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Barcamp: A Long Tail Phenomenon?

On the Barcamp.org wiki there is a feature which allows you to track all of the changes to the wiki.  I turned it on, accidentally, a couple of days ago, and started seeing the flow of traffic.  Barcamp is clearly a global phenomenon. 

Two which caught my eye are Blogcamp, which bills itself as south east Asia’s biggest blogging event, and DemoCamp 5, which is Toronto’s latest Democamp event (happening tonight, coincidentally).    I’d dearly love to be at the Toronto event tonight, but it’s Tampa/Ottawa Game 3, doncha know! 

The remarkable thing about the Barcamp meme is the way it’s spread.  Unlike a traditional "conference", which is trying to control the brand of the event in order to attract a specific audience, Barcamp created a wiki, laid out a few ground rules for participation and threw the doors open.  Unlike a traditional event, which draws participants from large geographies, and congregates them in a single location, Barcamps are predominantly local events.  Participants number in the hundreds, not thousands.  Events are happening all the time, not just a couple of times annually. 

Is Barcamp the long tail of the conferencing world?

{ 2 comments… add one }

  • James Cogan April 25, 2006, 2:36 pm

    Alec, BarCampOttawa was fantastic. Fellow Ottawa blogger David Peralty and I touched on this exact formal vs. un-conference contrast in our first podcast which we just released. We talked about BarCampOttawa as well, however, it was recorded the day before the event. When we do our next podcast, we’ll be sure to talk about the positive experience we both had at BarCampOttawa.
    Maybe we could convince you to come on as a guest at some point :-)

    Go Sens Go!

  • Alec April 25, 2006, 7:11 pm

    Hey thanks, James. I’d love to!

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