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More thoughts on Barcamp II

| barcamp

I personally am not tired of conferences. I am just tired of tired conferences. Particularly the ones with the same group of twenty talking heads saying the same twenty things. – Stowe Boyd

I know public speaking scares the heck out of most people, but maybe
we can get more people into the conversation…

I remember facing two hundred people at one of the PLUG technical
sessions, all quiet as a mouse. I remember feeling _really_ frustrated
by the notion that they might just be there to listen to people talk
(possibly over their heads, eh?), get their certificate and go on with
their lives. Or maybe they were just thinking about lunch. Ah, well.

I want small groups, so no one can hide in the anonymity of crowds. ;)
I’m tired of audiences. I want participants. I don’t want to hear
presentations. I want to be part of conversations.

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Random Japanese sentence: 猫はネズミを追いかけた。 The cat ran after the rat.

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More thoughts on Barcamp, no answers

| barcamp, philippines, purpose, sad

Dominique helpfully offered suggestions on adapting
BarCamp to the Philippines. He said that
it was doable, but challenging. He asked me the top five people I’d
like to be there. He suggested having interdisciplinary talks by
invited speakers on entrepreneurship, physics, biology, etc. Many of
the Linux geeks who regularly speak at events would no doubt turn up,
too.

I had such a strong reaction against his ideas that I had to stop
myself from being frustrated. I recognized that I felt he didn’t
understand what unconferences were about. I also recognized that I
couldn’t yet articulate the differences between unconferences and
conferences in a way that would make the changes and benefits clear. I
was frustrated, yes, but I was frustrated with myself for being unable
to figure out how to hack unconferences into Filipino culture without
turning the event into yet another thing that divides speakers from
audience instead of creating a community of participants.

I knew Dominique wanted to help me think things through, but the
strength and irrationality of my reaction made me realize that I
needed to first think things over with people who know the
unconference culture and who may have insights into helping a new
community adapt.

I need more insight from people like Chris Messina and David Crow. How
does one hack unconferences into a society’s culture? How can I help
people go from a strongly hierarchical culture to a flatter one? Must
ask Don Marti, too…

I don’t have answers. I don’t even know where to start. One good thing
is that I can recognize when I’m hitting a wall, though. When I heard
Dominique repeat his suggestion for inviting talks from outside
disciplines and I knew I just couldn’t listen well enough to do him
credit, I thanked Dominique for sharing his thoughts and confessed my
inability to discuss things further at this time. I need to talk to
the others first. I need to figure things out.

You know, it’s just _so_ tempting to not think about how to hack
something like unconferences into Philippine society. It would be so
easy to just enjoy the fruits of other people’s labor in a tech
culture that’s starting to take off. But I want to bring these ideas
home…

And you know what? Maybe I don’t need to figure out how to get people
out of their chairs and into the conversation. Maybe I can focus on
just meeting the Web 2.0 entrepreneurs, the connectors who are
reaching out to me and to each other. I’d like to meet them in person
and get them to talk to each other. Maybe I don’t have to think about
doing that this August. Maybe I can do that this December, if I can
afford to go home.

I don’t feel bad about being asked tough questions. I feel bad about
not knowing the answers and not even being able to explain why
something doesn’t feel right. I just need to talk to more people and
try more things in order to figure out what to do.

And I seriously need hot chocolate and a hug, but that’s just because
I’m feeling all lost again… I’ll try to postpone thinking about it
until Friday, as I’m booked until then.

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Random Japanese sentence: うちの猫って甘えん坊で、どこでも私のあと着いて来るのよね。 My cat is such a baby, she follows me around wherever I go.

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Barcamp explained

| barcamp

Joey de Villa has an excellent blog post explaining BarCamp. Check it out.

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Random Japanese sentence: 私は犬の方が猫より好きです。なぜなら、前者の方が後者より忠実ですから。 I like dogs better than cats, because the former are more faithful than the latter.

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Ruby versus Java

| barcamp, ruby

This is totally cool. I’m in the middle of a geek crowd discussing
Java vs Ruby, but there’s none of that “my language is better than
yours” vibe that often comes out in Linux distribution discussions. I
think what’s cool about it is that most people here use both, so we’re
just figuring out where one is better than the other for something,
and how we can improve things…

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Random Japanese sentence: 彼は2匹猫を飼っている。一匹は黒でもう一匹は白だ。 He keeps two cats: one is black, and the other white.

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