Notes on BarCamp. (Apologies to Susan Sontag.)

As I mentioned in my last post, I went to BarCamp Seattle for the first time. That post featured my talk, “Content Lessons from Comics,” whic went from notions to presentation in 3.5 hours.

It was a rough mishmash of a few ideas that had been kicking around my head, and it was a pretty good talk under those circumstances. (I’ve heard myself quoted twice, which is delightfully odd. Once at a later session, and once by Heidi Miller.)

What would I do differently?

  • I’d lead a discussion, rather than give a presentation. One of the best sessions I went to was Kristin Marshall’s “Tits or GTFO: Women in Tech.” She threw out a few ideas and opened the floor, which spent the next half hour in lively debate.
  • Or I’d plan a presentation ahead of time. Bruce P. Henry gave my favorite session, “Why Everything Is Late: From Projects to Dinner Parties.” He had slides. Which he knew cold. Nicely done.

Either of those would’ve helped me focus more on the presentations being given — my attention span got vaster after I’d given my presentation.

  • One more thing: I’d have gone a little more basic with my presentation. If you weren’t into content as a web discipline, my talk was probably hard to follow. (One question at the end: “Won’t the people who publish those comics want to enforce their copyright?” That’s when I realized I might have gone a little too metaphorical in a literal-heavy crowd.)

You’ll likely see some of the ideas from “Content Lessons from Comics” fleshed out here in later posts. (And I’ll pretend some of the other ideas are non-canonical and never happened in the first place.)

Some of them may even crop up at Seattle InfoCamp in early October. That was another lesson learned from BarCamp: How to participate in an unconference. I haven’t decided yet if I’ll do BarCamp again — I think I’ve got about 48 weeks to decide — but I’ll definitely keep camping somewhere.