BarCamp London 8 #bcl8
November 22, 2010 § 1 Comment
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!!