Tag Archives: barcamp

A word about my Barcamp posts

If you know me, then you know that I have both a math and art background.  I used to be a webmaster, and I was a co-founder of a company that did java development for telephony companies and one that built middleware for mobile applications.  So even though I make my living as a brand consultant and usually fill this blog with musings on branding and the occasional mention of an art show, I still consider the Atlanta Internet technology scene to be part of my turf.   Barcamp Atlanta is an extraordinary event that is happening this weekend at Ga Tech’s ATDC building.  It is the secind year in a row, and I did last year what I am doing this year – trying to capture a little flavor of the event by writing some blog entries on the spot.   The writing style is much more extemporaneous than my usual posts, and probably has a higher percentage of typos and grammar crimes.  Forgive me. Indulge me,  I think this is an important event.   It is at place like these that nascent technologies can start to find their foundation, can start to spread to the bright and creative technologists who can turn them into cool companies and even revolutions in how we communicate.  The reportage here is rough around the edges for sure, and woefully incomplete, but if this stuff interests you, seek out the tag barcampatl, or barcampatl08 around the web.   You may find that there is an interesting spirit and some cool concepts floating around this event.

Not in Atlanta?  Then check out barcamp.org and see if there is one happening in a city near you.

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Barcamp 2 – Day 2 – Glen Gordon discusses ASP.net MVC

It’s beta.  Michael Ivey says it is cool, and when a merb guy says a msft thing is worth looking at I figure I should check it out.

I’m definitely feeling tired though.  My typings is particularly clumsy today, so you probably have noticed that the last few live blogs have been degrading in quality.  I’ll chock it up to a long week exacerbated by watching too much election coverage. Of course none of that has anything to do with a model-view-controller pattern implemented in ASP, but as it turns out, this wasn’t a presentation, just an overview from Glen Gordon.

That’s the way ball bounces sometimes when you are live-blogging and still half asleep.

Oh, it looks like Glen WILL do an ASP.net MVC presentation this afternoon.  Not sure if I’ll check it out depends on what other presentations are competing for the time slot.

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Barcamp 2 – Day 2 – Lance on Twitter

Lance Weatherby of ATDC fame is presenting on Twitter.  And he made his presentation using it.

He is putting up tweets on why people use twitter.

Once again, I should apologize to my usual readers who may not know what I’m talking about.  I’m at barcamp – a live event where a lot of technology minded people come together to talk about stuff.  They decide what to talk about while they are here.  It can get nerdy, but it is cool, and the things that happen at events like this are what shape branding nd marketing tomorrow.

Now talking about ways Twitter can waste your time.

And can Twitter be a good marketing tool.   It can be used for branding. It is a form of word-of-mouth.  It is not for “hard marketing” but it can influence, and it can be mined for trends.

It can be used for self-promotion.

Why follow people (follow is twitter terminology) ?  People you respect, admire, smart, funny, interesting.

Why unfollow?  Signal to noise ratio.  Too much tweets in a row.  Too much “A” list activity drowns out the rest.  Funny can keep you around longer (even if you’re tweets are stupid)

Theme — Be human!  Not a ‘droid or a marketing shill.

Lance is responsible for getting Sig Mosley on Twitter.

“Keep tweets sharp or go home”

Twitter tools:  Most heavy users like to use a client like Twhirl or tweetdeck, twinkle, twitterific.

Summize (now search.twitter.com), Favrd -??

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Barcamp 2 – day 2 – Saturday morning roundtable for bloggers

Got up a little late today, but finally arrived at ATDC for Day 2 of Barcamp.   Sitting in on a discussion about blogging.  Folks are talking about what they blog about and what platform.  WordPress seems to be the most popular.  Drupal is mentioned, but generally considered overkill if all you are doing is blogging.

One guy has a blog written in the voice of his dog. Is also considering an anonymous blog about an honest take from an entrepreneur’s perspective.

Some folks are using them for technical posts, and putting youtube videos up.  Michael Mealing uses Drupal for some of the space industry realated blogs, but they are not blog only communities – moght drop Drupal for something more email friendly.

We have a Chyrp user – similar to Tumblr – very spontaneous.  Aggregator for things he is looking at.

Discussion is moving to platforms and hosts. WordPress stays on top.

Plug-ins can add value.

Question about Google Gears in WordPress, but nobody knows the answer this morning.

