I've been spending the day at Barcamp 4 in Ottawa. About 120 people showed up for the event. I participated directly in two events: the international DemoCamp from Leeds England, and a session on tips and tricks for building a business on Facebook. I think the Facebook session was well received but despite the best efforts of Jim Courtney, Peter Childs and the crew in Leeds it was impossible to get the application sharing session to cooperate in order to allow the demos to be done remotely.
Nathan Rudyk delivered a presentation called Riding the Hype Cycle about how to hitch your wagon to a larger company's campaign. He uses the metaphor of a bird and a hippo — riding the beast. It's a very clever metaphor, and very apt. It was just a tad weird hearing him describe their blogger outreach programs, though, even though I've been involved in blogger outreach both as a blogger and a company seeking to reach bloggers.
Tomoye CEO Eric Savoie's presentation on Enterprise 2.0 and social networking was a very cool discussion of social networks and how they're useful to enterprise. I've peripherally known about Tomoye for several years now, so it was great to finally see more of what they're all about. Eric's presentation would have been better with live software, rather than powerpoint slides.
The final presentation, from inMedia's Francis Moran and Jill Pyle, was titled The Two Faces of Blogging. I've been waiting for this presentation all day, because I feel a tiny bit of responsibility for influencing Frances to launch inMedialog. The two faces of blogging refers to the blogosphere as an influential channel for messaging, and corporate blogs as communications vehicles for corporations. Francis isn't a cheerleader for blogs, but rather a pragmatist. It was a superb presentation on when and how to blog, coupled with a case study of how they launched their own blog.
What a great way to spend a Saturday — networking with the local community, learning, and meeting new people.