizing Committee meeting. Everything is looking great. Fred has done a great job of getting sponsors and the committee has gotten good food lined up and folks on the wiki have done a fine job of proposing and claiming initial sessions.
The Friday Night Pre-conference party has 60 folks signed up (there’s room for 15 more). Fred and Jackson tell me that there will be lots of food. Plan on treating this as dinner, they tell me.
So Confirm, Sign up, and Show up on Friday and on Saturday.
PS I saw the t-shirts tonight and they look even better than the picture.
* Red Hat – Red Hat is providing the BarCampRDU venue.
* 6th Sense Analytics – 6th Sense Analytics will sponsor the BarCampRDU T-shirts.
* The Aurora Funds – The Aurora Funds will sponsor breakfast, snacks and materials
* rPath – rPath will sponsor the lunch session at BarCampRDU.
* Council for Entrepreneurial Development – CEDNC is helping to sponsor our pre-BarCamp activities.
* Blogads – Blogads is helping to sponsor our pre-BarCamp activities.
* Ibiblio.org – Technical Sponsor
* Pragmatic Programmers – The Pragmatic Programmers are donating their excellent books to be given away at BarCampRDU.
* Manning Publications – Manning Publications has kindly donated books to be given away at BarCampRDU
And more to come. Thanks to all these great folks for supporting the RDU community and to Fred for doing a bang up job of organizing.
Flying back from the Emerging Technologies Conference in San Diego took most all of today. The mystery of American Airlines trying unsuccessfully to sell boxed food continues. They offer it. $3 for a box that no one wants. People open their bags of sandwiches that they paid $6 for in the airport. We sit eating only slightly better food for which we paid twice as much.
No movies. No music anymore. Of course I was on two half flights. That is SAN to OHR then OHR to RDU. Similar flights except sub DFW for OHR on the way there.
All the flights were completely full BTW.
Chris DiBona, who is now OpenSource Project manager at Google, announced http://code.google.com. Note that Google is using SourceForge to host their open projects. Chris named SourceForge back in the day. We still run a SourceForge download mirror on ibiblio.org
O’Reilly announced their new Where Conference to take place June 29 – 30 in SFO. It will:
explore the emerging consumer and enterprise ecosystems around location-aware technologies–ecosystems that increasingly impact the way we work and play. Location-determining technologies like GPS, RFID, WLAN, cellular networks and networked sensors enable an ever-growing array of capabilities from local search, mapping, and business analytics to enterprise integration, commercial applications, and software infrastructure.