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BazCampLA: Mad Science Encouraged


This is the wiki for BazCampLA-0.  There is a email discussion group at http://groups.google.com/group/bazcampla-planning


BazCampLA: "What?"


BazCampLA is a demo-centric shameless rip-off of BarCamp -- we're do-ers not talkers.  BazCamp is an ad-hoc gathering born from the desire for deeply technical people to share and learn in a "social media"-free environment. It is an intense event with discussions, demos and interaction from participants, conducted largely in unintelligible jargon.  If you are temped to speak about the "branding and marketing" of anything, may we direct towards your friendly neighborhood barcamp?


You are encouraged to attend BazCampLA with a Demo.


Read the etymology of baz.

What are examples of deeply technical topics?

  • Robotics
  • Hardware hacking/arduinos
  • Direct brain interfacing
  • Reverse Engineering / assembly language hacking
  • Security Research
  • Home-brew biology
  • Focusing on "implementation" as opposed to "usage" or "impact"


What is a Demo?

A Demo is:

  • a piece of software
  • an article of electronics
  • an ingenious mechanism
  • a bottle of biology
  • anything else that is its own best visual aid


BazCampLA: "Why?"


As BarCamp grows larger and more successful, it necessarily attracts a wider audience.  It has been my recent experience that highly technical presentations have become the minority.  Furthermore, technical presentations that incorporate a working demo, almost working demo, or a panicked "live-coding" presenter are the most fun and compelling.  BazCamp seeks to distill this increasingly dilute technical component of BarCamp.


I have presented on both technical and non-technical topics at many BarCamps.  I will continue to do so.  I have great admiration for BarCamp; it is run professionally and is a ton of fun.  But I have also at times found myself huddled in the back with other geeks, furiously coding something cool, imagining an event with giant lasers, 440VAC outlets, and a lower blogger-density.


At BarCamp-LA-6, there were at least 3 people planning on presenting topics of a very technical nature, who were unable to do so because the board was filled up by noon Sat with fluff.  Some interesting fluff, but non-technical talks were in the majority.  A very technical "reverse-engineering" talk was forced outside with no projector.   


BazCampLA: "Who?"


You know who you are.

Who's interested in wrangling this velociraptor with me? 



(add yourself here)


BazCampLA: "When?"


Lets not wait too long.  Your input is the determinant.

To consider: should be by 180deg out of phase with Barcamp?  Should it be 5deg out of phase with Barcamp so we can present our demos at *both* events?


BazCampLA: "Where?"


I propose making use the Mutaytor Smash Labs in Downtown LA.  Its perfect for a 1-track or 1.5 track conference.  Stage, lights, sound, power, wifi are all ready to go, and it can support quite a lot more people than we're likely to have in one place.


BazCampLA: "Regular or Extra Crispy?"



Comments (6)

eric gradman said

at 10:36 pm on Oct 26, 2008

If this is going to be an periodic event (and I'd like it to be), it should be 2 weeks before BarCamp as a rule. That way we don't have to do any additional work to bring the demos to BarCamp.

Consider: it takes you at least twice as long to prepare a live-demo to present than it takes a blogger to throw together some slides on social media. Therefore, you should get to present yours *twice*!

zeraweb said

at 11:45 pm on Oct 26, 2008


anthonymckay said

at 12:26 am on Oct 27, 2008

I would like to propose an additional "rule". No using your talk as a damn marketing pitch for your startup company, etc. People want to hear about interesting technology and research we are working on. Not PR spam. No talking about your company.

SamL said

at 8:48 am on Oct 27, 2008

I think the key differentiator is not necessarily "demo vs powerpoint presentation", but the actual content of either. Sure, boring powerpoints suck, but I'd rather see a well-done slide presentation on amazon EC2 than a demo of how to upload photos to facebook.

anthonymckay said

at 10:21 am on Oct 27, 2008

I agree with Sam. Slides help to compliment a demo. And explain the research and technology behind the demo. And I say this because the demonstration I gave yesterday on reverse engineering code, would have been much easier to explain had it not been a last minute thing and I had prepared slides to go along with it.

Viss said

at 2:20 pm on Nov 1, 2008

This sounds like a toorcon to defcon type scenario..

or... blackhat to defcon?

Good ideas though, I'm totally in. Interested in moving it around? One in LA, one in SF, one in SEA, one in SD?

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