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BarCampEarthToronto: Networking for Introverts

| barcamp, connecting

I ran a terrific session on networking for introverts at BarCampEarthToronto. I shared a few stories about blogging and conversation-starting pins, and then asked people to save me from having to talk for an entire hour by myself. People shared tips and asked questions, and we had a wonderful, wonderful conversation.

We talked about why connecting with people is important: it opens up
new possibilities and helps us learn more about ourselves. People
shared many tips for how to network, from initiating conversations to
developing friendships.

One of the useful tips I heard was to practice talking to people by
asking strangers for the time or for directions to a place. Hmm, might
try that. Another was to physically open the circle of conversation in
order to invite people in. Yet another was to keep track of people’s
interests and wants, and this gives you an excuse to get back in touch
with them.

Someone suggested using breaks to invite more introverts into the
conversation. I’ll facilitate the next session better. It was a great
session! =)

Laptop ads sponsored by: Orange & Bronze and http://www.wordpress.org

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Sweeeet! WordPress.org bought ad space on my laptop!

| barcamp, business, emacs, entrepreneurship, geek, idea, laptop, marketing

Remember my crazy idea to sell advertising space on my laptop during BarCampEarthToronto? Well, Matt Mullenweg of WordPress.org – *WORDPRESS.ORG!* My favorite blogging platform! (Okay, my *second-favorite* – nothing beats Emacs Planner)

!!

They are *uber*cool. Another thing I really, really, really, really like. Whenever I need to set up a blog for someone else, the very first thing I do is download the latest version of WordPress, unpack it, and set it up. I like it a lot.

So here’s what’s going to happen. I am going to make the logos for Orange & Bronze and WordPress.org as large as I can. I don’t mind potentially wasting space. It’ll be a *fantastic* story.

I’ll blog more from BarCamp tomorrow, and I’ll post my D*I*Y tutorial on Sunday. =) Or today, if I feel particularly diligent…

Anyway. WordPress.org. They are totally, totally cool.

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Advertise on my laptop! Webpage up

| barcamp, business, entrepreneurship, geek, idea, laptop, marketing

Okay, we’re open for business! Buy adspace on my laptop for USD 1.00 / 0.5″x0.5″ (basic) or USD 2.00 / 0.5″x0.5″ (premium, includes elevator pitch). Hurry! BarCampEarthToronto is just a few days away!

Props to Gabriel Mansour for helping me work things out!

See also my previous blog entries:

Other people’s blog entries:

Reserve ad space now!

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Whoa, onto something cool here: advertising on the back of my laptop

| barcamp, business, entrepreneurship, geek, idea, laptop, marketing

UPDATE: See https://sachachua.com/advertise-on-my-laptop.html

Want to grab the eyeballs of every geek at BarCampEarthToronto
and the other tech events I go to? Advertise on the back of my
laptop. Even better: tell me enough about your stuff so that I can
enthusiastically talk about it.

I’m an evangelist. Give me something cool to talk about.

The back of an 8.9″ laptop screen *really* doesn’t seem like much
space to advertise on, but *everyone* looks, believe me. It’s the
irresistable combination of cute geek girl _and_ insanely tiny laptop.

And it happens *every* *single* *time.* It helps that I have small
hands. Most people just can’t deal with something that small. Sure,
black Macbooks are trendy, but they’re not as rare as a *teensy*
little laptop that a geek girl is happily typing away on. (In Emacs,
no less.)

Amber MacArthur (TechTV) called attention to the sticker I had on
my laptop (“The geek shall inherit the earth”) and the pins I have on
my backpack (“No, you can’t just explain it in the manual” – Human
Factors International). Random strangers cross the street to
compliment me on my outfit, ask about the stickers on my skateboard,
or wonder out loud if that’s a *real* computer I’m typing away on.
(Yes, as I walk.) And that happens both in geek-heavy get-togethers
and while just walking in cosmopolitan, blase downtown Toronto.

