BarCamp #3 aftermath

24 05 2010

Just back from The Exchange with all empties and remaining beer, and a lovely bright moon on a rare warm night. Tonight saw some interesting tours and chats about web apps, accessibility issues for the blind and a successful macro lens photography experiment using mobile phones and mutilated DVD drives – amazingly it worked and there will soon be pics to prove it. We also saw how a local Stroud business sells custom printed t-shirts and other merchandise via their home made web site, with some insight into their business model. For those wishing to follow-up, here are the links:

http://www.getharvest.com/ (time tracking and billing)
http://www.freeagentcentral.com/ (accounts)
http://tshirtcandy.com/ – (t-shirt/merch printing in Stroud from our very own Craig Williams)
http://www.rememberthemilk.com/ (to-do lists everywhere)
http://www.doodle.com/ (negotiating meeting dates)

Some good ideas were fielded about structure of future events. We elected to start a google wave for proposing ideas/projects for next meet up which is likely to be monday july 5th pending final confirmation. This will have the added bonus of forcing some of us Luddites (myself included) to try google wave to see if it really is actually useful.

Thanks to everybody for coming – see you next time!





BarCamp Stroud #3 scheduled

13 05 2010

The next Stroud BarCamp is going to be at 8pm on Monday 24th May, at The Exchange in Stroud.

We’ll be getting in some more excellent beer from Stroud Brewery, and at the moment it looks like there’ll be attempts to make mobile phone macro lenses from some old DVD players, and some quick talks about some great web apps people use. Line-up may be subject to change… if you have something you’d like to talk about please get in touch.

There’ll also be another iPad appearance…





BarCamp #2 Details

14 04 2010

First, a reminder that our second BarCamp meeting is on 19th April at 8pm at The Exchange in central Stroud (Brick Row).

We have had Christian and Dave Crane put forward talks for the night, on VoIP and a comparison of various programming languages and why certain languages are more appropriate for modern tasks, respectively.

We will have these two 10 minute talks – just a concentrated “knowledge injection” for people to investigate further later if they are interested – and a quick “hands on” session with a real life iPad.

Secondly, we’ll be in the new larger meeting room with a not-quite-finished concrete floor, and we’ll be getting in an ~18 pint keg of Stroud Brewery Organic beer, which we are getting at a reduced rate from the very generous Greg Pilley who runs the brewery. We better try not to spill any beer on that floor!

The room will cost us £20 to hire, and the delicious organic beer is going to work out around £25. Richard and I will cover this happily (at least for now!) but donations of a couple of quid from each attendee would be appreciated. If we do end up cash positive, we’ll hold it over to the next event.

As ever, its going to be tricky to judge the numbers until the night, so if you’re late you might find the (in house) beer is all gone until we vacate to the pub.

Thanks in advance – really looking forward to seeing everyone and hopefully some new faces who have said they want to come. This second event will hopefully show us where we want to take BarCamp Stroud on an ongoing basis.

To join the BarCamp Stroud mailing list for announcements and ideas please mail richard.spence@gmail.com





BarCamp Stroud #2 date and talk proposals

26 03 2010

We’ve booked the larger room at The Exchange now for Monday April 19th at 8pm.

Please comment on this post with your talk ideas and preferred durations. We’ll have a vote closer to the date on which to feature!





BarCamp Stroud #1 follow-up

25 03 2010

Thanks to everybody who came on Monday night (22nd March 2010). We had close to a dozen people if I recall, which is about as much as we could handle the first time I think. Its was really great to meet everybody who came – a diverse bunch of interesting people, which is exactly what we want. We even had embarrassing name labels.

Richard Spence, in addition to organising the room at The Exchange, gave us an engaging talk about the mobile phone development business. We managed to avoid bloodshed on the iPhone vs Android issue. This was followed by drinks at The Fleece just up the hill in Stroud. People were talking about the open source Cassandra MapReduce database, the perils or benefits of working at home, and quirky user interfaces for people with difficulties using keyboards and many other topics. I also found out that I wasn’t the only drummer there!

We decided at the meeting to plan for the next meeting to be a little later, at 8pm on Monday April 19th – please put it in your diaries!

I think that there was talk of formalising this so that it is on the same Monday of each month, eg the first or last monday of each month or something like that. We should sort this out at the next meeting, as it would probably be helpful (also we can soon publish an iCal feed of the dates past and future).

Its also becoming apparent that we need to change a few things to scale this up to larger numbers.

The small meeting room at The Exchange was OK for the first one, but we are looking at using the new bigger meeting room for the talk part, when its ready (which it may not be for the next meeting). We’ll also need to look at finding a pub/bar with more space in it / a large area with smaller table clusters as the number of attendees grows. The Retreat and Bar Nine might work out for nights where we have larger numbers.

We’re also looking for ideas as to how to take the talks forward. Richard is in touch with people from BathCamp about how they do it, and others had suggestions on the night such as using the 20 x 20 second slides Pecha Kucha approach, and the inverse of a presentation e.g. “I’ve got problem X – what do you think I should do to solve it?”.

More suggestions and talk proposals are most welcome.

We’re going to play with using a WordPress site for SBC to publicise the group and the events, possibly photo gallery (of handsome geeks in harsh lighting? Really?), and maybe voting on the talk (and other issues) for each event. We would appreciate if one or two people could come forward to do brief write-ups/event info posting on there etc once its set up (we’re going to use free wordpress.com hosting for now – zero hassle). Ning.com is another possibility there, BathCamp use it, but I will say I’m not a fan of such “portal” style sites. Do we really need forums, logins etc?

Also, if we continue to do the talk parts at a place such as The Exchange, I can talk to Stroud Brewery… they may sell us a small keg at reduced price in exchange for event sponsorship. I can see a vote for which brew around the corner…

So any ideas at all, please throw them out here on the list. Moderation has been turned off on the mailing list by agreement of all those who came to SBC #1. The point is simply for us to have fun and maybe learn something.

Finally – thank you again and please spread the word – the more the merrier!