Tag: barcamp la

  • Going Feral

    While reading Jori Finkel’s piece in the New York Times on Machine Project’s LACMA invasion, I was struck by something that Margaret Wertheim said:

    I don’t know of any city other than L.A. with so many feral groups.

    Now while she was referring to the Los Angeles art scene, this sort of applies to the tech scene here as well. There are plenty of folks trying to make this city relevant when it comes to tech. A streamlined, less paunchy version of Silicon Valley that does yoga and drinks wheatgrass. And that’s fine. They can keep doing that. But to lift a quote from Chuck Palahniuk’s Fight Club, “Sticking feathers up your butt does not make you a chicken.”

    I’m not really talking about them tho. Honestly, the most interesting shit that is going on in this sprawl is on the fringe. Groups like Dorkbot SoCal & Betalevel and meetings like Mindshare are where people are doing the really sexy, fun, creative stuff. Well, the stuff that’s worth paying attention to at least.

    Seeing as how I’ve helped foster it along, why would I exclude BarCampLA from that tiny (and rather incomplete) list above? Well, first of all, my ego isn’t that big.

    Most importantly tho, it isn’t one of those feral members of the fringe anymore. Sure, it may have been a bit of a wild dog in the past, but as time goes on, it has become domesticated. With well over 300 people wandering in and out over two days and the schedule slowly seeing product pitches, SEO talks and social media chatter dominating the landscape, it’s sort of losing some of its original charm.

    Think I’m crazy for saying that? Consider BazCampLA. A “mad science only” event, their plan is to get together about two weeks before the next BarCampLA to make sure their technical talks are well tuned and ready for the big show. From the chatter that I’ve seen, they’re sort of worried that this will be seen as a condemnation of BarCampLA. A middle finger to its participants and the Los Angeles tech scene as a whole. But totally I get what they’re trying to do — and I admire their goals.

    Frankly, I hope the BazCampers either take the schedule at the next BarCamp over by force or they end up building a framework for a better event. Like one that would make BCLA obsolete and allow me to take a vacation. Lord knows that I could use the rest… ;)

  • BarCampLA 4 Ahoy!

    If it’s seemed a little quiet around here, it’s because I’ve been helping plan the latest installment of BarCamp in Los Angeles along with Crystal. A lot of hard work has gone into getting this off the ground and I’d love it if y’all could come check it out. If you know me, you probably know what BarCamp is already — but if you don’t let me fill you in a bit. BarCamp is a totally free, ad hoc conference going on both Saturday and Sunday (Nov. 3 & 4) that covers the whole gambit of tech (and even some non-tech stuff) going on in both LA and around the world. There’s a mix of really great people, really awesome (free) food, a keg, a DJ, presentations and other fun stuff planned for the weekend.

    For more info on the venue and the plan for the weekend, check out the BarCampLA wiki and feel free to post any questions you might have about going in the comments here if you’re on the fence. Despite the fact that we’re sort of in crunch time right now — and I’m juggling planning this as well as a handful of other things — I’ll do what I can to not leave anything unanswered.

    P.S. Father of the GPL, Richard Stallman is apparently gracing us with his presence. That, plus a visit from Dan Kaminsky ought to make this weekend plenty interesting.

  • Experimental Jet Set

    For somebody who spends most of his free time jockeying a laptop, I’ve actually got a semi-busy social week ahead of me:

    • Tomorrow night is April’s BarCamp LA Geek Dinner at Shakey’s in Hollywood. While I’m not so much of a fan of Shakey’s grub, I’m really looking forward to hanging out with the BarCampers again.
    • Friday brings the Helvetica screening at USC. I managed to pick up a ticket when they were announced — and it would seem that I have to pay $25 at the door as I didn’t have to pay anything when I RSVP’ed. Part of me is debating going to the Laguna Beach screening instead tho. Tickets are still available for the 9PM show and they’re only $15 via PayPal. Decisions, decisions…
    • Sunday morning, I hop a flight to Oakland for a well deserved micro-vacation in San Francisco. It’s really more of a weekend trip than a vacation, but I’m going to be doing my fair share of relaxing. My Monday afternoon is spoken for — I’m supposed to be getting lunch with Andy (and hopefully Leonard) on the Yahoo! campus — but if you’re up for hanging out, drop me a direct message on Twitter (or an IM for that matter). I’ll try to squeeze in some face time with as many folks as I can before I see LCD Soundsystem with Frazier on Monday night and fly home for work early Tuesday morning.

    See? That’s a busy week for the likes of me — but I’m looking forward to it…