After much running around, fingers crossed, and baited breath, the barcamp is finally starting to look like a proper event. I’ve had quite a few messages recently asking for updates on the organisational details for barcamp, I’m sorry I’ve not been able to confirm things before now.
So, let me tell you that:
- The event is going to run on one day only – Saturday 26th January from about 9.15am until 5pm (and maybe afterwards for a drink or two)
- Google has kindly agreed to host the event (small company, you may have heard of them… 🙂 ). This is particularly excellent news given many public sector organisations’ involvement with them to improve searchability of their content, use of YouTube to publish video etc. Its a great fit.
- To help the many barcamp virgins across government (me included), and based on the areas of interest indicated plus subsequent conversations I and others have had leading up to the event, we are suggesting a structure for the day based on five rough ‘streams’ of interest. These are:
- Creating web strategy – government-wide, organisational, channel/initative etc – a vision for future government web
- New platforms and technologies – e.g. use of data, semantic web etc
- New channels – how to use blogging platforms, YouTube etc, case studies of usage across government
- Using social media tools in your organisation – practical stuff around requirements, guidelines, engagement, governance, getting approval
- Government vs the private sector – lessons we can share, approaches to collaboration, what is good and bad about our sector etc
These streams are not meant to be prescriptive but designed to give a framework around which you can decide where and how you can contribute to the days’ success.
There are currently around 75-80 participants signed up to the event. With 25 slots in the day, it means that at least three individuals can be involved in the running of each session. Hopefully this reduces the pressure on some of the participants to contribute and will encourage collaboration amongst everyone attending.
If you are planning to attend, and you haven’t yet joined the Google group (thanks Dave) set up for the event, I encourage you to do so now. What you need to do now over the next week is indicate what you plan to contribute to the day and identify others via the Google group who you could share a session with.
The nature of the discussion forum means that we can all peer review each other’s ideas and between all of us we should be able to collaboratively create and shape a schedule for the whole event fairly easily.
The number of people who have already indicated they wish to participate is now quite large (but what a cast!) and we may have to limit entry to the event to those who are actively contributing to the day. So please begin the conversation as soon as possible.
As we get closer to the day, please update the schedule on the barcamp wiki page with your proposed session(s). Ideally we’d like to get that all finalised before Friday 18th January.
If you are a government webby, and still haven’t decided whether to come, hopefully the details above are enough to convince you. I can’t emphasise enough how important it is to have a good mix of those working inside the government web sector, as well as all the great people around and outside our work.