BarCampChicago -- Here We Come!

Participation in BarCampChicago 2008 was not on my to-do list as of noon today -- but following an email discussion with Chris B who is leading a session at BarCampChicago and an IM exchange with Jonathan Y whom I met at BarCampMadison a couple weeks ago, I found myself entangled in a Saturday road trip from Appleton to Chicago via Madison!

It started out with a BarCampChicago reminder email from Jason Rex today. Seeing that prompted me to go to the BarCampChicago website to check out who was going and what sessions were mentioned online.

A session description posted on the site had verbiage I was compelled to comment on. It said "This is my first chance to participate in your BARcamp..." To encourage what I consider the true spirit of barcamp, I shot off an email to the author of that verbiage, making the point that there are no visitors, only participants, and that the barcamp belongs to all the participants, whether they come for one session or do 36 straight hours of intensive tech goodness. I copied several people on the ongoing conversation, and ended up with a commitment by the session leader to also participate in BarCampMilwaukee.

After the above email flurry I was in the barcamp 'frame of mind.' When I checked my Gmail a few minutes later, I noticed one of the recent BarCampMadison core organizers on Gchat. I asked him if he was heading down to BarCampChicago this weekend. He said no, but sounded interested. I told him I'd noticed one of the other BarCampMadison core organizers signed up on the BarCampChicago participant list. With only 20 or 30 verbal volleys on Gchat, we ended up agreeing that I'd pick up the two MadCity geeks at Extra Bold Portfolio School at 7 AM on Saturday, we'd road trip down to Chicago for the day, then sneak out of barcamp around 6 or 7 PM to go back up to Madison/Appleton. Seven or eight hours of barcamp isn't nearly as satisfying as two days, but it's a lot better than no barcamp!

Now I've gotta look at the sessions again, check out who's signed up to participate, and make up a list of things to do at the event.
  1. Connect with Drupal people (Kyle E and others?)
  2. Participate in the 5 PM session "Creative AND Clueless"
  3. Meet at least ten new interesting geeks with whom I'll connect in the future
  4. Promote BarCampMilwaukee, especially with session leaders, encouraging them to put the event on their calendars and consider doing a session at BCMke
  5. Find time to talk with Jason Rexilius, Jason G, Victoria W, Sean J
  6. Five other things I'll think of on the trip down to Chicago...
Next: pack my laptop, blank CDs, flash drives, Sharpie markers, map of the barcamp location, and miscellaneous other tech supplies for a quick, early departure in the gray dawn. Then early to bed, with visions of Drupal, GPUs, and convergence devices dancing in my head.

See you at BarCampChicago!



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