BarCamp London 8 #bcl8

November 22, 2010 § 1 Comment

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It’s been a month since my last blog and casting my mind back over that time, I figured I hadn’t written up anything on BarCamp London 8.  Not only can I give a run down of my time at the event, but can use this opportunity to mention a few noteworthy bits and pieces.

I’d come across this site before, but never really engaged with it.  It wasn’t until BCL8 that it really struck a chord with me.  Full and in-depth coverage of the event was crowd-sourced whilst the event unfolded. BarCamp is an unconference and as such, the tracks are determined on the fly.

When you mark yourself as “attending” a conference, the real time calendar will give you a run down of the current and next sessions – which turned out to be invaluable as the 300-strong crowd round one pin board was a little manic.

I really like the way that it gives you a permanent personal profile which lists your attendance and speaking appearances alongside any links, photos, slides etc that you have posted.  It was also nice to see that Reading Geek Night (#rdggeek) has a presence on there too.


I’ve had my iPad for several months and truth be told, it’s a completely dispensable gadget.  Yep, you read that right!  That is not to say it doesn’t have its uses because there are things that it is really great at:

  • two screening” or “simultaneous media usage” – the concept of using two independent data or social consumption devices at the same time, e.g. TV+iPad or TV+laptop – the F1 iPad app is a great example
  • Browsing youtube on the sofa when you cant be bothered with a big heavy laptop
  • iPlayer in bed (I’ve never had a TV in my bedroom)
  • Email/blogging on the go – smartphones are too small and fiddly
  • Gaming platform – I’m not a gamer at all, but the occasional 2 mins playing Modern Conflict, Trainyard or Harbour Master is pretty good
  • Magazine and photo magazine (e.g. Guardian eyewitness) browsing

However, the best use I found recently was at BCL8.  A device I could easily carry around which told me about all the sessions, allowed me to browse the net and consume real-time twitter updates about the conference was a dream to use.  I was also slightly surprised at the sheer quantity of iPads at the conference – I would guess at somewhere between 30 and 40 per cent of the delegates had one and were clearly finding the same benefits over a laptop that I was (I didn’t see anyone charging an iPad).


I was a little apprehensive about my first BarCamp and my first unconference for that matter.  This turned out to be a waste of energy as the event was fantastically organised by enthusiastic, kind and helpful individuals.  I was also surprised by the number of people there that I had met before… I thought I was going to be the only person I knew!

Each attendee was encouraged to hold a session and so along with @CharlieFuller we decided to host two back-to-back “open discussion” sessions on iPhone technologies that we were both interested in.  Turn out to our session was good and a fun and informative discussion ensued.

Food, drink, snacks, swag and banter were all in abundance and my first BarCamp was very enjoyable, only let down by the fact I couldn’t go along on the Sunday as well!!


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