BarCampMilwaukee Part IX

BarCampMilwaukee is in 3 days… No, really… That’s what Upcoming tells me. It also says there is a Pre-BarCampMilwaukee Dinner, and that during BarCampMilwaukee there will be a Mini-Mash Pit (which may consist of only me at this point!)

Since we last reviewed things we’ve gone up to almost 90 campers and gotten a lot more sponsorship. Right now we’ve got commitments from: C2 Graphics Productivity Solutions,, Digital Bootcamp, Inc., CA, MakaluMedia Group, MIT Club of Wisconsin, Microsoft, Z2 Marketing + Design, Rochambo Coffee & Tea House, and Time Warner Cable. These are the organizations who will help make BarCampMilwaukee rock!

There are also a ton of session ideas some which you might expect (Drupal, Microformats, Ruby on Rails) and some which sound just crazy (Remote Controlled Go Carts; if you’re not in control, you’re out of control, Democracy in Ancient Athens: Organization and Technology, Thermonuclear Fusion; a possible reactor design). Hmmm, I guess all the crazy ones have long titles.



One idea I got from a previous BarCamp was name/tags… Which is like your old fashioned “Hello, my name is” badge, but with room to write in some “Web 2.0” style tags…

BarCampMilwaukee Name/Tags

For BarCampMilwaukee, our hosts at Bucketworks also plans on providing a crazy/creative “Make your own badge” table with various art supplies for those looking for a bit more expressiveness in their name tags…



Just because I can’t participate in BarCampEarth, doesn’t mean I can’t participate in BarCampEarth…

A few months back, my pals at Z2 Marketing gave me an old Mac, so my challenge became “what can I do with it?” You might remember such projects as MacKiosk which was a photo kiosk built using an old Apple Workgroup Server 80. Well, this is Kiosk2 , which is built using an old PowerComputing PowerCenter 150. Ten years ago this was a killer workstation, featuring a 150 MHz PowerPC 604 processor. Nowadays it’s almost useless…

A little MacPerl magic, a copy of the always exellent JPEGView, and an AppleScript applet to kick things into gear, and we’ve got our kiosk!


So what about BarCampEarth? Well, I built this thing to use at BarCampMilwaukee, the idea being we set it up and as people upload and tag photos with "barcampmilwaukee" they will appear on the screen. So since this weekend is BarCampEarth, we decided to test it all using the tag "barcampearth"

So far it’s working ok. There is a weird flicker when the images load, so I’ll have to work on that, and in earlier testing I’ve had the Mac lock-up on me, but a reboot fixes that problem. Old hardware put to good use… hooray!



I’m a big fan of the BarCamp events. There is one in Chicago soon which I can’t attend. I’m wondering if it would be possible to organize one in the Milwaukee area?


We would need participants. There’s the Milwaukee Web Design Meetup, Milwaukee Ruby User’s Group, The Milwaukee Linux User Group, The Wisconsin Java User Group, and hopefully a few more groups that might have people interested in participating… I think finding people interested in participating would be the easy part.


I’m ranking “finding a suitable location” as difficult. I’ve got a few ideas so far, and I’m sure I could come up with more, but I’m very open to suggestions here. (One issue which might be a problem is “event insurance” so keep that on the list with a big star next to it.)


Companies or individuals that might help sponsor the event may prove harder. This isn’t San Francisco, it’s Milwaukee, and the money usually doesn’t flow as freely here. I suppose it all depends on the cost of the event as to how much sponsorship we might be able to pull together. Since things are generally cheaper in the midwest, I’d hope we could do it for maybe half the cost of BarCampLA.


Powerstrips, networking gear, computers, misc. “stuff” would be needed. This is probably my least worried about issue, because in past events I’ve been involved with, these things always seem to work themselves out. Of course I might just be overly-optomistic here.


Luckily, there are already some good guides to help out with the planning: BarcampLA Post-Mortem, BarCamp NYC – the Nuts and Bolts, Dummies Guide to organizing a BarCamp in your city, as well as the BarCamp site’s Organize a Local Bar Camp section…

So what do you think? Could we pull off a BarCampMilwaukee?