On Saturday 17th October 2009 Blackpool hosted its first ever Barcamp event organised by Gemma Cameron at the Paradise Rooms in Pleasure Beach.
This was only a one day event, so I decided to drive down early on the Saturday morning. I arrived at the venue around 9:15, signed in and started helping getting things ready for the day.
Once people finished arriving, Gemma gave her opening speech and welcomed everyone to the event, in typical Barcamp style everyone then went rushing to the session grid to secure a session slot and work out which sessions they wanted to attend. People were hesitant to take up the first session slot, Kian Ryan was asked if he wanted to take one of the first slots, his response was “No because I haven’t yet written the source code for my session yet!”, I think this is one thing that attracts me to Barcamps, the whole “rough around the edges” atmosphere to them and thinking of things on the spot.
The schwag was impressive for this event, mugs from the Guardian, a few things from Yahoo, but the best of all was the Barcamp Rock (…and yes it did have “Barcamp” through the middle of it).
Three rooms were setup for the day named “Donkeys”, “Tower” and “Rock”. The sessions I attended during the day were:
- Co Working, Collaboration, Virtual Boards and Masterminds
- “Hello World” with Amazon EC2, PHP and Mono.
- Review of the W3c website redesign (Which turned ou to be very ironic)
- Accessibility, Content and Cognition
- JQuery and why it’s your new best friend
- How to make Barcamp Blackpool better
- Building and releasing an Android App.
I also presented a session myself called “Your photo is currently unavailable, Flickr Censorship”. More frequently Flickr are now censoring user accounts, groups and content on the site and after reading numerous blog posts on the subject I thought it was about time to present a session a a Barcamp about it.
After the sessions wrapped up it was down to the local chippy for a chippy tea, fabulous I have to say and well worth a fiver. It took Caz, Alistair and I about an hour to get back to the venue as we used this as a photowalk opportunity, which was great as Blackpool Illuminations were also taking place (however someone left his tripod in the car).
Once we got back to the venue, the bar was open with a very very generous Bar tab put on by Yahoo!, unfortunately with me driving back I could only drink pop which was a bit of a let down.
Entertainment for the evening was provided by a magician called Paul Sylvester and Iam sure other people will agree, he was the funniest magician I’ve ever seen, top entertainment! Tunes then followed and the night wrapped up.