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BarCampRDU succeeds

BarCampRDU was this past Friday and Saturday at the Red Hat Headquarters on NC State’s Centennial Campus in Raleigh, NC. 175 registrants, lots of food, open wireless, and a giant piece of paper on the wall made the event a success.

Having been one of the organizers for this event, I was most struck with how much planning for an event of this size really could be left until the morning of. Fred did a remarkable job of coordinating the sponsors and the wiki and the mailing lists prior to the big day – but letting things fall where they may is a wonderful lesson in trusting the creativity and interests of the people who make a BarCamp work, the participants. We laid the foundation (and expectations) for a great event, and it lived up to those expectations.

We had breakfast and mingling until 9am, a 15-minute welcome and explanation of BarCamp and the OpenSpace concept. We had 45 minutes of organized chaos whereby the wall of paper was magically brought to order. We had 6 50-minute sessions and a 90-minute lunch. There was a very brief closing and that was that. I heard many comments throughout the day suggesting another BarCamp in the near future. We’ll hold off on committing at least for a few weeks. I’d love to run a couple of these per year. More than two may run the risk of removing the critical mass of interest that made it a success. Time will tell.

Thank you to all the other organizers and sponsors and volunteers. And a definite thank you to the participants. Read and see more of our fun at technorati and flickr.

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