I can’t help it. I get attention. I might as well make use of it.

More to the point: _you_ might as well make use of it.

So here’s what’s going to happen:

  • TONIGHT: I’ll decide on a pricing scheme. E-mail me or leave a
    comment if you want to hear about it as soon as I’ve come up with
    it (probably later tonight).
  • TONIGHT: I’ll set up a static page, blog about it, and tell people.
  • WEDNESDAY AND THURSDAY: I’ll accept orders.
  • THURSDAY: I’ll figure out exactly how to mount it. Don’t worry, I
    have several plans.
  • FRIDAY: I’ll select and confirm orders, and print out and mount the
    final thing on Friday afternoon.

My skateboard’s also open for advertising.

E-mail me at sacha@sachachua.com or leave a comment using the form
below to find out about the next step as soon as possible.

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See also my previous blog entry:

Networking for Geeks: Advertise with your laptop!

Other people’s blog entries:

(leave me a comment to get linked!)

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Come and hang out at BarCampEarth!

| barcamp, geek

Geek? Come to BarCampEarth. Organize one near you if you have to.

In Toronto? Come to BarCampEarthToronto, Aug 26 to 27. Space is limited, so register now!

I’ll be the girl in the… oh, forget it. You’ll find me easily. ;)

BarCampEarthToronto might even worth coming to Toronto for,
depending on the fare. Check out your favorite travel agency for tickets!

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Upcoming BarCamp

Posted: - Modified: | barcamp

Reviewing my months-old inbox, I came across a conversation with Justin Wiley about their BarCamp, the geek un-conference I like so much. He told me of an interesting session at one of their BarCamps. The session was called “Refactoring Your Wetware“, and it was all about productivity. That reminded me that BarCamp sessions aren’t limited to computer topics. I’d love to facilitate a session on personal productivity at one of the Toronto BarCamps. I may even go ahead and steal the title. ;)

Another session I’d love to facilitate would be one on networking for introverts, which Richard Eriksson‘s also interested in. It ties in well with the Conference Commando stuff I want to do.

Looks like I’ll be volunteering one of those (or even both!) for BarCampEarthToronto

  • E-Mail from Justin Wiley
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DemoCamp!

| barcamp, democamp, toronto

I love going to conferences and geek get-togethers because I always end up having the most interesting conversations. Even though my responsibilities at Toast I.T. Toastmasters meant that all I caught of DemoCampToronto8 was just David Crow ending it with, “That wraps up DemoCamp for the night,” it was so worth the mad scramble across town.

Here’s an incomplete list of highlights from DemoCamp:

