Yesterday was DC’s first BarCamp, and I hope it can set the tone for what’s to come in the DC technology community. Unlike the more business-oriented groups like NVTC, GBTC, DC Tech, and MD Hi-Tech, this was by tech people and for tech people. There were noticeable lacks of business topics, VC & legal attendees, and explanations of acronyms. It was beautiful.
The conference was organized by a team of volunteers and paid for by numerous sponsors. Fleishman-Hillard Inc. was kind of enough to donate their office space. There were no set topics, but the 110 attendees presented on 27 hot issues (with varying degrees of preparation). The topics ranged from user experience to Second Life to Getting Things Done. But more important than the details of the content was the energy of the attendees.
Not since the heyday of Netpreneur have there been so many people in one DC room so excited about what’s happening online. This was evidenced by the high level of conversation, the community-willingness to share, and the pure geekery of the attendees (everywhere I turned were MacBooks, iPhones, live bloggers, and people uploading photos to Flickr).
I can’t thank the organizers (Justin Thorp, Jason Garber, M. Jackson Wilkinson, Rodney Degracia, Martin Ringlein, Peter Corbett, Nick O’Neill, and Justin Stockton) enough for the time they so graciously volunteered. Without question this and the upcoming DC Startup Weekend will lead to more technology businesses, higher quality applications being developed, and many new friendships.
You can read some other good conversation about BarCamp at Russell Heimlich’s blog, the Viget Blog, and many other sites. And you can find hundreds of pictures on flickr. See you all next year!