Remember when you first heard about BarCamp? In case you forgot, the first BarCamp was held in Palo Alto, California, from August 19–21, 2005. Good old Wikipedia has a BarCamp page we’ve pointed many people to.
Back in 2005 I was pretty heads down and wasn’t really involved in Milwaukee’s technology or web communities. (I really don’t know what communities existed prior to 2006, so I’ll just say I wasn’t involved.)
So in 2006 I found myself in need of some networking, and community, and so on, and ended up going to the Milwaukee Web Design Meetup in May and June of 2006, and just after that, I wrote a blog post titled BarCampMilwaukee? Which, unless anyone wants to dispute, may have been the first seed of the tree that grew to be what we now know as the mighty oak that is… BarCampMilwaukee.
Lots of people helped along the way, including Justin Kruger, who ended up finding James Carlson and Bucketworks, which ended up being the venue for the first BarCampMilwaukee.
Bucketworks also hosted the third and fifth BarCampMilwaukee, and for the second and forth, we were unable to use their building (moving, floods, occupancy issues, etc.) they got us venues to use. Bucketworks also acted as the fiscal sponsor for BarCampMilwaukee, allowing us to operate as a non-profit organization. In my opinion, Bucketworks (and their parent organization, The School Factory) have been more than just a venue over the years, they’ve been a great partner and a significant reason why BarCamp happens here in Milwaukee.
Bucketworks has had its share of ups and downs, and they ain’t perfect, and they don’t always get everything right, but for six years now, they’ve been a part of the BarCampMilwaukee experience. With BarCampMilwaukee6 coming up, it’s nice to know we have a solid venue with tables, chairs, an Internet connection, WiFi, a kitchen, lots and lots of space, and the things (and people!) we need to put on a user-generated conference.
So, BarCampMilwaukee6? Yup, it’s happening October 1st-2nd, 2011 at Bucketworks in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. I just renewed barcampmilwaukee.org and at some point the updates will start flowing, and shirts will be made, and meals will be planned, and we’ll do it all again, for the sixth time.
I hope to see you there! :)
Update: I mentioned Justin above, but I also should have mentioned Bob Waldron! Take a look at his blog posts from July 2006 and you’ll see that he and Justin were sort of running parallel to my initiative, and once we found each other and joined forces, things started to happen. Thanks Bob!