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Streaky Vision

19

This is what BarCamp looks like after lunch break. Of course, we aren’t sure it looks like this for everybody, but this is what it looks like for us.

So far the “non-conference” has been great. If you have never organized a conference you would be amazed at how easy it is to mess up. There are hundreds of details that would never occur to a normal person which can absolutely sink a conference. By the time the damn things start, it’s too late to do anything about it.

BarCamp has suffered from none of this, thanks largely to the efforts of Mike Walsh, who has years of experience as an event planner. Everything has happened on schedule, ample stocks of all of the basic geek food groups; urns of good coffee, Krispy Kreme donuts, Pizza and salad, even baskets and baskets of candy bars!

Right now we are in a session on search technology – do we want personalized, predictive search, or more easily modifiable searches. Next we want to find a demo of a new service called Plum.

We appologize for any typos or design errors – by necessity we are learning to use Word Press on the fly….

Blogging, Podcasting and Leveraging

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See, we didn’t have to wait long at all. 11:30 and here we go with a session on new media and how to “leverage it all” into something which is at present unclear but will hopefully be revealed by the presenter, Chris Brogan.

Chris makes a good point that blogging goes back to pre-Revolution America, and by extension, 17th century London newspapers. Segues into Cat Blogs, Digg and social networking.

The Daily Mashup seems to be a meta-aggregator, and from there into Boing Boing and a discussion of on-line advertising. Also CNET visual news tools. Aggregate video – Secret Pants, Ask a Ninja, Don’t be that Guy. Video blogging, with a good promo for Steve Garfield and Rocketboom .

Hmmm. There must be a way to add links in wordpress easier than writing the whole ahref tag…..

Intros at BarCamp

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10:43 AM and people are passing around a mike and introducing themselves, also mentioning what they are going to be talking about. One of the distinguishing characteristics of this non-conference is that EVERYBODY is supposed to give at least a small talk or presentation.

Some of the ideas are fascinating, and hope we can make the connection to the right talk in the right room. One guy is going to show off his on-line poker school. Another guy with a thick Israeli accent says he is going to talk about creating leaders around the world. We think he works for a Bio-tech company.

All the Monster people are in orange.

Lots of the particpants seem to have their own companies (“I work for myself”) and are basically selling same.

The more we look around, the more we realize that a lot of the people here are over cafinated and operating on demanding personal agendas. We feel the energy in the room snapping and crackling, especially when the geeks start talking about money, start-ups, angel investors, etc.

We may need to slip out for some stress medication before it starts to get to us.

Stay tuned….

Live from Bar Camp

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On a cold and rainy Saturday morning, as soon as the fog cleared and it was obvious the Just Don’t Suck tennis club would be canceled, we packed ourself into the White Whale and wandered out Route 2, past Walden Pond, and into Maynard, MA.

In a renovated red-brick mega-office mall called The Clock Tower Place, reminiscent for us of the University of Texas Clock Tower where Charles Whitman gunned down a dozen strollers on the UT Mall a few years before we arrived, in a space provided by Monster.com, a bunch of geeks are reveling in each other, their geekiness, and all things technological.

The Dowbrigade feels somewhat out of place, as we don’t really have the smarts to be a true geek, but since we like hanging out and listening to smart people, we are trying to fit in.

Actually, after enganging in a couple of painfully polite random comversations we have rebuffed the friendly people and retired to a solitary table near a power outlet to hide behind the screen of our iBook (no mean feat, it’s just an old 12-inch) and blog away.

This is a screwy kind of “non-conference” conference, with an agenda made up as it goes along. So far only a few session discriptions are up on the wall, and a lot of the topics are highly technical, ie the Dowbrigade would understand as much as an escatalogical discourse in Swahili, but a few look accessible.

The Wi-Fi seems to be working well. I will try to post additional notes later.

Flowers for a Faded Romance

16

This posting, as may be obvious, was written three days ago, but unfortunately the Dowbrigade News has been down since then, due to “hardware failure on the manila server”. As a result, we are experimenting with the new Word Press server.

As we lay in bed this morning, a cavalcade of images
cascading before out eyes, we had to hide our tears from Norma Yvonne.
It isn’t everyday a fifteen-year-long relationship comes to an abrupt
end.

We are not referring to our wife, however; Norma Yvonne
and the Dowbrigade have been getting on rather well of late, truth be
told.
But
few know
that we have been carrying on an almost daily dalliance with another
woman for years.

Norma knows, of course; how could we hide a relationship
so deep and enduring.  Over the years she has come to accept,
if not approve, as long as we kept it completely separate from our relationship
with her, Norma. But we did not want her to see us crying.

We had been through a lot over 15 years, the Dowbrigade and the Other Woman.  And then,
suddenly, she announces that it’s over, that she’s leaving.  How’s
a man supposed to react?

We still can’t believe this morning we saw her smile,
heard her giggle in our bed for the last time.  What are we going
to do tomorrow?

Small comfort that she’s still going to be around, hanging
with a different crowd. We’ll probably even catch sight of her from time
to time, for a few fleeting seconds, across an airport lobby or a crowded
bar at dinnertime.  But
it won’t be the same. It even makes it worse.

Buck up, man! Think positive thoughts.  You still
have a good job, a loving wife, two decent kids, manageable debt. Life
goes on. People change, they grow, they move on. It’s probably best for
everyone.

But we’re going to miss you, Katie Couric.

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