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Summary:

On April 25th, the Paris-based organization Travailleurs du Web will be holding TDWCamp, a barcamp for web workers here in Paris. Why not organize one in your city? If you don’t know what a barcamp (or unconference) is, don’t feel bad. The name certainly doesn’t provide […]

tdwcampOn April 25th, the Paris-based organization Travailleurs du Web will be holding TDWCamp, a barcamp for web workers here in Paris. Why not organize one in your city?

If you don’t know what a barcamp (or unconference) is, don’t feel bad. The name certainly doesn’t provide any clues if you don’t know the history. Barcamps are like structured brainstorming sessions with crowd-sourced agendas and organic, bottom-up organization. It’s a great format for generating ideas, energy and momentum that can be used by any special interest group, professional or otherwise. I’ll explain.

Somebody decides to have a barcamp. Anyone interested in the subject of the barcamp can sign up. Some participants offer to talk to the group about a topic in which they have expertise. Others indicate what topics they’re interested in hearing about/discussing.

I went to an e-reputation barcamp a few weeks ago, because online identity is one of the topics I speak about. In this picture I took that day, you can see that people wrote proposed discussion topics — like Personal Branding — on a chalkboard in the available discussion slots for the day.

erepbarcamp

Everybody made a mark in the square of the topic they were going to attend during that hour. Repeat the process for every hour, with a few topics going on at a time. The chalkboard part was quite manic, a bit like being on the floor of the NYSE, but once it was over everybody dispersed in an orderly fashion into their groups and the real fun began.

If you go to the TDWCamp wiki page, and scroll down past the sponsor logos, you’ll see that the first section (in French) is for people who are offering to talk about certain subjects. For this web worker barcamp, topics include GTD, creating a web worker co-op, and the pros and cons of being your own boss. In the Fans column of that section, participants have indicated their interest in these topics.

Below this section, people who are planning to attend have signed up and indicated in the right column the topics in which they’re interested. The first participant has made his topic wishlist: GTD, project management, boosting productivity, inspiration and exchange. He’s also said he wants a big t-shirt.

tdwcamp2

Can you feel the love? If you can, and you’d like to look into this further, you’re in luck. Barcamp.org has put together a handy how-to page to get you started, with everything you need to know: from creating your barcamp wiki page to getting sponsors on board. After all, somebody’s got to pay for the t-shirts, munchies and location!

So if you have access to a coworking center or network of web workers, you might want to consider organizing a barcamp of your own. It’s fun, it’s stimulating and it’s a nice change from the usual happy hour-type get-together, which can sometimes end up being more about the Packers than work. Not that there’s anything wrong with that, but you know what I mean.

Please let us know if you’ve done a web worker barcamp or if you’re planning to. And if you’re in the Paris area, I hope to see you at TDWCamp!

  1. I’ve been attending a web workers meetup in my community, and it’s been awesome. With topics pertaining to both developers and designers, it is a great way to discuss new technology and, more importantly, get different perspectives on the daily issues that we face as web workers.

    http://refreshthetriangle.org/

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  2. Hi Dave.

    Awesome! I love the site. Thanks for sharing the info. Maybe you’ll inspire some readers to imitate you!

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  3. Thanks to write about EreputationCamp in Paris
    OPen to help if you need something…

    Nicolas Bermond
    http://www.e-reputation.tv

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  4. [...] à cela l’intérêt anglophone : http://webworkerdaily.com/2009/04/17/why-not-organize-a-web-worker-barcamp/#more-11223 En effet l’ouverture à l’international via les traductions en anglais a porté ses [...]

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  5. [...] are awesome. Read about how and why to organize your own barcamp in my article on Web Worker Daily (also on [...]

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  6. [...] été très intéressé. Par les personnes rencontrées (Pamela, la charmante et optimisée Leïla, MrBoo et tous les autres). Par les sujets auxquels [...]

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  7. [...] 31st, 2009 (7:00am) Pamela Poole No Comments Not long ago, I wrote about TDWcamp, a BarCamp-like event for web workers held in Paris a few months ago. It was useful, [...]

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  8. [...] Still not sure if BarCamp-style events are for you? To get an idea of why FreelanceCamp PRO might be useful (and fun!), check out this post from Pamela about her experiences of a similar event in Paris. [...]

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