I’m back in Brighton after my brief sojourn to California. My workload didn’t take a break while I was away so now I’m in catch-up mode.
The Social Graph Foo Camp was pretty darn great. I was nervous going into it that having one single topic would be too constricting but I needn’t have worried: the word “social” meant that the floor was open to quite a wide range of sessions. As well as the technical talks, there were some great discussions on the nature of society, homophily and play. I could sit and talk with people like Kevin Marks, Gavin Bell and Teresa Nielsen-Hayden about this kind of stuff all day.
The invitation list for SGFoo was put together by David Recordon and Scott Kveton. They did an excellent job, shrewdly ensuring that no one person would know more than 25-30% of the other people there, which meant that everyone had the opportunity to meet lots of new interesting people. I’m not entirely sure how I managed to make it onto the list but I’m very grateful.
My only point of reference for this event was the BarCamps I’ve attended. While there’s a lot of similarity in terms of energy and enthusiasm, there are also some differences—the exclusivity being the obvious one. I think that the two models complement each other very well. A BarCamp is like going down to your local boozer: anyone can get in, you’ll meet your friends but you’ll also meet some new people with whom you have a lot in common. Foo Camp is more like a dinner party: you’ll still meet a mixture of people you know and people you don’t but everyone there has been invited by the host. I like the idea of a social life balanced between pub-going and dinner parties.