Making BarCamp Work for You

October 29, 2008

It’s usually not hard to walk into a conference unprepared and find something useful along the way that you can take back with you. However, since BarCamp Memphis is so much more than a conference, here are some ways you can go about getting the most out of your BarCamp experience.

Come Ready to Present
This is first on the list because it is simultaneously one of the most beneficial and least used BarCamp options. Speaking gets you noticed, helps you network, and lets other people know what your expertise is. Not to mention, sharing helpful info is great for the Karma. In keeping with promoting the sharing spirit of BarCamp, if you come prepared with a topic to present to your fellow Campers, BarCamp Memphis is free for you. Otherwise a small fee will go to help defray the cost of the conference.

What not to do

Don’t turn your presentation into a live infomercial for your company. BarCamp is about learning, networking, and sharing, and people will notice if you’re shamelessly plugging your brand.
Give your presentation a catchy title, but don’t get so focused on it that people can’t figure out what you’re speaking on. Topic clarity helps everyone.

Join the Conversation

BarCamp Memphis is about networking, making connections, and fostering a forward-thinking tech community in Memphis. The presentations will be a great learning experience for everyone, but your biggest benefit for the day will be from the people that you meet. BarCamp will be a focal point for movers and shakers in the tech community and will be a great place where people with ideas can meet people with talent. Don’t let that opportunity go! Bring your business card, shake hands, speak up, share your ideas, and brainstorm for new ones. Whatever you do, you’ll get more out of your BarCamp experience if you avoid being a wallflower.

Vote

BarCamp Memphis is happening right after election day, so the importance of voting should not be lost on anyone. Be sure you arrive early enough to vote on the topics for the day. Voting makes sure that topics of the day are relevant to you, which is, after all, what makes BarCamp different from everything else.

BarCamp Memphis is on November 8! In the meantime, here are some other great blogs about BarCamp to check out!

What is BarCamp?
LunaWeb

Launch Memphis Rocks Social Media in September
LunaWeb

BarCamp Tips
LaLunaBlanca

Attn Entrepreneurs and Would-Be Entrepreneurs: BarCamp Memphis is Coming
Paul Ryburn

BarCamp Memphis Planning Underway
LunaWeb

BarCamp Evolution
LaLunaBlanca

BarCamp Fee Discussion on Twitter
LaLunaBlanca

BarCamp Memphis – Calling All Thought Leaders
One Half Amazing

BarCamp Memphis: November 2008
Conmergence

BarCamp Memphis 2008 – Be There, Share, Learn
LaunchMemphis

What is BarCamp?

October 23, 2008

With BarCamp Memphis less than 3 weeks away, it seems time to answer the question, once and for all, “What is BarCamp?

Let’s begin by deciding what BarCamp, most definitely, is not. BarCamp is not every other conference you’ve ever been to. The ones with cold coffee and colder speakers discussing topics that have been decided, possibly months in advance, with little or no audience input. It is not something you go to planning to sit still, look straight ahead, and try not to cough… or snore. It is the un-conference.

BarCamp is interactive and user-generated. There are pre-chosen topics interspersed throughout the day to help start things off. These topics are things that every BarCamper can use (programming languages, social media, social networks). After that, it’s all up to you. Anyone and everyone who comes to BarCamp can come with a topic in hand, prepared to share it with their fellow Campers. When it’s time to begin, you get to vote on exactly you want to hear that day. The result is the most relevant, informative, and interesting conference possible for you, today. Said simply, BarCamp becomes exactly what you want it to be.

BarCamp will have rooms set aside for open discussion on the topics that matter to you most (i.e. the ones you choose). There will be panel discussions throughout the day on those subjects where two (or more) heads are better than one. Even the traditional presentations are more exciting when you get to pick them yourself.

It’s time for bloggers, techies, entrepreneurs, and geeks to unite! Join the conversation at BarCamp Memphis 2008!

Social Media is providing some great resources for small businesses to draw from during the current economic downturn. Coming up on October 29, Network Solutions is hosting the Solutions Stars Video Conference. The conference will be free, and will allow participants to stream video from industry leaders while chatting live with the self proclaimed Social Media Swami Shashi Bellamkonda and Geoff Livingston, author of Now is Gone.

The conference, which will be held between 12:00 pm and 2:30 pm CST, will feature insight from industry leaders on how small businesses can use the internet to their advantage. There will be a large range of topics to choose from, including You Need Social Networks and To Blog or Not to Blog. For a full rundown of speakers and topics for the event see the conference’s website and Facebook event.

Memphis, of course, is doing its part as well! The monthly Social Media Breakfast is getting bigger and better with each passing meeting. Attendees of the Social Media Breakfast meet on the first Wednesday of every month to discuss the latest trends and tools in Social Media for businesses. The breakfast has been a huge success with each month showing greater interest from the public, and consistently eye-opening presentations.

The next Social Media Breakfast will be on November 5 at the Crescent Club in East Memphis, and is open to the public. You can see details, as well as RSVP for the event at the group’s Meetup page.

Be sure to take advantage of these upcoming opportunities to see what Social Media has to offer!

Social Media Breakfast #7

October 6, 2008

It’s hard to believe, but the Social Media Breakfasts seem to keep getting better! This month we had our largest group yet meet at the Crescent Club in Midtown Memphis for what promised to be a great way to start the morning. There were plenty of familiar faces mixed in with a great group of Social Media newcomers.

LunaWeb President, Dave Barger, hosted the event and kept everything running smoothly, as well as answering questions on all thing Social from a crowd that eagerly supplied both answers and inquiries. After some initial discussion, long time Social Media Breakfast attendee, Bob Hazlett, gave a hilariously informative presentation on Social Media campaigns gone wrong entitled, “You Suck at Social Media.” He effectively walked us through the best of the best on down to the abysmally low in Social success (from Zappos shoes to Microsoft’s twitter presence).

As always though, the best of Social Media Breakfast happened before and after the official presentations. Staying true to the idea of being “social” there were plenty of opportunities for networking, catching up, meeting new connections, and sharing new Social Media information.

You can already RSVP for the next Social Media Breakfast on the MeetUp page. And be sure to check out photos from SMB #7 here! If you haven’t already been to one of the Social Media Breakfasts, talk to one of the people who have. We’ll see you at the next one!