It’s been a little since I’ve been to my last tech-related event, so I was stoked to attend the Barcamp Bodensee (@barcampbodensee | #bcbs14) this year (July 4-6, 2014). Unfortunately, I was only able to go Saturday, but it was well worth it.
According to the „official“ news on Twitter & Co. about 100 people from across Germany, and also abroad (so I’ve read), gathered to celebrate and share their passion for the things they like – mainly about technology, culture and politics, but also exotic stuff like candy.
After the guys from Beanarella, the official coffee sponsor, got me caffeinated, the introduction round started. Even though barcamps are very informal, familiar, it still strikes me that people tend to be shy about their introduction. Anyway, after everybody stated their interests and the organiser, Oliver Gassner (@oliverg – thanks a bunch), addressed the rules and the sponsors, the sessions were put together. Exciting!
I wish I could be at more sessions at the same time, since the majority was uber-intersting (see picture). But, in the end, I made it to a total of five sessions that day, so I am perfectly happy.
(1) The first of the sessions I attended, I actually held myself (ha). Well, not precisely. I initiated the discussion and Prof. Dr. Jörn von Lücke from the Open Government Institut (TOGI) at the Zeppelin University, the host location of the barcamp, took on to channel the thoughts. The debate „Digitalos und die Digitalisierung in Deutschland“ about the (missing) digital agenda in Germany was intense, so it actually came to a follow-up session later in the day. It is the German Angst in regards to new technology (digital) and the miserable status quo. Thus, in order for Germany to not be left behind by the „digital revolution“, as some countries have been in the industrial revolution, we must take action.
I will actually write a separate post about the insights and results of the session, so stay tuned. But, if you would like to read more about it, I addressed the topic earlier in my thoughts about the adoption issues and the Netzgemeinde (in German).
(2) The next session I attended was about the localisation of software, more precisely about the translation and adaption of code, particularly websites, to local languages and cultures. While this maybe sounds a little dry, the application in real life is crucial as not only different time formats can cause confusion.
(3) After the lunch break (yummy lasagne) I sat together with a couple of interested people to discuss the benefits and current state of SEO. In the end we agreed that it is essential, but that the so-called SEO-experts are mostly illusionist trying to sell shortcuts. Hence, nothing particularly novel, but it was nice to see that a lot of people actually don’t believe in the expensive short-term solutions offered by the holy order of SEO evangelists.
(4) The fourth session was very interesting indeed. It was about shitstorms or better: how to effectively deal with critique and negative feedback on the various Social Media platforms. As most of us probably know, there is no right or wrong answer per se, but some tactics are worth sharing. Hence, it was a good experience to see how other firms deal with certain posts and their authors. Bottom line: Community Manager is not the dream job, as some might think.
(5) The fifth and last session for me – Yes, I took a break in between 🙂 – was the follow-up session of the digital agenda in Germany, where we actually noted specific actions and voted on them (pre-testing).
To put it in a nutshell, very interesting discussions again. I can’t stress it enough.
Connecting and Networking
The ones that have attended barcamps before know, that sessions are only one part of it. The insight gained is great. But, the human side is also an essential, crucial part of the local unconference. At this barcamp I have, yet again, met so many interesting people. It is almost unreal how open and keen everybody is at sharing knowledge, connecting and getting to know each other. Also, it is very striking how the majority of the attendees is embracing a rather unconventional and broad mindset. A local event for critical, global citizens.
Like most barcamps (or other related events) the Barcamp Bodensee is almost first and foremost about networking in a nice, informal setting. Held at the Zeppelin University in Friedrichshafen this year, as mentioned above, with its campus at the Lake of Constance, the location obviously accelerated the already extraordinary experience. I believe some sessions were actually held outside.
// Here are a few other awesome blog posts / impressions of the Barcamp Bodensee 2014 (in German):
- Auf dem Barcamp Bodensee 2014 in Friedrichshafen ( Jay –
- Barcamp Bodensee 2014: Der perfekte Ort um Blogger kennen zu lernen (Eric – @Der_Chefblogger)
- Der Bodensee rief zum Barcamp. Die Netzgemeinde kam! (Yvonne – @YvonneSim)
- Mein erstes Barcamp (Michaela – @michaela_w)
- Purplegreen auf dem Barcamp (Melanie – @purplegreen)
- Schullandheim Reloaded – Barcamp Bodensee (Christine – @kischtrine)
As you can see the Barcamp Bodensee was an incredible experience. Thus, it would be a shame to miss it next time. If you haven’t been (to a barcamp), make sure to mark your calendar for next year!