BarCampMilwaukee: Progress

BarCampMilwaukee We’re about two months past BarCampMilwaukee5, and I stumbled across an old blog post of mine titled BarCampMilwaukee2: Ideas which was posted about two months before BarCampMilwaukee2 happened. I hope that made sense…

The post mentions a few things that we wanted to do at the time, and I’m happy to say we’ve (finally) accomplished a few of these things.

Kevin had the following suggestion:

Podcasts. There is no time of year better then when the SXSW podcast feed fires up again. I think video of the whole confab will be too intense and would require some people to be in production all day. That’s no fun. I was thinking of setting up audio recorders and running them non stop. Video of some more interesting visual sessions (read robots) would be neat. In fact, we should have a session room dedicated to video so were not schlepping stuff all over.

Ah yes… Audio! Kevin says “I was thinking of setting up audio recorders and running them non stop.” Well, we came pretty close on that one. The Convo Droid consists of a Zoom H2 Handy Portable Stereo Recorder with an 8GB SD card. It can easily record over 30 hours of high quality audio. I ran it pretty much non-stop during BarCampMadison3 and BarCampMilwaukee5. I captured a ton of audio. In fact, I probably still haven’t processed it all yet. (We need to define a process for BarCampMilwaukee6 to mark the beginning/end of a session, and do a better job of tagging the audio.) For BarCampMilwaukee5 we also had Gabe Wollenburg and Joshua Cowles capturing audio. Most of it showed up on the BarCampMilwaukee Blog (I also set up my own site to allow for automagic download “podcast style” see my audio tag for more info.)

Kevin also mentions video… a bit more resource intensive than audio, but still doable. For BarCampMadison3 I had two MiniDV video cameras, and a handful of blank tapes. I managed to capture a number of sessions, which you can find by browsing through the barcampmadison3 tag. I would have recorded more, but I ran out of tapes… I was able to do a lot of video capture at BarCampMadison3 because I wasn’t really involved in organizing or running it, so I was free to capture. For BarCampMilwaukee5, I was too involved in running things to deal with setting up cameras and swapping tapes.

If all goes as planned, we’ll have at least one room in Bucketworks wired up for quality audio/video capture at the push of a button before BarCampMilwaukee6 rolls around…

And if you’re wondering why we care so much about capturing and publishing the audio and video from BarCamp, it goes to the core of what the event is all about sharing knowledge, not just with the people at the event, but the people who couldn’t make it, or don’t know what BarCamp is yet. Share what you know… Learn what you don’t. :)


BarCampMilwaukee2 Video

Our pal David at Korporate Media lovingly crafted this video highlighting BarCampMilwaukee2, and I have lovingly uploaded it for all to see.

BarCampMilwaukee2 Video

In the time since the first BarCampMilwaukee held in 2006, we’ve come a long way. The folks at Web414 have become a great force behind events like these. Web414 also helped sponsor BarCampMadison in 2007 and the recent DrupalCampWisconsin. Our next crazy idea is MilwaukeeDevHouse with MKEDH1 taking place March 14, 2008. (And hopefully BarCampMadison2 in April 2008.)

We’ve built quite the tech community here in Southeastern Wisconsin, and BarCamps in Milwaukee just keep getting better. People are sharing, learning, and making new friends along the way. Enjoy the video… and we hope to see you at the next big thing.


Radio BarCamp

At BarCampMilwaukee2 we had FRS radios, and I fear we had way too much fun with them, I mean, in addition to actually using them for their intended purpose, to communicate effectively within the space we had available to us.

Last year I had thought that FRS radios would come in handy as an ad-hoc public address system. Well, we had a real PA this year, so we used the radios as needed, and for finding each other, and for screwing around. Actually, they were quite useful, as we were in a building with doors that were occasionally locked and you often needed someone to let you in, or when you just had to know where Ashe was.

Come In BarCamp

While out on the Photo Walk session (aka mil[photo]waukee) and scaling the roof of a certain fortress, we were able to alert Gabe that he should come outside and wave to us.

Hey Gabe!

Yay for radios and geeks who are nerds when it comes to using them. I even hear that Gabe plans to return my radio at the next Web414 Meeting…


BarCampMilwaukee2: Success!

Well, somehow we pulled off another BarCamp in Milwaukee, and now BarCampMilwaukee2 is over.

A huge thanks goes out to the people and the sponsors who made it happen, without them, there would have been no BarCampMilwaukee2. Will we do it again? Oh yes… In fact, we had a session yesterday for the planning of BarCampMadison2, and if all goes well, that will happen in the Spring of 2008. There was a guy there from Green Bay who is also interested in doing one up there. We are also (tentatively) planning a DrupalCamp for January of 2008. It would be a much smaller and focused one day event. We’re pretty sure we can do this at a relatively low cost, and if it works, we can look at doing other *Camps. I tossed out the idea of KidCamp and at least a few people liked the sound of that. (The idea being, kids are often more creative than adults so so what can we learn from them?)

Clint, Zon, and The Illustrious Bean

All in all, it was a great time, and many new connections were made. We even launched a web site at (Story coming soon on that one!)

You want photos? Oh yes, Flickr has many with the tag barcampmilwaukee2. (We convinced most people to use Creative Commons licenses with their images.)

I was going to call this post “BarCampMilwaukee2 is over” but really, it’s not. There is follow-up to do and take-away to discuss. As time allows, I’ll be posting more on specific session and ideas and things that happened, so stay tuned.


BarCampMilwaukee2: In 1 Week

There’s just one week until we kick-off BarCampMilwaukee2. It has all the makings of a great event. As of right now there are 180+ people signed up to attend, there are a ton of great session ideas, and thanks to the generous donations of all of our sponsors, we can afford to provide free shirts to everyone who pre-registered (before Oct. 1st, 2007) and we should be able to provide food for all who come as well. (This should let people focus on the event and not worry about where to go for a meal.)

I’m really proud of, and thankful to, the people who stepped up to do all the little things involved in getting ready for this event. Even with the load being distributed, I still feel like I have a million things to do. Presentations? I’m not sure if I’ll have anything prepared ahead of time. That’s OK, I’ve gotten used to winging it. The next week is going to be insane for me, and then I’m out of town for a few days right after BarCamp. Don’t worry though, we’re already planning the next *Camp. (I’m personally aiming for DrupalCamp…)

So one more time, in case I haven’t overdone it: BarCampMilwaukee2 will take place Saturday October 13th, 2007 through Sunday October 14th, 2007 at the Schlitz Park Center, 1555 Rivercenter Dr. in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. The event will run non-stop from Saturday morning at 10AM until Sunday afternoon at 4PM. (You are welcome to attend any time you are available.) Visit for more info, and to sign-up.