Silicon Beach: BarCamp Recap

Categories: Silicon Beach
barcamp_board.jpg
To present at BarCamp, simply show up in the morning and put a sticky note in any available time slot. There's no pre-set agenda.
The fourth annual BarCamp Miami took place yesterday in the Design District's 4141 Building.  The ad-hoc gathering of about 200 geeks and social media enthusiasts started at 9 a.m. and ended around 6 p.m. with 32 presentations.

BarCamp presentations were rich in content but informal.  At this unconference, there was plenty of Powerpoint, but no suits and ties.

Topics ranged from geeky coding to small business development, monetizing websites, and the future of advertising on mobile phones.  Facebook and Paypal and a person from Australia were among those presenting. Some were here for this week's Future of Web Apps conference.


Not everyone at this BarCamp was a geek.  One guy works for an air cargo company in Broward and wanted to learn about developing his company's web presence.  Ditto another participant, who just started a healthy foods catering business in Miami.

The presentations were key, but so were unplanned conversations as people moved between gallery spaces.

Six hundred people attended last year's BarCamp, but this year's smaller number was a good thing, according to Alex De Carvalho (@alexdc), the principal event organizer.  "I made the sessions longer, 45 minutes instead of half an hour.  People had more time for Q & A.  Less people also meant more time for quality interaction.  It was definitely less hectic," he said.  "I'm very happy with the outcome."

BarCampers ended the long day at Mai Tardi around the corner for a prix-fixe dinner.  Sixty of em sat along that patio wall and schmoozed over drinks and food.  The site of so many geeks was impressive.

The community supported BarCamp. Dacra Development donated the space and Yahoo! Developer Network paid for lunch catered by Design District eateries Pizza Volante and Buena Vista Deli.  Other sponsors were Agree 2, Latinux Magazine, Server Grove Webhosting, Pongalo and Miami Tour Company.

A special section of a gallery space was devoted to a painting auction for Haiti earthquake support, organized by local geek and artist Onajide Shabaka (@onajide).

Many of the presentations are available for viewing on USTREAM (tag #bcmiami), recorded by Francisco Jose Palacio (@fjpalacio).

Carvalho announced that a second BarCamp would take place this year.  Stay tuned here at Silicon Beach for future announcements.
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