2006/08/22

Passion and BarCampMilwaukee

BarCampMilwaukee needs people who are passionate about a particular issue or aspect of their lives and know or think that technology can play an important role in the part of their life about which they are passionate.

On Barcamp.org, the worldwide focal point for barcamps, it says, " A BarCamp is an ad-hoc gathering born from the desire for people to share and learn in an open environment. It is an intense event with discussions, demos, and interaction from participants." There are four key points in that short description.
  1. "share and learn" -- this isn't an event for people to come with only one focus. Those who want only to learn might be well-advised to find a different educational venue. Those who feel they have much to tell others but nothing to learn should likewise go elsewhere to be a fount of knowledge. BarCampMilwaukee is for people who want to both share their accumlated skills, experience and knowledge and learn from others at the event.
  2. "an open environment" -- this event is about collaboration and open source. If you can't or don't want to share information about your passion, this event isn't for you. For those unfamiliar with the open source concept, consider reading "Open Sources 2.0" before participating in BarCampMilwaukee. It may open your thinking to some inspiring new concepts and cause you to be even more excited about participating in barcamps. The book itself is a good example of open source. You have no excuse for not reading it because it can be read online. I have the hardcopy of the book because it's nice to be able to read it away from the computer, but that's just my preference.
  3. "discussions, demos and interaction from participants" -- everyone at BarCampMilwaukee is encouraged and expected to be a participant, not just a spectator or quiet attendee. That participation can take the forms of discussion, demos, or other interactions. Everyone should show up at the event ready to lead a session. If you aren't comfortable leading a session by yourself, either find someone else to co-lead a session or volunteer to help someone else with a session in which you're really interested. Also consider taking the plunge and lead a session even though you're uncomfortable doing it. Come to the planning meetings at Bucketworks. Help set up on September 30 before the start of BarCampMilwaukee. Help clean up on October 1 after the event is finished. Volunteer to bring equipment or supplies. Be a sponsor of the event, or go out and recruit sponsors for the event. Spread the word about BarCampMilwaukee to others who are passionate about making things using technology. Be a Participant.
  4. "intense event" -- this phrase is the key to a great BarCampMilwaukee experience. People who bring a topic they're passionate about and who buy into the other three important aspects of barcamps will create an "intense event." They'll be engaged and they'll get others engaged. Bring your skills and experiences, lead a session, learn and share, but above all, be involved and be passionate about what you make.
Here's the final weekly issues list for NEW NET's 22 August 2006 meeting (7 - 9 pm at Mister Churro, 207 N. Richmond St, Appleton, Wisconsin, USA, Earth):
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