I’ll be participating in Barcamp Texas, a free conference in Austin. I’ll even be giving a few talks (probably 4 total):
- Deathproofing your Website (something I did together with Jim Thompson for Barcamp Houston)
- Everything Developers Need to Know about End User Documentation in 30 Minutes or Less
- Marketing Your WebApp with Online Demos: A Comparison of Free/Open Source & Proprietary Tools
- Reading On the Run: Ebooks for Fun and Profit
I might do more or less depending on how much time I have. If you plan to be there, feel free to stop me and say hello. Or send me an email idiotprogrammer at fastmailbox.net . Here’s more information from the press release:
“BarCamp is an ad-hoc (spontaneous) unconference where technology enthusiasts come together to discuss the latest innovations in Web Design, Web Development, Programming, Robotics, DIY Techniques, and much, much more. Intense and interactive, BarCamp breaks the mold of the traditional conference by letting participants guide the event from start to finish. Nicknamed the Do-It-Yourself Conference, BarCamp operates on the principle that ‘Everyone is an expert at something.'”
Barcamps have been proliferating in major cities and even in other countries like India. Last March Barcamp Austin ended up overshadowing the famous South by Southwest conference (which was held at the same time). In June, the Refresh Houston group held Barcamp Houston , which attracted a good 75+ participants at the Buddha Bar.
Barcamps are less structured than traditional conferences. Usually people show up without really knowing what the topics will be. At the beginning of the day, people volunteer to give a talk by writing their name on the schedule board. Often there are several talks going on simultaneously, making it easy for participants to wander in and out of various talks.
Topics mainly depend on the kind of participants who show up. In Houston Barcamp, topics included: Ruby on Rails, Web 2.0, Podcasting Business Models, Accessibility and Web Design. You can see the Barcamp Texas site for some of the proposed topics (keeping in mind that there will be subtractions and additions). Although it’s not listed, I’ve been told that WordPress blogging software founder Matt Mullenweg will be there, making it likely that lots of sessions will be devoted to managing blogs and creating/using plugins for them.