Category Archives: BarCamp

Start Thinking About Your Personal Brand Early… Even in College

This weekend I had the pleasure of hanging out with some awesome RIT students and alumni at BarCampRochester3.  I led a discussion on widgets and the social aggregator.  Clearspring was also one of the sponsors.

I had a fantastic time.  Kudos to the organizers.  Word is they’re going to try and do 2 BarCamps next year.  That’s awesome!!!!!!!!

Not to sound like the all knowing college graduate but if I could impart just one piece of wisdom to folks who are currently in college it’d be to start thinking earlier about your personal brand.

There is a “global neighborhood” out there that is discussing the same ideas that you’re into.  Get out there and join the conversation.

When you’re in college, it’s super easy to think that it is your world.  College can feel very insular.  Before too long you have to get out in the world and your voice competes with the rest of the world.

So… some practical tips:

Go to Vista Print or if you’re a hipster MooCards and get some business cards. Everytime you meet someone, it’s the opportunity to start a new relationship and having sometype of way to connect with eachother at a later date is SUPER important.

Start a blog.  I think it’s the best way to join in the on going conversation that’s happening.  Personal Web sites are becoming part of your personal identity.  They represent you just as much as how you dress for an interview.

Seek out people outside of your university who’re in your industry. Go to something like a Meetup.com or go find a business leader that you respect and talk to them.  The more you make the connections and the relationships outside of your university early the better off you’ll be after you graduate.

Headed to Miami on Wednesday

I’m totally pumped.  I’m headed to Miami on Wednesday It’s so frickin’ cold in Washington DC.  It’s 82 degrees F in Miami right now. :-D

I’ll be at BarCampMiami and Future of Web Apps (FOWA).  At FOWA, they have a killer speaker lineup like Kathy Sierra, Kevin Rose, Gary Vaynerchuk, and others.

If you’re going to either of those events or live in the Miami area, drop me a line.  I’d love to meetup.

WidgetDevCamp in Washington, DC will be January 25-26th, 207

WidgetDevCamp Logo

If you’re a long time reader of this blog, you’ll remember that this fall I announced the concept of WidgetDevCamp.  Well today I’m pleased to announce that WidgetDevCamp will be in Washington, DC on January 25 (evening) & 26th (all day) at Blattner Brunner (1250 Eye Street, NW, 12th Floor).

At the event, we’ll be talking about, discussing,  and learning about modular/social/widget application development.  There will also be a time for developing and designing.  If you had fun at BarCamp DC… if you like chatting about Facbook and all things social web, you need to be at this event.

Of course… the event is free but due to limited space at our venue we only have room for 60 people so sign up now.

If you’re interested in sponsoring the event, it’d be  HUGE help. There is an option for sponsorship on the registration page.  Maximum sponsorship is $250.

If there is a topic around widgets that you wanna hear or a topic that you wanna speak about, make sure that you make a note on the session ideas wiki page. Note: This page is just for preliminary planning purposes.  The agenda for the event will be made the day of the event… on site.

If you have an idea for an awesome widget, add that the widget ideas page.  Maybe we’ll make it.

This is a community-centric event.  I hope we’ll see you there and I hope you’ll participate.

How Much Are The Conference Lobby Conversations Worth?

I was really pleased to see on John Battelle’s blog that the video from O’Reilly Media and CMP’s recent Web 2.0 Summit was now available online. I wasn’t able to make it.  I think the tickets are $2k+ each.  That’s just too much, even if someone else was paying.
So… I can now watch John Battelle’s interviews with technology pioneers like Mark Zuckerberg and Steve Ballmer.  This is cool.

But what if I did go to the conference? With the speaker videos available online, it’d have to be for the people i’d meet and for the conversations that I’d have.  But seriously… how much are those worth?$2k?

You can go to a BarCamp event, they’re free, and you’ll meet folks who are just as innovative and imaginative

Announcing WidgetDevCamp in Washington DC

WidgetDevCamp Logo

I think I speak for everyone when I say that BarCamp DC was an absolute blast. After the event, a few of us started chatting about what we could have next to bring the community together.
Today, I’m pleased to announce WidgetDevCamp DC. It’s another unconfrence, similar to BarCamp, but based off of the DevCamp model. There will be opportunity for learning and sharing about widget development, a time for widget designing and hacking, as well as sharing your demos with the group.

The event is currently in the development stages. When more solid details become available, they’ll be announced here.

Right now we’re looking for a venue and sponsors. If you’d be interested in either, please get in touch with me.

Oh… make sure that you sign up for the WidgetDevCamp Google Group so that we can keep in touch with you.

Launch of the DC Technology Network

Screenshot of the DC Technology Network Ning Site

One thing that I took away from BarCamp DC was that there is a really awesome tech community in the Washington DC area. It may be spread across a number of groups. It may be in multiple states. Regardless, there is an awesome technology community that exists.

The question I and a number of others had was how can we bring this community together. We need one place online where the community can go to chat with one another and keep up with what’s going on. It’d aggregate a lot of information from other sites. My esteemed DC colleagues agreed.

I’m very happy to announce the launch of the DC Technology Network. It is a social networking site powered by Ning. While the site is very primitive (or beta) and still evolving, I think it’s a fun and interesting way for us to all stay in touch and maintain that awesome feeling that existed at BarCamp DC.

