Archive for the ‘barcamp’ category

BarCamping

February 8, 2007

Imeall #173 suffers from a little overmodulation.  I was trying out a new setup.  If you’re here for the podcasting tips, it’s an example of what not to do.  (See here for my Barcamp talk on audio quality.)

It’s listenable though and, as usual, it includes this week’s Lá Nua column.  This week I’m talking about blogger meetups, Barcamps, Geek Dinners and the Irish Blog Awards.  It seems as if these have gathered pace in the past few months.  Right now we are spoiled for choice.

BarCamp From AboveSince the column went to press, there’s been a BarCamp explosion, with plans being discussed for meetings in Cork, Dublin and Galway.  Bring it on, I say!   My only problem with Barcamp Waterford was that there were too many things and I couldn’t get to attend everything I wanted.  There is more than enough BarCamp fodder to sustain Dublin, Cork and Galway gatherings – and Limerick, Sligo and Athlone as well!

I like Damien’s idea of themed BarCamps.  That said, I have a new BarCamping strategy.  I’m going to concentrate more on meeting people rather than rushing off to attend the next session.  The only way this works for me is if I know that all the sessions are being podcast – so I can get them later.  All the sessions in Waterford were videoed, but I haven’t seen those published anywhere yet.  The only podcasts I’ve heard so far were the two that Bernie and I did, plus Donncha Ó Caoimh’s (which was fascinating!)  Does anybody know if the video is going to be published from BarCamp Waterford?

James Corbett and Damien Mulley

Podcamp Waterford

January 22, 2007

Podcamp Waterford was a subsession of Barcamp Ireland SouthEast which was held in Waterford Institute of Technology on Saturday.  Thanks to Keith and Tom and everyone else who helped to organise it – and to all the campers for their contributions to a very enjoyable event.

I’ll have more to post about it in the next day or so, but Bernie‘s already posted audio from Podcamp.  Hear Bernie in Inside View 49 and me in Inside View 50.

Here are the slides to go with my part of the presentation.

Come to Barcamp in Waterford on Saturday – Learn to Podcast

January 17, 2007

Barcamp Ireland SouthEast

Barcamp Ireland SouthEast is on this Saturday at Waterford IT. It’s a sort of self-organised gathering of technologically minded people – well, to be honest, I don’t really know for sure: I’ve never been to one before! 😀

But I know I want to go! Lot’s of people who’s blogs I read will be there. And lots of us read a lot of the same blogs of people who won’t be there. That’ll be good for a chat anyway!

Then, you see, there’s no real agenda – well, there is – but not until the attendees sign up first! Then people say what they’d like to talk and hear about at the Barcamp.

It’s called an unconference, and it’s an idea with a worldwide following. There’s already been one in Cork last year which I missed, but after talking to Tom Raftery back in November I resolved to do better in 2007. (Sadly Tom won’t make it after all this time due to family circumstances.)

One thing about the unconference idea is that everyone is encouraged to be contributor rather than just a spectator. So while I’m hoping to learn something about Ruby on Rails and VC investment, it’s possible that I may also have something to contribute which might interest others.

Bernie suggested we hold a little “Podcamp” as part of the days events – and I’m really looking forward to that. I want to hear from other podcasters about their experiences. I want to hear from podcast listeners about what they want. I especially want to hear from people who feel podcasting is not for them. I want to evangelise this medium, and I don’t need to preach to the converted.

After 230 podcasts, I’ve got some practical advice I want to share. If you’ve considered podcasting but are put off by the technicalities, I want to show you how easy it can be. I am an advocate for quality production. Podcast listeners deserve respect and consideration as much as radio listeners. But I want to show that it need not be either burdensome or expensive to achieve that quality.

What’s more, not only is good sound quality desirable in a podcast, it’s also, in one way, even more crucial. Think about it. A radio broadcaster only has to compete for the listener with whatever programming selection is currently available 1) on the frequencies in that area and 2) at that particular time.

The podcast listener, on the other hand, has a much wider selection – infinitely wider in a sense. I subscribe to and download more podcasts than I succeed in listening to, and there are many more quality podcasts on subjects of interest me that I have yet to encounter. The podcast listener is spoiled for choice.

So what happens when I encounter a podcast on my MP3 player which is poorly recorded, noisy or unintelligble? I simply skip to the next one on my playlist. In many cases the content of the material on these podcasts is interesting and valuable, but what use is that if it is inaccessible?

Blogging has flourished because the only skill required is basic literacy. However the principles of making and processing recorded sound are not on the curriculum in most primary schools. The thing is, though: they could be. It’s really not that complicated at all.

In fact, the whole thing about audio quality boils down to just two points. On Saturday, I’m going to use just two slides, and talk about each one for just 5 minutes. After that – it’s up to you. I can go on for hours about this stuff but no one really wants that. So I’ll answer any questions, and discuss practical situations until we’ve had enough. If there is interest we can do practical examples but again, I’m mindful of the unconference ethos: I’m only going to cover stuff if people are interested.

So what are the two points? I call one The Underlying Principle and the other The Golden Rule, which sounds very fancy except they’re really just common sense really! Just your basic primary school stuff! 😉

See you on Saturday!