Bar Camp Sacarmento

June3

This Saturday, I went to a local BarCamp. It was a non-camping BarCamp because of insurance issues, but I had a great time. The tags in flikr and del.icio.us are barcampsac

The first session I went to was from Adam Kalsey, a serious coffee-o-holic, and was about roasting your own coffee, which can be done with a popcorn popper.

Next was a presentation from Barbara Haven who works for the state’s IT department. She did a presentation on Malcolm Gladwell’s book, The Tipping Point. The del.icio.us tags for that will include tippingpoint. She talked about people who help move information in an organization, etc.

Next up, Joseph Scott, from Automattic, talked about XML/RPC features. He discussed some stuff that is changing/improving about WordPress. Here are two things I took away from it. There will be even more flexibility in how pages/posts are handled. They are going to not have an distinction between the pages and posts. Pages will be able to be treated like posts (date hierarchical) or pages (tree hierarchy). I like this because it takes it beyond being a blog platform, and recognizes those of us using it as a web authoring tool.

Next, he discussed Windows Live Writer which lets you create posts off-line for WordPress. I’d love to try it, but, the download for this is not working even when I use I.E. I think it might be useful when I finish setting up a blog based website for my school. I want it so the school secretary/clerk and administrators can add content on their own to the site. This is an interface that could make it even easier for them.

We then had a very lively presentation from Terry Chay about how web 2.0 startups are like the underpants gnomes on South Park (gathering users, but to what purpose, and how do you convert this to making money?). It was after lunch (burritos from Chipotle) which were making me tired, but he was a very energetic speaker. This was interesting to me because as an end user of lots of “free” web 2.0 services, the question always is how long will this service be around, and how long will it be free? When using ad based sites (anything Google), you have to be concerned about making students view ads to complete work (a consideration in my move to edublogs). I know I’m not the only edublogger to wonder about this. We all want something for nothing…

I kinda crashed after that. One of the business at the conference site AVI, did a demo at their AV studio, which does live video feeds to the internet. The owner, Ron Scheckler, showed off a very nice crystal projection screen that is high quality and DURABLE. Then he showed a slick captioning program that is based on the new MS Vista speech recognition program. Vista may have many faults, but the speech recognition is apparently superior to anything else out there (Dragon, XP, etc.) A Google search also reveals that it can be used to “hijack” control of your computer, sigh!

I was supposed to talk about blogs as resumes after that, but everyone wanted to see a presentation on Amazon, so I went home, where I’m nursing a stomach bug (wah!).

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