So… if you live in the Washington DC metro area (or formerly lived in the area) and want to stay in touch with your fellow local geeks, PLEASE SIGN UP for the DC Technology Network.

Have you signed up? What do you think? How can we make this more useful?

What Online Television Shows Do You Watch?

One of the sessions at BarCamp DC that I heard a lot of buzz about after words was Joe Price‘s discussion of the Future of Television.  I’m bummed I missed it but I was facilitating one of the other rooms.

Joe and I talked after and we thought it’d be cool to get an online thread going about what kind of online television shows people are watching.

I watch (in no particular order)…

What do you watch?  Leave me a comment.  Write a blog post about it.    I don’t have cable tv so I wanna hear about what new shows I should be watching.

I’d love to hear from as many people as possible.

It’d be especially cool to hear from folks that were at BarCamp DC.  Matt, Jason, Jackson, Cindy, PatrickSamantha, Brian… tag you’re it.  Post about your favorite online tv shows and then tag  more people.

Maybe you don’t watch much online tv.  If that’s the case, post about why and what’s missing.  What would make it a better experience?

Staying In Touch With All Washington DC Tech Events

Continuing on the “Life after BarCamp DC” meme and echoing Russell’s comment, I really think that you all should check out Ross Karchner’s site DC Tech Events Weekly.

It’s a weekly overview of all technology events that are happening in the Washington DC area.

Ross does a really great job of being clued into what’s going on with the DC technology community and listing it on the site.  He will often have events on there that I’ve never heard of.

There is a RSS feed for syndication.  Hopefully there will be hCard support sometime soon.

So there is really no excuse to be bored at home.  There is always something going on for you to check out.  This site is a key resource.

How To Survive Life After BarCamp DC

BarCamp DC was such a blast. There was an incredible energy in the room that I hadn’t felt in a while. It was great to see people getting excited about what the Washington DC technology community had to offer.

But now that BarCamp DC is over (until the next one), the question is how can you keep the energy going.

There are some great meet ups and groups that I love that you should check out:

Refresh DC – It is a gathering of Web development and design professionals who want to learn more about their craft. Every month there is a speaker who shares their knowledge about a topic. There is a great time of community and hanging out after words at a bar. Sometimes there is even free food. It is organized by one of the BarCamp DC lead organizers Jason Garber.

Social Media Club – It is a gathering of technologists, marketers, and online strategists who enjoy discussing all things Social Media. It meets every month and is a source of great community.

Wash. DC Web Standards Meetup – This is more of an informal group of folks who have an interest in Web standards. The attendees range from people who read W3C specs for fun to novices who are eager to learn more. It is a great opportunity to pass on Web Standards knowledge and get in discussions about the future of standards.

What groups do you attend? How do you suggest we keep the energy and excitement going from BarCamp DC? Do you have any suggestions for new events that we can have? I’m already thinking about FacebookDevCamp and WidgetDevCamp.

Update: Oh oh oh…  I forgot to mention that Startup Weekend DC is coming up.  This is will be a great follow up some of you who were at BarCamp DC.

What Bloggers Had To Say About BarCamp DC

This is what bloggers had to say about Saturday’s BarCamp DC:

Brian Williams

“If anything, I think it was too full — or too short. There were so many great topics to cover and good people to lead discussions, I felt like we could have filled 3 days.”

Jared Goralnick

“Not since the heyday of Netpreneur have there been so many people in one DC room so excited about what’s happening online. This was evidenced by the high level of conversation, the community-willingness to share, and the pure geekery of the attendees (everywhere I turned were MacBooks, iPhones, live bloggers, and people uploading photos to Flickr).”

Russell Heimlich

“There were so many interested attendees that many had to be turned away at the door. Wow! I guess the DC tech community has been secretly yearning for a BarCamp to pop up in the area… I had a blast at BarCamp DC and can’t wait until they hold another one (I think I heard the next one would be in January), hopefully in a bigger space. I already know what my next topic will be.”

Jesse Thomas – “BarCampDC was awesome!!!”

Tom Bridge

“This weekend at the downtown offices of Fleishman Hillard, 100 or so geeks gathered for BarCamp to talk about matters technological. I know what you’re thinking already, “Geeks, inside on a weekend? Shocking!” But it’s more than that. So many things are happening on the web these days, the advent of the true mobile web, the adoption of portable identities, people creating content and sharing, and a lot of that is happening here in our backyard as well as out on the west coast.”

Zvi Band

“Attended my first (as well as DC’s first) BarCamp. It was an awesome experience. Not only did I learn a lot, but I met a great crowd of people. It was fascinating to discover a small but thriving community of similar web-heads…”

Leslie Bradshaw

“This weekend, Jesse and I attended the [first?] BarCamp held in DC. Met some super cool people, learned some very useful things (namely, at the: Google Analytics session, the widget session a la Clearspring and the Grids/systems session)… “

Nguyet -

“Overall, there were about 118 people attended. It was intimate. I’m proud to say that 200 OK were one of the sponsors…”

To celebrate our success, a bunch of went to get Maryland crabs for lunch today.