Barcamp Gent 3, the one that took place yesterday is probably going to be my last Barcamp in Belgium. I already had my doubts upfront when looking at the suggested talks, but once there I realized it was much worse than I expected.
Lemme repoint you folks to what I wrote about the first Barcamp in Belgium back in 2006
Maybe my expectations on what kind of people / talks to meet and see there were a bit wrong.. when looking at other barcamps where people such as whurley and Moshe were present, I was maybe hoping for a bit more of system level innovation etc. or at least more technology innovation rather than Bloggers meet and talk about Blogging tools. I wasn't sure on what I should talk about as most of the topics I usually speak about would have been so out of scope and probably wouldn't have reached any potientiel audience.
So for 3+ years I kept hoping for change, there's always an amount of interesting people that show up that make the day interesting, but yesterday there were timeslots with no relevant topics for me at all. Don't get me wrong ... I really liked Ine's presentation preparing to travel and work for a year, but that's not why I go to Barcamp. Maybe it was because people that normally wouldn't give a presentation were forced to give a presentation and came up with these kind of topics, or maybe it's because Barcamps have changed, luckily there were different other talks tackling the Semantic Web, Hackerspaces etc that did catch my attention.
But maybe the majority of Belgian Barcampers needs to realize that what they want is not a Barcamp but TwitCamp, Blogcamp or maybe even LifeCamp, For me topics such as Pension Plans, Makeup, Beer, Travel Advice, etc don't belong on a Barcamp. I`m not part or the Belgian Twitter and Bloggers community, I`m part the Belgian Tech community, blogging on Open Source and new technologies . But when someone tells me "Hey there the Paris Hilton of the Belgian Bloggers" my reaction is ,wtf is Paris Hilton and why should I care
The best talk of Barcamp this year was a talk titled "Where are my Keys" , Elise was running around with a problem, and a partial solution, the discussion and input during that talk could have lead to actuall building something and nferis nferis
I'm not alone with this opinion, Some people already gave their opinion about the Belgian Barcamps buy just not showing up anymore ... and in other parts of the world other barcamps seem to have the same problems.
Barcamp has had his different spinoffs. There's GovCamp, MobileCamps, CaseCamp, NoSQLCamp, SQLCamp, CloudCamp, DemoCamp, LAMPCamp , WordCamps, DrupalCamps and many more ... and you'll probably bump into me on the more specialized ones .. given enough Android topics you'll see me at a MobileCamp, you'll see me at LoadAys (a new conf on Linux and Open Source Administration topics), DevopsDays . I hope to be able to go to the new and upcoming Hackerspaces a bit more
Unless the next Barcamp heads back in another direction :)
But until then...so long thnx for al the fish