Last Saturday, I got a chance to attend my first BarCamp. It was the first of our stops on the BarCamp Tour, this one taking place in Harrisburg, PA.
First, if you don’t know what a BarCamp is, it doesn’t really have anything to do with a bar. This, from Wikipedia, explains the name:
The name BarCamp is a playful allusion to the event’s origins, with reference to the programmer slang term, foobar: BarCamp arose as an open-to-the-public alternative to Foo Camp, which is an annual invitation-only (for Friends of O’Reilly) participant-driven conference hosted by Tim O’Reilly.
A BarCamp is an un-conference, which simply means there is not an official schedule of speakers. Instead, the attendees sign up for slots to speak, in this case on a big whiteboard, and the rest of us decide what sounds interesting.
Each BarCamp tends to have its own flavor. Harrisburg had a developer vibe, with lots of sessions on coding, design, and technology.
If you have a BarCamp near you, it is definitely worth checking out. Most of them are free, and it is a great place to get and share ideas. I didn’t do a session this time, since it was my first event, but I definitely plan on having something to share at the next BarCamp I attend. My personal philosophy is that you can improve to a certain degree by consuming information, but that you can learn even more when you start to share information and educate. This is why I believe every small business owner should blog regularly.
Here are a few pictures I took. You can see more on our Flickr page.
This was year 4 for BarCamp Harrisburg. The event is hosted at Harrisburg University of Science and Technology. This is a view of Harrisburg from the 13th floor of the University.
BarCamp Harrisburg is the brainchild of Rich Hauck. He organizes and hosts the event with the help of Steve Infanti of Harrisburg University. In the background you see Chris Coyier, from BarCamp Tour co-sponsor Wufoo, scheduling his session.
Crowd shot, woot! BarCamp Harrisburg was well attended, with 200 registered attendees.
The BarCamp Tour sponsored an after party at Momo’s. We provided barbecue and drinks, and it was a great chance to get to know new friends! We even put together a few tables for a game of Celebrity, which was a blast!