  • Ari Caylakyan came along from Toast I.T. Toastmasters in order to see the geek events I go to.
  • Chatted with Olivier Yip Tong on the way in.
  • Carsten Knoch gave me the July 1 issue of the Guardian UK
    that I’d blogged about. A journalist interviewed a bunch of
    UK-based IBM bloggers and the IBMers mentioned me as an example of
    a blogging student, and the article came out online on July 1. I
    met Carsten at Enterprise 2.0 Camp on 2006.07.20, and he went back
    and read my blog. (Awwwwww!) When he read my entry about the
    Guardian, he realized that he had that issue and that it was
    sitting in his recycling bin. What an amazing coincidence! I’ll
    read through the entire thing later to see if I made it into print.
    If so, them my mom will be ridiculously happy to receive a paper
    copy of it for her scrapbook. =) Even if the article isn’t there –
    isn’t that just a nifty thing?
  • Jane Zhang made me promise to blog
    the Social Tech Brewing event this August. The event’s about women
    in technology, and it looks like it will be a very interesting
    discussion.
  • I apologized profusely to Greg Wilson for not following up
    on the introduction to Steve Easterbrook, who teaches a
    course that I absolutely must take next semester and who is
    interested in the social side of software engineering. Greg invited
    me to another meeting at 9:45 AM at the Starbucks at College and
    St. George. (Update: I was unavoidably late and ended up at the
    Starbucks at 10:00 instead of 9:45. Didn’t meet them. Argh! Now I
    look terrible. I hate being late!)
  • Hypothesis: Following Greg Wilson around leads to
    conversations with interesting people. Data point: Hugh Ranalli. I overheard Hugh talking to Greg about computer training in developing countries, so naturally I stepped right into the conversation. (Greg told me to be nice and share! ;) ) Hugh’s working with Digital Opportunity Trust on skill-oriented training (as opposed to tech-oriented; teaching presentation skills instead of Microsoft Powerpoint), and I think that’s just what is needed. I’m curious about the Teach Up, Skill Up, and Scale Up programs he described for teachers, at-risk youth, and entrepreneurs.
  • James Woods had a haircut, which is probably one of the reasons why I didn’t remember his name, but still… He remembered mine and he makes an effort to be good with names, but was good-natured enough to forgive my lapse. =) He told me how he scheduled himself onto a yet-unplanned DemoCamp just to make sure he’d get a slot, and of David Crow‘s funny reaction to that.
  • James Woods introduced me to Vlad Jebelev, who used to be a Toastmaster when he lived in Missassauga. His wife was one of the club founders for a bank-based club.
  • Jeremy talked to me about his work in scientific visualizations – mainly physics and chemistry. His wife’s doing her PhD in biotechnology, so he’s getting interested in that as well.
  • With a little more time this DemoCamp, I got to know Ian Irving through more than just his blog title. “Hi, I’m Ian Irving of falsepositives” wasn’t much to go on last time, especially as I didn’t feel like opening my computer then and there! ;) I noticed the Lotus Notes thing on his business card and we talked a bit about that. Then we ended up in a longer conversation about how to keep track of lots of blogs and the strategies we use, like following influencers, analyzing OPML… Ian has some pretty interesting OPML analysis tools that he should share. =) It would be good to see the intersection of blog subscriptions between your friends, for example… He’s thought a lot about this attention economy, and has come up with a few things to make it personally better.
  • Finally got to connect with Rick Mason. He had stumbled across my entry on networking with Moleskine notebooks. We nearly met at the Flash event on 2006.06.29, but for some reason or another he didn’t make it to that one. We were supposed to meet last week for coffee, but our schedules got full. DemoCamp did the trick!
  • It was good to see Rock Jethwa at DemoCamp. I met him at the TorCHI social the night before and thought he might enjoy the DemoCamp scene. He probably heard about it from other people, too. =)
  • Rock Jethwa introduced me to Goran Matic, who’s also really enthusiastic about storytelling and social computing. Awesome!
  • Simon Rowland actually managed to make it out to one of the DemoCamp parties! =)
  • Andrew Burke joked about his resemblance to Simon Rowland. I laughed and said I’d probably be able to tell them apart by now, all things considered. Andrew and I chatted about Emacs. He said that geek get-togethers in California tend to be Emacs-dominated, while Toronto’s more of a vi city than anything else. I really should have a dinner party just for Emacs geeks.
  • Joey de Villa talked about his recent experiences with AdSense and how Randy of KBCafe is making quite a living off targeted blogs.
  • Brent Ashley collected his requisite two hugs: one coming in, one going. <laugh>
  • Gabriel Mansour and Simon Rowland started talking about Asterisk. Gabriel mentioned the Asterisk + Drupal module. Simon laughed and told him the history of that particular piece – his company developed it. <grin> That was cute!
  • Jedediah Smith suggested that I introduce him as a former mustard factory safety inspector if Web advertising is considered evil.
  • Alan Hietala promised to check out Toastmasters. He’ll be graduating within a few weeks and is looking for a programming/software development job that can take advantage of his interests in visualization and other deep hacking stuff. He’s interested in doing software architecture eventually.
  • Apricots and a kooshy ball!

A very good evening indeed.

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