BarCamps are user-generated, participatory mini-conferences where speakers present on a variety of topics. They’re good place for you to gain some local credibility in your area of expertise as a speaker, or just discuss the latest trendy extreme tech topics with like-minded individuals.
Have you been to a BarCamp in your area? Tell us about it in the comments below.
Last weekend’s BarCamp, hosted at the new Envylabs office in downtown Orlando, featured over 50 speakers and pulled in around 300 attendees. Topics included everything from website programming, to photography, to what it’s like to work at a startup.
Attendees included Ruby-on-Rails experts, project managers and developers of all stripes. I also met marketing consultants, sandal-wearing engineering gurus and one or two suits. It turned out to be the ultimate personal networking opportunity.
Lou Mongello’s talk, How To Make A Living From Podcasting, was particularly inspiring. He’s a Walt Disney World connoisseur and makes his living through his WDWRadio website (which isn’t affiliated with Disney, by the way). Over the last seven years, he’s broadcast interviews, trivia, ebooks, videos and all manner of information about Disney World to a growing on-line audience.
Some of his nuggets of inspiration included doing something you’re passionate about, sharply focus on your demographic, and deliver a never-ending supply of interesting new content.
It was great to see a viable business, website, and brand created out of something as arcane as a passion for Disney World, by somebody who left a lucrative lawyer position. Where else would you ever find a guy like this, except at BarCamp?