Much kudos for Akismet anti-spam.

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Barcamp 2 – How to get buzz without being a scumbag spammer

Wow!  A Barcamp topic with marketing appeal.

Yes, I’m still furiously tyoping this out live at Barcamp.   This is not a marketing event, it is targeted to developers and technologists, but hey sometimes world’s collide (in a good way).

Moderator is Micah Wedemeyer – hacker not marketer.  Has a couple of startups.

Assumptions from the moderator going in:

-you’re promoting a website

-your site is actually useful

-your marketing budget is small or non-existent

-maybe you’ve been accused of spamming before

Marketing is real work! (amen brother)

It won’t happen overnight

Time is your resource and you’ll spend a lot of it – think about you ROT – return on time.

Identify your taerget audience – be as specific as you can – the more qualifiers the better.

Smaller the target – easier to hit.

If you don’t know – ask your user “who are you?”   Get the info to guide your focus.

Find the bloggers – where does your community hang out online.  Bookmark the relevant sites about your community. Read the comments – check out the sites.  Try to find at least 20 blogs relevant to your community (more if you can manage the time)  Add them all to you RSS reader and check it constantly!  be on top of the timing – timing is everything.

Engage in the community – be a part of the community.   Start your own blog.  Keep your blog content to information relevant to your community.   Suggestion to hang your blog off you main domain — generally I think this is a good idea, but there are  some disadvantages.

Set up a reasonable goal – a reasonable pace for how frequently you will post.    Bloggers share two things – egos and writers block! (love that comment!)

Get involved and comment on people’s blogs.  Commenting first gets more readers.

Give yourself a “Gravatar” – basically a picture that gets associated with your email address so your picture (a logo, your face, etc) is put next to your comment – builds your brand awareness.   Reinforces Recognition.

Decide your identity when your commenting – are you you? or are you the company rep?

Link to your site from your name.  Add relevance to the conversation you are participating in.

If you write an analysis about someone else’s post always include the Trackback url.   This lets the other author know that you have written about his/her post and they will most likely check out what you wrote.   Add value – don’t just regurgitate what they wrote.

Curing writer’s block – contact the other blogger and ask for a write up.  Use their preferred contact method.  Ask, don’t beg (or hound).   Don’t oversell it.

Bloggers are powerful – getting buzz can be helped by getting in their good graces, but don’t abuse them or you will suffer a backlash and/or shut-out.

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Barcamp 2 – Friday night continues – Where are the girls?

Next session I’m sitting in on is called “Where are the girls?”   A fair question for such a technology-focused event.   I’d say the event this year has more women than last year, and I think right now 90% of them are in this room (one of about 5 where presentations are going on concurrently).  I count 5 women including the moderator, and about 13 men.

Moderator is a social media researcher seeking funding for a new idea.   Applying through Y-combinator a new hatchery/ incubator for startups.

Last funding round a Y Combinator bbrought out 97 dudes and 3 women.   So the question asked is why?  Where are the women?  Are they not out there?  Do they not know where to look?  So the presentation is about where the women are, where the women are online, and what’s the future.

Stats show male students start earlier on computers, use them more for entertainment and get more comfortable with them earlier.  Computer games are a gateway drug for technology lifestyle.

Gender gap is closing – more women are using the web, but they use it differently. Doing different things influences impressions and behaviors.

Club penguin – virtual environment/game environment popular with 6-14 yr old girls.  Purchased by Disney for $350 Million!  The niche can pay off!

Confidence effects use. Anecdote given. Moderator asked a colleague what she used online, the colleague replied “my Internet usage is boring” — issue of confidence/attitude about Internet experience. Discussion of importance of positive reinforcement.

Discussion of Julia Alllyson – a successful online self promoter often categorized as “famous for being famous”

Lisa Brewster (aka “techslut”) – engineer photographer, web 2.0 entrepreneure and technology culture and geek sexuality — she sells T-shirts with cool startup names,   She has a company called Startup Schwag (maybe they’d like the Equation Arts logo?)

I want a T-shirt that says “I got tackled at Barcamp”

Sometimes the tool is valued more than the content.  Some sites aren’t “hard” but attract large followings of contributors and customers – Etsy is a great example.

Lesson – Get outside the normal developer peer group!  Get input from other circles – find out what other people use and you may gain insights for your concepts and ideas to reach not techie demographics (get outside the “hack shack”.

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