Eight Sexy Kung Fu Hours of Lectures: BarCamp Chattanooga

I’ve been to a lot of the growing social scenes in Chattanooga — believe it or not, Chattanooga has a growing niche of social-network aware citizens, and I must admit, I am going to miss the people that i’ve come to known through Facebook and Twitter. But you know what, I loved every minute of BarCamp Chattanooga and i’ve decided to talk about this lecture. So, if you will, sit down, grab a drink, some food, and gather round children as I tell you about Eight Sexy Kung-fu Hours of Lectures: BarCamp Chattanooga.

Gather, Bloggers

I decided to sit in on the blogging roundtable. It was by far my favorite of the events — to be able to shoot the shit with the fine folks of Chattarati, Knoxify, Nashvillest, and The Terminal was very enlightening, even for someone who just blogs as a hobby.

One topic that I felt was covered very well by our panel was monetization and how the bills are paid. Given the collapse of the online and print ad market, many are experimenting with local advertisments on their blogs. It seems even with the attempts at experimenting with advertisments, all of it is pretty much self-funded and done as a side project (notable exception being The Terminal).

The entire roundtable is viewable on Ustream. Check it out.

Social media: A Roundtable

It was about here that I wish that some of my Knetwit colleagues could have been here. It was a packed classroom (complete with cheesy desks) and we discussed strategies for social media and social marketing. A true highlight of my day, the only regret I had was that I didn’t record it or take many notes. Hopefully all the people there walked away with new tactics and strategies to help build the relationships that entail in social marketing.

Not suprising is how Zappos and how they’ve made social marketing their cornerstone of their ideaology was a topic brought up frequently. No doubt, this week’s buyout by Amazon has left us wondering the future of the socially-aware shoe store in our collective uncounsciousness. It’ll be interesting to see how Amazon takes the same direction with their social marketing (given that Mr. Bezos is one who likes to laugh. A lot.)

Strat Parrott is the coolest person ever

The God of BarCamp Chatt

The Prince of BarCamp Chatt

Don’t mind this picture of him being awesome. Ok, back to the topic at hand.

A Re-examination of Project Planning

I felt this topic spoke to me in volumes since I freelance a bit, so hearing about the unique challenges was pretty interesting. It’s hard for me to describe, but the video of the entire lecture can be viewed here. Check it out.

“You put my voting in your twitter…”

When I first met Joe Lance at ChattUp, I found him to be an interesting fellow. So I made a hard choice between Donald Sayer’s social media satire and Joe’s open lecture on politics and social media.

Even though his speech waivered, he did bring down the hammer and give us some great ideas on how web designers, developers, and bloggers can collaborate and work together to hold politicians and government branches accountable. We talked about the challenges of making government more transparent and modern. Chattarati did something to appease this with their Cash Maps mashup, but it was still dependant on them collecting PDFs of campaign donations and processing them by hand — it makes you wonder the challenges of implementing easy-to-access APIs and platform agnostic formats to help inform the public.

Its a shame that there was no camera filming Mr. Lance’s speech on political fact-finding on the internet. Not only is it a great intro with good links, it opened up real channels for many of us programmers and web designers to pursue, and I hope we do pursue these as the next batch of state and civil elections approach in the coming year.

Its WebKit or No Kit

I guess I was disapponted a bit with Daniel Ryan’s lecture on Mobile CSS, since he focused on select statements and not ideal design practices for mobile websites, but I did learn quite a bit about the secret CSS and HTML tags used in Mobile Safari on the iPhone. And, he did provide an interesting case study for a good mobile site design (the BarCampChatt site). I guess I was expecting a bit more. Nevertheless, I liked the lecture a lot and I will use the footage of it to evangelize mobile device support over at Knetwit.

(define iphone-scheme-development ‘epic win’)

I caught the tail end of this lecture but I have to say, it rekindled my interest in Scheme (HAVE YOU READ YOUR SICP TODAY?). The lecture focused around iPhone development using Gambit Scheme. The stuff he demonstrated was pretty cool, and I wait with bated breath to see if James’s Gambit-to-C compiled apps make it into the App Store.

I guess its time I ignored the ads, and joined the club. Because i’m sold on writing apps for the iPhone. Seriously though, I am psyched about this.

The Aftermath, and final thoughts amongst chafing

My memory is a bit fuzzy here, but I remember there being a giveaway, and an after party at the Terminal Brewhouse (not related to the blog) and it was fun. Try out the Oatmeal Stout, its good.

All in all, Chattanooga’s first BarCamp was a good one. I regretfully wish that not that much effort was poured into documenting the entire event — we had a shortage of camcorders (I admit, I forgot to bring mine) and we had a lot of events. Hopefully next year, BarCamp will have more speakers, and we can do events over a two-day period, and every speech can be taped for watching later, like TED…only cheaper and awesomer.

So I guess my final question to you is: Was it good for you, too?

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2 Comments

  1. Posted July 27, 2009 at 12:50 am | Permalink

    Great post Cameron. Glad you enjoyed the day. Based on the feedback we’ve been getting I think we’ll have both hour long and half hour long sessions next year. And at least audio of all the presentations and hopefully video.

  2. ghostfreeman
    Posted July 27, 2009 at 8:26 am | Permalink

    Yeah, next year i’ll bring my camcorder and whatever broadcasting equipment I can steal from my coworkers :)

    In fact for laughs tonight I’m gonna see if I can’t get my HG20 to work with Ustream or Livestream.

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