Prior to a few weeks ago, I never heard of the term BarCamp and would have had several visuals running through my head involving either a camp out in a bar, or a cartoon of a bunch of steel bars camping, I know both are just plain bad.
In a nut shell, a Bar Camp is an “un-conference”, which means there is no set agenda or speakers. Everyone shows up at barcamp in the am and those who feel they have something valuable to share sign up to talk, and the schedule is filled. BarCamp Tampa Bay started with a day that I thought would be more technology related for the developers, but proved to very valuable for this Head of Lettuce.
I started with Guy Hagen’s talk which I loved, because in the begining of the talk, the connection between his computer and the projector decided it was not going to work, as happens when you are about to do a talk, and Guy ended up placing his laptop upside down, screen facing up on an ELMO to get his screen to show on the projector. As someone who has delivered hundreds of talks and trained hundreds of other speakers, I know how much somthing like this would through most speakers, Guy earned my respect on that alone. Guy shared two tools that he has developed, Twinfluence which per Guy’s sit is “a simple tool for measuring the combined influence of twitterers and their followers, with a few social network statistics thrown in as bonus.” To appreciate the value of this tool, you need to try it, either enter your twitter id or someone else s and check it out. Another tool Guy shared with us was VidSquid, VidSquid works with Youtube giving you the ability to get audience reaction to different parts of your videos much like the dials used during the election debates which gauged crowd reactions. I loved the potential of this tool and all the possible applications of it, I’m sure I will use it in the future, perhaps to help others in developing their presentations.
The rest of day one I attended a bunch of talks offering advice for start-up companies and product development, it could not have been better material for this budding company, I soaked it up like a sponge and used the insights to bring definition to my product line that I will be offering. I can now say that I will be offering new media assistance from training and coaching to a menu of full services that will assist organizations in meeting the need to participate in new media with out the dedication of internal personal. I believe I will be able to help companies accomplish their new media goals for less then they will be able to do on their own. I will have programs in place to populate blogs twitter and other social media platforms important to your business. I’ll be back to share more about day two later.