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rococo camp – starts tomorrow

I really dropped the ball helping out Evan and Robin (and the rest of the team) on Rococo Camp … But I will be there!

What: Rococo Camp
When: Friday May 2007 18th to Sunday the 20th
Where: SAT, 1195 St-Laurent, Montréal (Métro St-Laurent)

What is it? Well, nominally it’s about wiki, but it’s really an unconference, whose agenda is set on the day, based on hallway conversations, using the Open Space conference model. Or:

To all wikiers, bloggers, users, developers, artists, academics, activists, inventors, video editors, and other creators which are interested in Collaboration, Creativity and Self-Management….the Rococo Barcamp is for you !

I just signed up to give a talk called:

why an open movement? data and evolutionary advantage

One of the problems with the open movement, and projects like Rococo camp, is explaining what they are – and attracting a diverse audience (not just girl boy etc, but architects, urban planners, energy companies, environmentalists, doctors etc). Reading the site, I still have not figured out what Rococo is about, and I am a member of the “community” that is organizing it! We really need to think about getting the language less dense. How can we get more non-geeks involved in these events? After all, if geeks are to be useful, we have to build tools that non-geeks can use. There is so much cross-pollination we need to foment in order to do more exciting things than build another social network or another wordpress widget. The world has big, very real problems that we can help with, but geeks don’t necessarily understand the problems, and non-geeks don’t understand the tools. So we have to bring people together.

I kick myself for not helping Evan et al on Rococo camp, especially on this issue which we discussed: getting non-geeks involved. But what can you do? Anyway, I’ll be there. I’ll be the guy with the glasses & the mac.


  1. Fred Ngo Fred Ngo 2007-05-17

    > I’ll be the guy with the glasses & the mac.

    Yeah, that’s really gonna help people find you Hugh. ;-)

  2. Evan Prodromou Evan Prodromou 2007-05-17

    So, one of the four principles of Open Space events is “Whoever comes is the right people”. So I’m really looking forward to seeing the people who are there. It’s going to be great!

    The event is hosted by the wiki community, but the purpose is to share things we’ve learned with other people in related fields, and learn from them as well. We really want to invite all kinds of people who are doing things related to wikis. I made a “concept map” of things I think are related to wikis here:

    But, yeah, we’ve got a lot of different audiences for that front page: organizers and volunteers; the curious; definite attendees. It should probably be better designed in the future.

  3. HippieChyck HippieChyck 2007-05-22

    Yeah, I think about this a lot – the idea of how to bring diverse types of people together. Because I think all groups/segments find it more comfortable to hold conversations with their own. There’s mistrust of outside groups (eg I was at a think city event and I’m pretty preppy looking, so the more fashion-conscious-counter-culture types were suspicious of me…and vice versa really; or I was at a Make Poverty History event and as it turns out, I don’t belong to a women’s group right now but I belong to a political party…this wasn’t so so unusual compared to every other participants’ group affiliations, but saying so out loud made me self conscious nonetheless. it’s like you assume people with certain interests telegraph the interest/commitment in certain standard ways – which may or may not be true.)

    Anyway, I offer the following ideas (perhaps more embarassingly basic than intended when i first started typing, but there you go):

    1. titles – Rococo is cool, appeals to cross section of interests. Subtitles that are explicit as to the issues to be targeted are also useful eg Urban Planning, Community Outreach, and the Open-Source Movement. Maybe this is implied, but if I don’t know the organisers and am just scanning quickly, I might catch the implicit ideas.

    2. listserve/stakeholder database – right so the participants are only as good as the invitees, no? student groups from diverse faculties, unions, professional associations, art galleries/owners, music clubs, book stores…if a couple people from each of these types of groups got an email blast (maybe with a pdf of a poster?), they might forward it on/post it in their venue…

    3. dare i suggest the dreaded facebooks of the world? have been following your twits on this issue, and here’s my two cents. i agree that it’s odd when pple already in your circle add you as a friend on Facebook – what’s the point? but i think where it can be useful is for:
    a) neutral space – so it’s the difference between holding a think tank event in your house and hosting it at a coffee house – different people might come or drop by or feel more welcome\
    b) people who don’t have websites – yeah facebook is maybe a little ridiculous for you cuz you’re so hooked up, but how would you track the photos/thoughts/friends of people who don’t have websites if not on a separate place like facebook?
    c) sharing ownership/inviting participants to feel invested – if a neutral platform is used to start up a group/conference/event, then strangers can stumble upon it based on their interests and not just who they know, and they can add themselves to your movmement…

    right. that’s all i got at the moment.

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