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The Blog of Grom/JennyCide (now sometimes featuring Solomon Hightower, Carloz, Al, Popcorn & Kaye!)

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Saturday, November 17, 2007

It's a nice, sunny Saturday here in Leeds and Popcorn and I are at the, so far, superb BarCampLeeds 'unconference'. I'm very impressed so far with the setup and the success in the way it's working - no talks are planned or scheduled in advance - at the beginning of the day there's a scramble at the whiteboard for post-it notes and people volunteering to do a talk in one of the 4 rooms. So far I've been to a talk by an old friend Mark Sailes on TV 3.0, a catch up and talk by Tim from Openstreetmap (a genius site and one which everyone should get involved in). I've also seen Victor discussing his locative media ideas which were very much along the lines of William Gibsons latest book, Spook Country.
It's after lunch now and we've been having some tech issues with our live link with Canada and the BarCampOttawa so it's on to a talk by Manoj on his new edocr interactive document discussion and hosting site.
As I said, I've been very impressed with the setup and flexibility of the BarCamp and one especially funky feature has been the availability of sign-language translators for some of the attendees - it's interesting to see how they cope with the more technical terms people use.
Full marks to the sponsors for the freebies and food - I'm very keen to get a sneak preview of the next Rockstar games Wii game which I saw peeking out of one of the attendee's bags earlier - it has apparently been 'borrowed' from their QA dept so this really will be a first peek.
More later....
Flickr posts here.
Wiki here.
Fun fact of the day - Tom Scott, one of the multi-talented organisers (and leader of the UK Talk Like a Pirate Day) is currently trying to remove his fingerprints by bathing his hands in pineapple juice.
Now in a Q&A session with Rockstar which is as informal as their games but we're not allowed to ask about GTA4 or Manhunt - spoilsports!
Then onto an SEO clinic with Dom from stickyeyes - there was one other presenter from a rival SEO firm whose name I didn't catch which made for an odd talk since they didn't agree on many things which does confirm many of my opinions on SEO although to be fair to Dom, he made a lot of sense and I agreed with most of his hints.
Tom Smith's a very interesting bloke - very engaging and humourous, his talk wasn't particularly technical but very thought-provoking, he has lots of good ideas about design patterns and I hope to catch up with him at a later date.