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BarCampMilwaukee2 Was a Success!

Another BarCampMilwaukee has been successfully pulled off!

IMG_7702.JPGIn my wanderings and speaking with people in attendance tis weekend, BarCamp was a success.

I repeatedly received positive comments such as "what a great event!" or "wow, people here are so helpful and friendly!" and "this was very well planned and managed" from attendees.

Those who have been involved in putting on a conference will know it's a different view from the inside. We certainly had our glitches, but I was always impressed with the team of organizers and random attendees stepping up to help.

It was very encouraging to see the group do it for themselves, giving of themselves and sharing what they had to make BarCampMilwaukee2 happen for everyone.

As an example, I was set to handle registration and t-shirt handout with several helpers. All was well until I found that the spreadsheet I was using was somehow un-searchable in NeoOffice, two co-organizers moved the file to another machine, while several others started taking names and shirt sizes on good 'ol paper and pencil. Several fresh registrants stepped up to help distribute shirts to other registrants.

Things like this happened repeatedly throughout the weekend, problems being identified and helpers stepping up to solve them. It was a great experience seeing that sort of ad-hoc willingness pop up again and again.

Great Sessions
Sessions were varied and interesting, ranging from personal branding, portable apps, web and graphic design and analog tool capture, to hacking elevators, the Flickrverse, social networking history and more. In each of the sessions I attended, fascinating discussions got going, and kept right through to the end of each hour.

Piano GraveyardI went on the BarCamp Photowalk and had a great time shooting a few images and getting to know several campers better. Check out photos from the event on Flickr. We wandered Schlitz Park, and we then invited into the building of an attendee to snap images inside. We rode in a creaky freight elevator in a old warehouse building, to explore a room full of busted piano parts.

But I think I most enjoyed meeting new people. People like Marcus and Jen and Tracy. There were many more and everyone had a story, an interest, a passion. And those I met seemed to be having a great time, just like me.

Thank You
Thank you to Pete and all of the organizers! I'm very proud to be counted as a small part of the BarCamp organization team, handling t-shirt design, production and printing as well as various other tasks. It was a true honor to be part of this group, watching it move from planning, to preparation to fruition.

Thanks go to our sponsors, who made this event possible. On a several occasions I had attendees ask who was paying for food or shirts — it was a great feeling to tell them that everything was covered by sponsors and individual donations. I'm very proud that the company I work for, MakaluMedia, was a sponsor of this event.

If you're curious about the event, check out the batch of photos generated at the event on Flickr, or check out other postings on Technorati.

Attend or Organize a BarCamp!
If you learn of a BarCamp in your area — go! It's a blast and you won't regret it. If there isn't one in your area, start one! You'll find fellow BarCampers very helpful, and full if ideas and information.

Lord of Chaos T-Shirt
You can see the story behind the Lord of Chaos T-Shirt I designed for Pete Prodoehl, and if you like itm pick up your own directly from GoodStorm:

Lord of Chaos T-Shirt (

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Reader Comments (4)

Congrats, I've heard lots of good things about the weekend too... including some bragging from Nola.

I agree on the BarCamp concept in general. BarCampDC was fun, educational, and I met some great people.
October 15, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterKeith Casey
Thanks Keith, I think Nola and Thulasi her work-mate had a good time last weekend. BarCamps seem to be picking up steam, which is very cool.
October 21, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterMike Rohde
I just found this Mike - thank you for the mention.And you were right, I had a great time and can't wait till we do it again!

November 14, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterMarcus Nelson
Thanks Marcus, it was great to meet you, Can't wail until next year, though we do have Madison and Chicago on the horizon... :-)
November 15, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterMike Rohde

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