Bravo BarCamp Nashville (AKA #bcn08*)

BarCamp NashvilleBarCamp Nashville. Such an unlikely place for my demographic. Heaven knows I had my doubts as I hauled myself out of bed at the crack of dawn on a gorgeous Saturday in October. But I told myself I could leave right away if it didn’t feel right, and ended up staying until close to the end.

For those of you scratching your heads, saying WhatWhat Nashville, I sympathize. Personally, I don’t do bars or camping. That leaves Nashville, and there’s a lot in Nashville I don’t do either. If I hadn’t gotten so much out of its kindred event, PodCamp Nashville, I wouldn’t have even considered it. But it turns out it’s an open source geek fest – somewhere between a formal conference for gear-heads and a happening.

Highlights for me:

  • The people. Lots of smiling, friendly techies. The majority young… male… white… etc. But still a good representation of females, plus a modest representation of boomers, and, more significant, a sense of welcome for all.
  • Great schwag. Is that how you spell it? My generation once called this stuff freebies. I’d brought my knitting in my backpack, but immediately transferred it to the excellent tote. It’s a keeper.
  • Decent coffee, plus unsweet ice tea (my favorite) and yummy muffins.
  • Hanging out with my web diva buddies. They came in force.
  • Fabulous presentation on Public Relations 2.0 (“The Deer Have Guns Now”). If I don’t see it recapped elsewhere, I’ll do it myself.

Things I hope to see next year:

  • More women speakers (not just in a session about women in technology, though that was a great start).
  • Same venue. Parking aside, I liked it more than PodCamp’s Cannery Ballroom.
  • Sessions on Drupal. If there were any, I couldn’t tell. But the site was done in Drupal and Centre{Source} was one of the main sponsors, so perhaps there were and I missed them.

Speaking of sponsors, egad were they generous. The whole thing was free, and they had wonderful prizes. So while I don’t usually do this, here’s a shout out to the sponsors I remember (in no particular order):

And of course a big round of applause for all the people who made this happen. You all don’t just rock. You are movers and shakers. I’m even giving Twitter a second chance, thanks to you.

*For those wondering about #bcn08, it’s a Twitter thing.

5 Responses

  1. Glad you were there, Anna Belle! One thing about the sessions: there is no editing by the BarCamp volunteers, so everyone who signed up to speak got to speak. Blog posts like yours will hopefully serve as the feedback loop for people who are willing to speak next time. (Maybe next time you’ll sign up yourself, right?)

  2. Hi, All. Thank so much for all the nice comments and feedback!

    Bill — Thanks again for an inspiring presentation.

    Andrew — It was so nice to meet you and thanks for the great suggestions.

    Lizzie — Love your live blogging.

    Dave — Keep up the great work.