While I had a great time at 2010′s BarCamp event, circumstances meant that I had to miss last year’s “un-conference.” So I made sure I could get there this year.
What is BarCamp and why is it an un-conference? Think of it as a convention for geeks, hackers and entrepreneurs – one that has no set agenda. Picture hundreds of people in a room, each being able to use just three words to introduce themselves to the entire group (in my case “blogger, photographer, unemployed”). At that point, anyone (and everyone) who has come prepared to speak on a topic writes it down, it goes up on a wall and the group divides into various work areas to hear the presentations or debate various topics. And it’s all free.
The crowd is mostly young and I’d say that the greatest majority of people were programmers working for start-ups and entrepreneurs with start-up ideas. While I fit neither of those groups (one guy started a conversation with my by saying, “it looks like we’re the only ones here close to 60″ but I never think about age, mine or other peoples’, in things like this), for me BarCamp is a chance to see a lot of friends and make new ones and also to keep my finger on the pulse of the Hong Kong tech scene.
This year’s event was held at HK CoCoon, a fabulous 14,000 square foot incubation space in Causeway Bay. Their web site says, “CoCoonians are made up of Early Stage Entrepreneurs who have an idea and want to transform it into a reality and Creative Talent such as designers, engineers, photographers, storytellers, illustrators who enjoy working on innovative projects.” Membership costs HK$1,000 per month and you get access to all of their facilities. I’m seriously considering joining this.
I was only able to attend for a few hours in the morning since I needed to get out to Science Park for the Tesla test drive (see previous post) but as always, I had a blast. Here are some random-ish photos from the event.
Here’s someone with the Lytro camera and I hope you can appreciate the irony of this photo being out of focus
This presentation was called What’s Wrong With Facebook? And What To Do About It?
A lot of people were interested in this topic!
Casey Lau from Popcorn Media gave a great presentation on how to do great pitch presentations. When they couldn’t find the proper cables to get his iPad hooked up to the monitor in the room, he was not thrown at all but used this as an additional example of what to expect when you’re doing a pitch.
While BarCamp is free, there are only a limited number of spaces available. This year I think the capacity was around 5 or 600. But note that this was called Summer BarCamp and not just BarCamp, so perhaps in the future we’ll get more than just 1 event per year. I’m looking forward to the next one!