Barcamp info

I think it is time to look at the Barcamp Transparency from a more practical point of you. Some of you, who already have the ticket, asked me few questions related to the day of the event and I think that apart from responding via email, Twitter I might as well just post it so everyone can check if they are aware of all aspects of it. I do apologize if I talk about for some of you obvious stuff, but do keep in mind that attendees will come from different fields and are not always experienced in attending barcamps.

We have got few sponsors on board. First of all, Google kindly agreed to pay for the venue and we really appreciate it, because originally it was Marcus and myself who offered to pay for it – just to make it happen. It saves us a bit of pocket money, which we can spend on food and assets for the event. Gemma designed our logo. I am just finalising the breakfast menu for the day with its sponsor ProActive Paul, who is taking a time of his holidays and joining us with his family on the day (big thank you both for sponsorship and the attendance!).  Our friend, Ange, was there at the beginning providing us with the domain, so big thanks for that! 1000heads got us some assets promoting our event (will be waiting fro you in your welcome pack/goodie bag). Moo Cards provided discounts codes for their products for each attendee as an add-on, so we are very grateful for that! Ben from OutMap served us with constant support on copy writing and site maintenance. When it comes to media sponsorship Mashable posted on our event a few weeks ago. I posted on Global Voices a short post, which was translated to Russian, Spanish, French and Chinese.  (big kiss to GV Lingua for that!). Jack FM advised us to do it closer to the event – so please listen to the Sunday Show this weekend! I did a short phone interview as well, so you should hear me around;) Amir, from OSS Watch was helping me out with tips on food and assets, so thank you Amir, I really appreciate it!

Amanda, Marcus and Ben have been the core of things. Marcus booked the venue putting forward the deposit! Ben wrote copies and Amanda was there to spread the word! So the event is happening thanks to all those people – and I will repeat quite a few times!:) We have set up the platform for the virtual event, we are just finalising the details of Saturday evening meet-up (dinner?) in Oxford to kick off networking, and we are about to order food. Assets will arrive next week. I think we will deal with stationary next week too.

Now, what I need to explain is how the event will look like, and what is still needed – and those two are in a way the same. You see, barcamp is called un-conference or user generated conference because what we do is provide all attendees with a physical place (few rooms with projectors, wifi, stationery) to bring, share and develop their ideas. So if you haven’t attended a barcamp yet, please start imagining it like a set of workshops, were based on few rules of common respect, spontaneous contribution and mixing fun with serious work we are aiming to come up with discussions resulting in actual projects (this barcamp is a result of a similar discussion which happened a few weeks ago during another barcamp;)), support on projects already in place and in connections for life.

So what we are trying to do is invite people working in areas related to transparency in open government, social media and cyber activism, but also in other, related fields. We are encouraging everyone who is interested and simply has an opinion about those topics to come along and share those. You do not realise how much you know and can contribute with until you actually do it! This is the very reason why we provide the venue and food for free – so you do nto have to worry about it. Come open minded and leave with your head full of ideas and pockets full of business/Moo cards!

For more ideas please check few examples:  Barcamp Lonoon, Barcamp UAESocial Media Barcamp London, Barcamp Apache in Oxford. Make sure you search for their hashtags on Twitter and Flickr – this will give you more idea about discussions and on how the events looked like.Full list here.

So what I CAN tell you about Sunday is this: we will meet at 10 AM in the building of Oxford University Club. While you are having your breakfast, we will all try to set up the place (meaning tables, chairs, a place for lunch etc) so that we can use the venue for the day. Already at this point, we will ask you for your contribution:) We will also open registration, where you will get your welcome pack/goodie bag, Moo cards discount code and wifi access details. As soon as we can, hopefully before 11 AM we will open the event with few words on what is happening. We will have an empty schedule on the wall, so if you want to talk about something, or there on that morning decide to do so – you will be asked to put it on the schedule next to the hour and room. We have few suggestions for the session on our wiki to give you an idea of what I am talking about and to encourage you to do one too. Please remember – those do not have to be presentations! If you come over and say: ‘I want to talk about bloggers privacy’ put it up! I am sure you are not the only one interested in the topic, and others will join. If by any chance there are no moderators to the discussion, we will politely appoint someone and since the spirit of the event is respect and understanding I am confident it will work out;)

What is the worst that can happen? Well, you will end up in the common area networking with others or simply enjoying coffee or reading the Twitter wall:) We will have lunch at 1 PM and continue talking/working at 2 PM up until 5 PM. We have not planned socialising afterwards, but are open to any suggestions:) We do want to socialize a bit, but this on Saturday evening – and we will post the details of the place earlier – this will be a dinner or a pint of beer in a local pub, just to meet up and meet each other. Info here. So far I have talked about the actual event on Sunday. However we have had a lot of interest from people who cannot actually make it to Oxford that weekend, so we decided to do a small virtual event on FriendFeed – where you can interact with attendees already now if you want. We will be there next Friday at 7 PM GMT, so I really hope to see you there.

Our main virtual event group is here, and we will try to update it with info from other three rooms as often as possible:

But have also prepared three virtual rooms for you to discuss specific issues related to:

1. open government –
2. cyber-activism –
3. social media ethics –

I believe this is all. If I haven’t mentioned something crucial, there is a gap or you think we haven’t considered something – do let us know! We still need volunteers on the day to take photos, videos from their phones, to tweet and to help out, but I trust we will all be doing that! We are still collecting assets for welcome packs/goodie bags, so if you know a company with cool gadgets, let them know about us. What you can do now is TALK about it, POST about it, INVITE others to join the conversation – if not in Oxford, then online!:) (use #bct09 hashtag, please). Remember our site and get tickets.

Just stay positive, bring your ideas and remember the rules of a barcamp:

  • 1st Rule: You do talk about BarCamp.
  • 2nd Rule: You do blog about BarCamp.
  • 3rd Rule: If you want to present, you must write your topic and name in a presentation slot.
  • 4th Rule: Only three word intros.
  • 5th Rule: As many presentations at a time as facilities allow for.
  • 6th Rule: No pre-scheduled presentations, no tourists.
  • 7th Rule: Presentations will go on as long as they have to or until they run into another presentation slot.
  • 8th Rule: If this is your first time at BarCamp, you HAVE to present. (OK, you don’t really have to, but try to find someone to present with, or at least ask questions and be an interactive participant.)

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