..is supposedly taking place next Monday in Den Bosch. This may come as a surprise for those, like myself and BarCamp co-originators Chris and Andy, who remember visiting the second ever BarCamp globally 16 years ago, in Amsterdam on 20 and 21 October 2005. Or those who attended any of the Dutch BarCamps thereafter documented on BarCamp.org (albeit sparsely, I admit). Mediamatic kindly provided the venue in PostCS for that first Dutch BarCamp.

I heard E guffaw as she read that LinkedIn posting and after hearing why, couldn’t resist kindly pointing out their mistake and linking to the relevant BarCamp.org page for that first BarCampAmsterdam of 16 years ago.


Roland in a BarCamp Amsterdam 2005 t-shirt. Image Ton Zijlstra, license cc by nc sa


Part of the BarCamp Amsterdam schedule in 2005. Image Ton Zijlstra, license cc by nc sa

Last week saw the third edition of BarCamp in Amsterdam. Located, just as the first one (and second BarCamp ever), at Mediamatic offices near Amsterdam Central Station, a small group of people gathered to discuss their projects. I am not a coder, but do like to talk about the wishes and dreams I have about my tools. As before this was the still evolving story I brought to the programme.


Listening to Robert on Roomware.

The full title of my topic was "The tools I need/want but that don’t exist yet, or I am unaware of."

I started with a sketch of the three major quantitative changes I see.
First an increase in connections between people (induced by new global infrastructure like mobile telephony and internet).
Second, an increase in speed and dynamics (when you build roads, you create traffic)
Third an increase in information until the level of abundance.

As our previous strategies to deal with connections, speed and information don’t scale into a networked globalized world, we see qualitative answers emerging.

Those qualitative answers are along the lines of:
First a more pro-active attitude, making your own sense of the world.
Second different priorities in existing and new information skills.
Third, new tools and work forms that cater to a pro-active attitude, and different information skills.

The shift I see, also in working with clients, away from the Web 2.0 avant garde, is to a higher level of cooperation: networked co-creation. Here I quoted Ivan Labra from his talk at BarCamp Brussels, where he distinguishes three maturity levels (sharing information, coordinating tasks, co-creation).

When I look at what this requires to build effective working routines, I see things like:
Pattern recognition, and taking those patterns as input signals.
Being human on-line: more subtle and granular negotiation of trust levels and intimacy in information exchanges.
Visualisation: what is the quality of my social network as a filter, where are the white-spots, echo-chambers, dark zones.
True co-creation: simultaneous editing, re-arranging and adding, in real-time.

What resulted was a good conversation, in which others gave some tips and pointers to tools that might provide buidling blocks (though most were familiar). Yahoo Pipes, Megite, Quartz, APML and Open Search were among those mentioned.

I also noted in this conversation how deeply ingrained a notion it is that we look at information piece-meal. Where my point is, that I don’t look at individual information pieces when I want to get a feeling for what is happening in my communities. I look at what they are talking about, not what they are saying immediately. When I have a specific question to answer, then I do read individual items/entries that look to provide parts of the answer.

My main take-away however was the realization, in line with the needed pro-active attitude mentioned above, that I need to dig into this deeper myself. Have a dive into sources on data-mining and into the pointers given.

It also triggered me to think about redesigning the way I gather and combine my RSS feeds. That is the topic for the next posting.

More pics of BarCamp Amsterdam can be found in my Flickr stream, and some video’s I life-streamed with my phone are at my Qik account.

On March 1st and March 2nd, the third BarCamp Amsterdam will take place. Initiated by Ralph, again Mediamatic in the Post CS building will be hosts to it. Boris Mann suggested (or more like told me) I attend. So guess what? I think I will. See Upcoming and the BarCamp wiki for more.

Kitchen session at the first Amsterdam BarCamp (and the 2nd BarCamp ever) (more pics)

What is on the menu at this third Amsterdam BarCamp?
First of all there will be a follow-up session of the Federating Social Networks session held last December. That will spill over in a full-blown BarCamp where the agenda of course is set by those attending.
I think I will do something on how web2.0 tools may be more useful in making sense of the world around you. Part of that is the way I’d like federating social network sites to work (taking me, not the networking site as the crucial element). Another part is how I actually build a socially filtered learning environment (aka connectivism) from my Web2.0 tools and what that means for the design and development of those tools. A continuation of my contributions at Barcamps in Brussels and Vienna really.
Interested in learning at and contributing to (which are essentially sides of the same coin) BarCamp Amsterdam? Make yourself known (here or here) and see you there! (Or find out about an upcoming BarCamp near you)