Friday, December 01, 2006


Barcamp Portland

I should have posted about this the moment I got home, but Yvette wanted to play another round of Carcassonne, about the only thing I've found that is more powerful than Wikipediholism.

Last night was the November BarCamp Portland meeting, hosted at the Jive Software offices. Can "retro" be used to refer to a lifestyle not more than 10 years old? If so, the Jive offices were late-1990's retro, set to the height of the dot-com boom: a bicycle rack just off the lobby, high-end cubicles with the expensive chairs, & a lunchroom with a refrigerator full of soft drinks and a bar in the middle of the room with a beer tap. (The beer was microbrew, of course.)

I was once part of this; it only feels like a lifetime ago. Then again, a lot of people who've struggled under the preseidency of George W. Bush's misrule probably feel that the late nineties were a lifetime ago.

The meeting was supposed to run from 6:00pm to 9:00, but it wasn't until a few minutes before 9:00 that Dawn and Raven realized that the agenda for this monthly meeting -- to plan the Portland Barcamp -- had yet to be discussed. The rest of us there -- it felt like about 20 people -- had been busy swapping stories and business cards. I don't know about anyone else at this meeting, but for me chances to simply talk shop with other people who are part of the techie world yet aren't hardcore, "if you haven't coded 30 hours straight you're a poseur" techie are few and far between. I won't drop names, but I was left with two impressions:

This last point relates to the Wikipedia community on the grassroots level. For the first few years I contributed to Wikipedia, I didn't know any other Wikipedians in the Portland area; I had to go to the first Seattle Wikimeetup to meet one, who shortly afterwards moved away. About a year later I met GTBacchus, but within the year he moved to Seattle. (I'm not sure if that indicates something.) Only in the last year have I started to make an effort to connect with my fellow, local Wikipedians, and I'm honestly surprised at how many there are here.

As for the business part of the meeting? It ran for an hour. The consensus at the end was that we had two items to work on:



I am really excited! This will be my first time visiting, good stuff. Very useful. Enjoyed the visit!
- y
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