Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Three Days Later, and I'm still on a BarCamp Philly High!

Philadelphia's first-ever BarCamp was held this past weekend (Saturday, November 8th, 2008) at University of the Arts, and it was an amazing experience! BarCamp's "unconferences" where all the content, the sessions, the workshops, are all offered by the attendees. The schedule is created the morning of BarCamp (not preplanned in advance like other conferences), and everyone is invited to present, host, and participate.

You can see our schedule board as well as a few of our sponsors...

After Roz and JP welcomed all of us, we all rushed, excitedly to our first sessions, which were all about an hour-long. There were 7 sessions total, and I got to attend all but one (because I volunteered to watch the registration area from 12-1pm.)

Kevin, from Comcast Interactive Media, presented a discussion session on "Your Great Idea and Why it Hasn't Happened Yet". It definitely had us all thinking about our challenges and psychological barriers that keep us from DOING our ideas.

In fact, while BarCamps usually don't have an over-arching theme, Philly's seemed to be  

Just doing...like my artistic business cards made during Rachel's session: "Making Your Own Business Cards and craft it up / Nanowrimo - find out how to write a novel in 1 month!" despite having no visual arts background. 
I also got to talk about motivation, as in, "How do you motivate yourself to write an novel in one month?"

The final session, hosted by Whitney, was "Quit Your Job! Pick my brain about going independent". She prefaced the session by telling us not to quit our jobs. Then, we learned how hard it can be to work for yourself, but that it can be done. 
Be highly organized with paperwork, charge what you're worth, don't pass-up benefits, and manage your time & money wisely, were all important talking points. 

Every session was a learning experience, but so what every, single interaction I had with fellow BarCampers. All 170 registered attendees were intelligent, friendly, and ready to jump-in and participate, making the whole event, from the kick-off party at P'unk Ave, to the after-party at National Mechanics, a HUGE success! 
I'm not working in social media, or development, or webdesign, and I don't have a reason to start coworking yet, but that didn't stop me, or anyone else, from having an great time, at an awesome unconference. 

1 comment:

  1. Robert, thank you so much for including my session in your round-up. I really hope you enjoyed it. It was great to meet you! See you 'round the Twitterverse :)