Well it’s half done now. The BBQ had to be rescheduled (new date TBD) because of the wet weather, but Saturday went really well. The MSN offices turned out to be just about perfect for the crowd size we had with a nice mix of smaller and larger conference rooms. Everyone I’ve talked to so far seems to have had a good time at BarCampEarthToronto.
You can check out some pictures from the event on Flickr.
There has been some talk about the next event and whether there should be more structure, but at the moment I’m wondering if it might be more interesting with less structure. When I was at university, there was a student club that you could join if you spoke a foreign language and wanted to practice it. They created buttons that you could wear with “French,” “Japanese,” etc on them and the idea was that if you saw someone wearing one of these buttons and you spoke that language you would go up to them and engage them in a conversation in that language. Unfortunately, I’m monolingual and I don’t know how successful the program was, but I wonder if something like that could work for a Barcamp (or spinoff) event. I’ve always found the most interesting conversations often happen in the spaces in between sessions. Perhaps we could try taking the unconference to the next level: no sessions. Create a wiki where you could sign up, state what you’re interested in, and then at the event create interest-tags that people could wear. I can think of a few ways it could work. You could have “I know about:” tags and “I want to know about tags:” or simply “Interests:” tags.
Would this work? Is this something that people would be interested in trying? You tell me.