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I've been online since 1971 and I like to smoothe the way for everyone else. Among other things I co-founded Sympatico, the world's first easy-to-use Internet service (and Canada's largest).

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Thursday, May 18, 2006

BarCamp

Last weekend I attended Toronto’s first second BarCamp, called BarCamp Tdot because some people here (I’m not one of them) call Toronto “Tdot” (pronounced “tee dot”) or “the Tdot”. I suppose it’s because they want to have a name used only by true locals and they’re sick of the decades-old “T. O.” (which stands for Toronto, Ontario). Methinks that since BarCamp is not a local phenomenon, to have used the name Tdot wasn’t particularly appropriate in this case.

BarCamp was a wonderful experience. I don’t have time to blog about it but that’s OK because others have done it nicely. All BarCampers are supposed to participate actively (it’s an “un-conference”), and I led a session called “Socioeconomic Fallout from Web 2.0”. There were 18 of us (usually...for instance, AmberMac dropped by for a bit while checking out all the sessions, though she told me later at the mesh conference that she hadn’t really been able to hear much because of the multiple sessions without walls in between). I started the session by essentially repeating the contents of my previous post and then opening things up to a round-table discussion (literally, as we were all seated around a large round table!). My thanks to those who attended, especially the active participants: Martin Cleaver, Ken Schafer, Michael Bodalski, and others. And my huge thanks to the organizers, all volunteers (the event was free), with David Crow and Jay Goldman taking the lead, and the 20-odd sponsors who covered the expenses by contributing $250 each.

3 Comments:

Blogger Factory Joe said...

Hi Rohan -- just wanted to clarify that BarCamp is a local phenomenon! In fact, that's the whole point -- BarCamp has traveled around the world expressly because it is about local connections, community and industry! It's not about shelling out $3000 and airfare to go to some far-off conference... it's about recognizing what's already around you, and tapping into the resources you already have access to in your vicinity -- that you might not already know about.

BarCamp may have started in Palo Alto, but it's not a Silicon Valley thing. Every BarCamp is different and reflects the local character of the place in which it's held. Toronto was no different in this regard.

Oh, I think you're totally right about the absense of pretention! *That* is one thing that seems to be global about BarCamps! ;)

Wednesday, May 24, 2006 at 6:30:00 PM EDT  
Blogger Rohan Jayasekera said...

Chris (Factory Joe) is quite right that BarCamp is local. So I should limit my reservation about the name BarCamp Tdot to the unnecessary head-scratching it causes among those who see a mention of the name but who don’t know what Tdot means (which includes many residents of Toronto). Just a quibble, anyway — the event itself was the important thing, and it was great.

Wednesday, May 24, 2006 at 9:43:00 PM EDT  
Anonymous Jay Goldman said...

Rohan -

A quick comment to say:

Thanks for the kind words! A few other people helped out with the organizing (like the guys from Wireless Toronto, Joey DeVilla from Tucows, and Deb Hartmann.

I agree with Chris (and with you!) - BarCamp is about the local community. We had a number of participants from out of town - Ottawa, Vancouver, and The Valley most significantly - so we tagged the "Tdot" on the end so that people wouldn't get confused with other BarCamp events when posting photos or on their blogs. We're also known to use the term TorCamp, which is where you'll find all of the online info about our local community.

This was actually Toronto's second BarCamp - the first one was on November 26th, 2005 and was organized by David Crow to get the ball rolling.

Thanks for coming out and leading a session! Your regular attendance is much appreciated.

Wednesday, June 7, 2006 at 12:34:00 PM EDT  

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