If you haven’t heard about it yet…. here’s what you should know….
Barcamp Bangalore (BCB) is back! – it christened the 2007 Winter edition! After Barcamp Bangalore 4 (BCB4 for some), we decided that BCB ought to be regular periodic event. Something that the tech community would look forward to… to participate and share…. to meeting exciting people, talk about exciting technologies, talk about about possibilities, meet entrepreneurs and have a lot of fun!
There have been some who have been critical and other who have been happy with the going ons….
Having been associated with BCB over a few editions… we have come a long way… and some distance to go… What has kept me going is the sheer energy, passion and enthusiasm all around in the team. Each edition bring in new enthusiasts who want to give it their bit for BCB. Those who enjoyed the previous one and who want to make a difference chipping in this time…. It is this never ending energy/fuel that keep Barcamp Bangalore running… And every BCB is testimony to this passion to set aside time… take time off weekends and personal commitments… and the never say die attitude!
Each BCB has tackled new challenges…
The first BCB held at Yahoo was one of getting off the blocks and make it work… Dealing with something really new!
The second BCB at Thoughtworks had to deal with the buzz the first one had created in Blogosphere and those that wanted to get a first hand feel of the event….
Both editions had to reckon with security restrictions that the host had to put in place while they were gracious enough to allow the tech community to use their office space. At BCB2 at Thoughtworks cameras were not allowed but for a few “official” photographers. Many participants didn’t like it.
For many open and great discussions & debate, wifi, photography, live blogging and networking have become essential ingredients of Barcamps.
For many BCB1 and BCB2 still bring back great memories of the “classic” BCBs. The discussions were primarily focussed on the Internet, Web 2.0 and mobile. Many Startups demoed their fledgling products to get community feedback.
But getting a BCB off the ground meant…. fixing a venue, ensuring wifi and decent bandwidth, organising some food and finding a sponsor (s) to defray basic costs. Many of us were wondering what could be done to make things easy to get a BCB organized. Fixing a venue was the biggest problem…
BCB3 made us look for a venue and thats when the IIMB support came along and along with it went away the challenge of physical and network security restrictions. We decided to make IIMB the fixed venue for future BCBs. For BCB3, the initial thinking was to theme the focus on Social Tech – How technology impacts society. The community didn’t seem to fancy such a dramatic change in theming. This led to the re-theming of BCB3 to include Internet, Mobile and Social Tech as the three broad themes for discussion.
With BCB4 the team wondered if it would be useful to let people suggest what they wanted to talk about (themes) and interact with like minded folks pre-event (on the wiki). We called these “Collectives”. All along we were careful to not to drive any content but only suggest. The collectives took of in a manner that surprised many of us. There were 30 something collectives and they ranged from mobile, startups through bicycling! And the smaller collectives had loads of fun. We believed we had “democratized” content by allowing special interest groups to form, organize and run themselves through collectives. And we had the venue and the infrastructure issues out of the way with a standard venue. ANd by BCB4 we had a few steady and repeat sponsors in Yahoo, Thoughtworks and TCS. Sponsorship is never easy to come by but repeat sponsors were obviously coming back because sponsors were seeing value.
BCB3 and BCB4 saw the rise in scale. This was good in one way since the event was being look forward to by many and at the same time it posed the typical problems of scale – varied expectations, communication and logistics challenges. Some even felt that the overall content was dropping. We decided to organize the event every 4 months and call them the summer, monsoon and winter editions. It was felt that having periodic BCBs would build the “ongoing ecosystem” that would foster exchange of ideas, ideation and possible realization of these ideas.
BCB5 is carrying forward the things that have worked over barcamps and hopes to get the collectives approach / model work more effectively. BCB5 saw the introduction of forums in addition to the wiki to allow collectives to discuss and interact prior to the event.
By any means BCB has come long way from BCB1. With everyones support, passion and ideas we hope make it better and better. See you at BCB5. Its on the 17th and 18th of November (2007)!
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