Tags: barcamplondon3

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BarCamp ends

We’re down to the last couple of talks at BarCamp London 3. I’m feeling remarkably awake considering how late I was playing Werewolf—it must be the presentations that are keeping me on my toes.

After a fun geek quiz in the style of QI, I participated in mass critique of the forthcoming BBC homepage redesign. The good news: all the functionality provided by JavaScript is still available using traditional full page refreshes. The bad news: it’s still fixed width—the number of pixels is different but the design decision is the same. It was very, very brave to show a redesign to this tough crowd but the ensuing discussion was enjoyable and thought-provoking.

Right now, Ian is giving a talk on data portability and that’s provoking even more discussion and debate.

It’s been fun but it’s time for me to make the long journey back to Brighton. I’ve had a great time. It was, like all the other BarCamps I’ve attended, very inspiring. Many thanks to BBC Backstage and to all the Google people who opened up their workplace to us and shared their facilities as well as their delicious and plentiful food.

BarCamp continues

When the talks wrapped up on the first day of BarCamp London 3, the evening events began. Our hosts, Google, sure know how to grease the gears of geek socialising; we were served a wide variety of good beer and wine, we were fed a thanksgiving turkey dinner, we were happy, happy geeks.

It wasn’t long before the happiness was replaced with fear, suspicion and paranoia. Yes, I mean Werewolf. I played in two games and moderated another two. Werewolf moderation brings out the asshole in me, but it usually makes for a good game experience.

The mauling was interrupted at midnight to enjoy extra treats from Google: waffles, crépes and a chocolate fountain. I thought the food at BarCamp Brighton couldn’t be topped but BarCamp London 3 has really raised the bar. This morning, after a good night’s sleep (I was glad I brought an inflatable mattress), breakfast included omelettes cooked to order and freshly squeezed orange juice.

As well as the culinary goodness, there are plenty of toys to keep us amused: guitar hero, Wii and a Segway. With our entertainment needs satisfied, we know return to the matrix of presentations with renewed vigour.

BarCamp begins

BarCamp London 3 is in full swing. I’ve put together a schedule of the talks. It’s marked up in hCalendar so everyone here can subscribe to it, stick it on their laptops, phones, iPods, or whatever, and then get updates as and when I edit the HTML.

The Google offices have been taken over for a grab-bag of great presentations. I sat in on Norm!’s Law, an introduction to storytelling, an overview of OpenSocial from a very jetlagged David Recorden and a treatise on website psychology from Gavin Bell. Then it was my turn.

I enjoyed talking about The Transmission of Tradition. I didn’t use many slides and they were just reminders for myself. I mostly just nattered on and punctuated my tale with the occasional tune or two. I really enjoyed it and the people who were gracious enough to listen to me seemed to enjoy it too.

And now I should get back to listening to and participating in the other talks. I ought to be heckling Norm! right now.

Return to London town

No sooner am I back from one London geekfest than I find myself getting ready to head back up for another. is about to kick off, hosted by Google this time. If it’s even remotely as good as the previous two London BarCamps, it’s going to be great.

A BarCamp offers a nice opportunity to for me to break out of my usual subject matter. Instead of talking about Ajax, web standards, or microformats, I’m planning to take some of the material from my talk at the local £5 App event and condense it down into a study of how technology has altered the transmission of Irish traditional music. I’m hoping that this could be a good starting point for a discussion of ideas such as the public domain, copyright and the emergence of a reputation economy. Failing that, I’ll probably bring my bouzouki with me so I could just play some tunes.

Mostly I’m excited to see what other people have got in store. I’m constantly amazed by the quality of presentations I’ve seen at BarCamps. I feel kind of guilty that this will be my third London BarCamp—after all, it shouldn’t be the same faces every time—but, oh, I do love them so! I can always earn my keep by moderating a game of Werewolf or ten.