One of the tenents of social media is that it fills an unmet need – the desire of people to connect in communities and explore common interests.
It’s no surprise then that the BarCamp community – an international movement of tech enthusiasts who connect locally discuss to technology and trends – would want to use collaborative platforms to connect multiple BarCamps together into one big event.
It was great fun working with Jim Courtney of Skype Journal and Dominic Hodgson of Leeds UK putting this together. Jim was instrumental in introducing us to Convenos a conferencing platform that lets us share desktops and applications. Jim also connected us with HighSpeed Conferencing, a professional conference service that supports Skype calls – meaning even if the demos require a lot of processor cycles the audio quality will still be great. Thanks Jim!
It will be exciting to see this in practice – and to see how people connect during and after the event.
If it’s successful I hope that we see more of it locally – given the strong Camp communities in Montreal, Ottawa and Toronto and the huge advantages of connecting these communities into a single entity – from a talent, funding and company partnership perspective.
In fact Mars seems to have this idea already, web broadcasting their multi-month entrepreneurship program Entrepreneurship 101 throughout the province (has anyone from Ottawa signed up?) and linking it to a FaceBook page for connecting far flung students.
We could take this further though. Toronto is on their sixteenth DemoCamp, Montreal on their fifth. These are great events because they make it easy to identify companies doing interesting things – that may augment your own work.
Extend this through Canada’s central corridor, and link more events, and gradually we’ll develop into a single tech community of international scale.
Update: Things didn’t work as planned, but that hasn’t detered us. We learned wired connections help, we really liked the Leeds audio and the HighSpeed conferencing – which made both the speaker and audience clear. After some testing locally and in Leeds, where we hope to try it again.