Barcamp Berkshire day 1 thought & link dump #bcb13

I missed doing any sort of participant intros, it’s a good way to set up the day and it does more to make people feel part of the organisation than any amount of telling them that it’s all about them.

I confirmed for myself that I understand github well enough to use it (I thought I might have been missing something. I probably still am, but nothing serious.) So now this exists.

#hackthebarbican makes some people very very excited.

I miss Tomorrow’s World badly. Thanks to BBC Redux for making it possible for us to see Judith Hann demonstrating a nasal-spray contraceptive.

Barcamps are just full of good people, I’m really looking forward to spending more time with them tomorrow.

You still hear the darnedest things in little conversations inbetween.

For example, where else would you stumble over someone you knew who is trying to improve how Shakespeare’s plays are displayed on the web in Mandarin? That’ll be Terence Eden.

It’s really good to do a session where you get to say “I don’t know what to do, I don’t know what the answer is, you tell me.”

At #bcb13 I talked about #hackthebarbican

I gave people the lowdown on why we’re doing it, what we’re doing, how far we’ve got, what we need now:

why we’re doing it

  • The Barbican Centre approached Charles Armstrong to produce something for the month of August while the concert hall and theatre space are being refurbished. Charles sensibly asked some of his friends to come together to think about it and they invited more people.


  • during the month of August the indoor public areas of the Barbican Centre will be taken over by a self-organising, interdisciplinary experiment in creative collaboration – there will be residencies, events, talks, installations – the biggest limit on the list of things there’ll be is the law… and the fact that the Barbican is a Grade II listed building.

how far we’ve got

  • We’ve had an organising group meeting every week since the beginning of the year. We’ve run a Bazaar weekend to try out how it might work. We’re just about to start doing weekly social collaboration sessions to help people who want to get involved to get to know each other better and talk about things they might do in August.

what we need now

  • We need people to propose residencies and events. Those links are to pages with forms to submit ideas on the website. We also need people to get involved – take a look at the site and see what you think – you can join the mailing list.

Ideas popped up: Making a map of the centre in Minecraft, a Silent Disco, messing with the lights, messing with the plasma screen etc.