A couple weeks ago, the Wisconsin Technology Network reported on BarCampMilwaukee to be held September 30-October 1 at Bucketworks downtown. This sounded intriguing. After a week or so of lurking on the wiki and the YahooGroup, I became more than intrigued. This started sounding like the event I’ve been looking for since coming back to Milwaukee in 2002.
What’s a BarCamp? Well, somebody described it as “a fully-clothed Burning Man” (which I am, sadly, missing yet again this week). It’s a 24-hour-plus event focused on (mostly open-source) technology and creativity. These things have been happening for a few years now (there’s a good history and description of last year’s BarCamp NY here. The key thing to know is that it’s all about participation. It’s not just a conference where you go and listen and nod heads, and maybe all the interesting discussions happen in the hallway, never to be acted on. BarCamp is an “un-conference,” where everyone leads a session, and any interesting conversations that happen in the hallway can be continued in a newly-created session posted on the wall.
I don’t know what I’ll be doing there yet, though I’ve thought about a session on making useful software docs and/or interfaces (yeah, I know, gotta figure out some way to jazz that up). I can always do something on SUSE or other Linuxes, but this crowd won’t need an intro. Any of you out there have an idea? Feel free to post.
What I’m really hoping to get out of this event is to meet a bunch of interesting people who know some interesting things. Maybe there will be something to collaborate on that comes out of it. Maybe just a buddy or two. Or maybe I’ll just have an all-night geekfest experience to write about later.
Anyway, BarCampMilwaukee is limited to 175 people. You should be one of them. Start thinking about what to do, and post it on the wiki. I look forward to seeing you.