Tuesday, August 25, 2015

9 Reasons BarCamp Green Bay Is For Civic Hackers

BarCamp Green Bay is now open for registration! The event will happen November 7, 2015, from 9 AM to 11:30 PM at the Northeast Wisconsin Technical College Corporate Conference Center.

As of August 25, the BarCamp Green Bay website says there are 19 people already registered for the event. Registration and participation are free, and the BarCamp will be a great time, so all NE Wisconsin civic hackers should consider participating in this event.

The 9 reasons you should consider being part of BarCamp Green Bay are listed below. Civic hackers can:

  1. Meet lots of interesting like-minded NE Wisconsin TIME community people (tech, innovators, makers, entrepreneurs).
  2. Lead a session about civic hacking.
  3. Lead a session about something not-civic-hacking.
  4. Learn about and discuss new tech skills at sessions led by other BarCampers.
  5. Enjoy relaxed and informal learning and sharing.
  6. Meet people to collaborate with you on future projects.
  7. Build relationships by inviting 30 people from NE Wisconsin to a BarCamp.
  8. Build relationships by inviting 10 interesting people from outside NE Wisconsin to the BarCamp in Green Bay.
  9. Help organize, or volunteer at, a participant-driven event.

BarCamps are technology unconferences which are run using open space technology. If BarCamps, unconferences or open space technology are new concepts to you, you might want to click on those links to read what Wikipedia has to say about them.

For readers who don’t want to bounce to Wikipedia right now:

  • Open space technology, as relates to unconferences, is ‘an approach to hosting meetings focused on a specific and important purpose — but beginning without any formal agenda, beyond the overall purpose or theme. If you participate in a classic-style open space event, you won’t have predetermined session topics or session leaders identified before the start of the event.
  • Unconferences are participant-driven day-long or multi-day events where like-minded people build new relationships and strengthen existing ones, share knowledge and opinions with and learn from each other, and build an event around the ‘worthwhile and interesting conversations that take place in the hallways at traditional conferences.’
  • BarCamps are an international network of user-generated unconferences primarily focused around technology and the web. They are open and participatory events, the content of which is provided by participants.

One of the rules of BarCamp that I firmly believe in is NO SPECTATORS, ONLY PARTICIPANTS. That ‘rule’ is explained thusly:
Attendees must give a demo, a session, or help with one, or otherwise volunteer / contribute in some way to support the event. All [sessions] are scheduled the day they happen. Prepare in advance, but come early to get a slot on the wall. The people present at the event will select the demos or [sessions] they want to see.
The reason BarCamps are worth going to is because everyone has a chance to make the event better, an opportunity to make the event more successful and memorable for other participants. There won’t be enough session slots for everyone to lead a session, so don’t worry about having to be a session leader if that’s not something you want to do. You can contribute by arriving early and helping set up the space in the morning or by staying late and helping clean up at the end. You can contribute relevant information or experiences during sessions, or ask really good questions that help make a session better. Other ways to ‘participate’ are by being an organizer for the BarCamp, by recruiting sponsors for the event, such as your employer or companies you have connections with or are willing to reach out to, by writing about and publicizing the event, and by inviting tons of other people to register for and participate in BarCamp.

BarCamps are worthwhile because the people who go to them make them worthwhile. Civic hackers will get a lot out of BarCamp Green Bay, and they can also do a lot to help make the event memorable for all participants.

Hope to see you at BarCamp Green Bay 2015!


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