BarCampDC: a new era in DC’s tech community

August 12, 2007 by Jared Goralnick

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.

BarCampDC attendees

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!

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6 Responses to “BarCampDC: a new era in DC’s tech community”

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  1. What Bloggers Had To Say About BarCamp DC « Oatmeal Stout – Justin Thorp’s Web 2.0 blog
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  1. Russell Heimlich

    I was just reading a bunch of stuff about Startup Weekend and it sounds like a lot of fun. But if 70 people are on the team, and a product gets launched and is making money, how do you pay people?

  2. Jared Goralnick

    I asked a similar question of one of the organizers but I haven’t gotten a full response yet. Hopefully there’ll be an FAQ covering that soon (there wasn’t a one a few weeks ago, and I volunteered to help with it).

    I’m no expert yet on the full concept, but either way I’m sure the weekend will be quite the experience and a great chance to both learn some cool tech and meet some like-minded individuals.

  3. Andrew Hyde

    @Russell Heimlich- Great question. It is all in how each city sets things up.

    If the company that the Boulder community created (VoSnap) makes any money in the short term it will be put back into hard costs and infrastructure.

    Something to think about is ‘what type of company are you creating?’ If DCSW is a company looking for long term goals, don’t expect a monthly check. If it is a short term small earnings company, planning for payouts might make the most sense.

    I am glad to see DC is rockin. I can’t wait to come! I bought my plane ticket today!

  4. Nathan Ketsdever

    Thanks for the encouragement! Great post on BarCamp DC. Wish I could have been there! I should get back to you before I go to Barcamp Nashville this saturday.

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