Nima Dilmaghani’s Technology Blog

The curse and the gift of BarCampBolck

As I am writing this, BarCampBlock is starting in Palo Alto. I will be attending remotely from the East Coast and dearly miss my friends and colleagues who will be there.

BarCamp started two years ago as an ad-hoc gathering of technologists mainly interested in the web. BarCamp is free and open to everyone. It is also a un-conference and very loosely structured. Over the last two years, with the explosion of bubble 2.0 and the rise in popularity, stature, and influence of BarCamp’s two main promoters, Tara Hunt and Chris Messina, BarCamp has become a focal point of the Web2.0 community. Fortunately or unfortunately, human nature, particularly in the Western European practice of human nature, requires one to always out do oneself. So Tara and Chris came up with the brilliant idea of holding BarCamp’s second anniversary event as a block party. For a block party to be successful, you need lots of people. For an un-conference to be successful, you need at the very most 250 people (see Tim O’Reilly comment here). However, the human need to out do yourself and to celebrate success in the grandest way possible is always tugging at you as you make your decisions. So Tara and Chris went on doing what they do very well, promoting and promoting BarCampBlock. With blog posts from TechCrunch and Robert Scoble, it was obvious that BarCampBlock will be huge. And it is, over 900 people are coming to BarCampBlock! The question that will be answered over the next two days is how effective an un-conference will this be? No doubt it will be lots of fun. But will the connections, relations, and collaborations that come out of smaller un-conferences happen at BarCampBlock? While I am sitting some 3,000 miles away, I am eager to find out how this new direction for BarCamp will play out.


6 Responses

Subscribe to comments with RSS.

  1. xian said, on August 19, 2007 at 1:54 am

    So far, so good. Regardless of the aggregate total of actual attendees, the sessions are still a manageable size and I think people making connections on a human scale (conversations of 2 to 4 at a time, frequently).

  2. Liz Henry said, on August 19, 2007 at 4:39 am

    I was worried about the size too, but it’s turning out really well. There are a lot of informal hangout spaces, and also it’s not in a huge conference hall, which helps a lot.

    Sunday will be smaller I think, more at the 300-person level.

    My impression was that people were connecting, relaxed, and having great conversations – I hope that was true for most people!

  3. Sudha Jamthe said, on August 20, 2007 at 2:24 am

    I’ve attended smaller BarCamps in Boston and Manchester, but think the crowd does not matter. It makes it hard to pick sessions, but one can interact and brainstorm only with so many people.

    So, at BarCampBlock, I focused on few key people who shared my interests and taught me something new. Made some friends and didn’t go crazy about all the people I didn’t get it meet! In fact I was missing my Boston BarCamp friends!

  4. Jordan Sissel said, on August 21, 2007 at 3:57 am

    Nima! I was wondering why you weren’t in attendance, now I know 🙂

    Sorry you couldn’t be on-site 😦

  5. Miss Rogue said, on August 21, 2007 at 11:05 pm

    Thanks Nima! It went amazingly well. BarCamp is always an experiment for us. This one turned out with results we were hoping for. 🙂

    As you can read from the comments of many awesome campers above, a good time was had by all, but you were still missed. 🙂

  6. nimad said, on August 23, 2007 at 6:04 pm

    Congratulations to Tara, Chris, Liz, Ross, and Tantek. From all indications, BarCampBlock was a great event!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: