Levi and I attended barCamp Toronto this weekend – hat’s off to David Crow for making a real success out of this event.
For those who don’t know, barCamp is a movement in cities around the world to get the technology development community out of their respective holes and in touch with one another. It’s a reaction to Tim O’Reilly’s FooCamp which was invite only and alienated a whole bunch of folks (Foo is the opposite of Bar).
Anyhow, it was great to get out and meet people like Rob Hyndman who I had met previously in Cyberspace (through email), but not in person. I also managed to meet and alienate my first “blog reader” within an hour of arriving. How?
I was in a session where we were discussing RSS when we got into some of the social networking aspects of services like del.icio.us and blogs. From the corner, Ken Schafer piped up, “…for example, I’ll bet Michael doesn’t know I read his blog’. I was stunned(!), and he was right – I had no idea, nor did I know who Ken was. The next session was on money and business models. I went on a rant about Adsense driven portals and how I don’t agree with them as a viable business model. Of course that’s Ken’s business model. Way to go Mike. Meet your first blog reader and alienate him all in a span of 40 minutes…
Seriously though, it was great to meet Ken. We both teach Internet Marketing here in Toronto and Ken is a real asset for BarCamp because he organized a similar community (AIMS) in the past and knows all about the growing pains of such an undertaking. Ken is also a wealth of knowledge and a very approachable guy so it was fun to meet in such a forum.
It was also great to hear from Albert. He is a living breathing success story for Web 1.0 and on his way to a second success with BubbleShare. Albert said some things which will be the foundation to another essay in the web 2.0 essay. (Subscribe to his feed or email me and I’ll let you know when it’s done.) By the way, judging from his name tag, Albert is hiring Ruby + C# developers if you know anyone who fits the bill.
Finally, I’d like to say a word of thanks to Ken King who could not attend because something came up at the last minute. Ken is a marketing guy who is developing a series of web services. I asked Ken to add them to my list of Canadian Web 2.0 apps. He said “I’m too Canadian to add them myself”, so I’m glad to do it here for him.
Thanks again to David Crow and John Lax for hosting. Great to get out with our peers; lets do it again. And is anyone out there sitting on their hands, waiting for someone else take the initiative and provide a medium for your peers to meet? Why can’t you do that yourself? Surely something good will come out of it…