This weekend I was a participant in BarCamp Vancouver, a 24-hour localized geekfest. I met a bunch of interesting people in a pretty wide variety of fields, learned some funky new stuff, further grokked stuff I was already aware of, and had a general fun time.
Here are some short notes on some sessions (that I can remember):
Hacking the CBC (hosted by Tod Maffin (Inside the CBC)):
Lots of discussion about podcasts, music licensing, radio 3, regional representation, HNIC, ratings in TV/radio/web (can the current CBC be considered a success if it doesn't crack the top ratings?), and how to get the CBC to deal with the changing participatory news/blogging world of today.
I think the answer to that last bit is to create a Canadian style digg or reddit where any Canadian can post a link to relevant stories (written by the CBC, the Globe, the Star, canada.com, or any other blogger/publisher) and the entire country can vote up the news that we care about. All of Canada shares in ownership of the CBC, and with the new social news technologies out today, there's no reason that all of Canada can't help program the CBC, and use it to amplify ordinary Canadian voices on the net.
Photocamp (moderated by Kris Krug):
A bunch of different topics were covered. Questions were asked about the future of cameras. It was said that digital photography is capable of doing a lot more more then traditional film photography. New methods are being used (HDR) or researched (post-production re-focusing, physical place mapping from photos), and the future looks to have some serious goodies in store for digital photographers.
Warwick Patterson shared some photoshop processing tips: Filter->Sharpen->Unsharp Mask command as the first and last thing, with Curves (or Levels), and switching to sRGB mode (for display on the web) in between.
Open Source Business Practices (hosted by Robert Scales):
Talked about some techniques for open business practices, along with goals and possible consequences of it. Stuff like releasing your sales numbers to the public, building relationships with other shops in your field and related areas to help each other out (help push the rising tide that will lift all the boats).
Tagging for World Domination from Alexandra Samuel.
SEO and the Long Tail by Jason Billingsley from Elastic Path:
Create lots of (valuable) content targeting the long tail around your area of expertise. General SEO tips: the title tag is key, put your important targeted words at the front, etc.
The Meme Epidemic - A Case Study from Darren Barefoot.
CACert by Robin Johnson:
CAcert.org is a web of trust based Certificate Authority that issues certificates free of charged (as long as you're accepted into the trust web). It doesn't currently come installed in the major browsers, but looks like promising for the future. The worst case scenario is that it sucks just as much as the existing security authorities (that charge you a pretty penny for their trust).
There's tons more text in the blogosphere and photos on flickr reporting on BarCampVancouver...