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Marshall Kirkpatrick (now at Splashcast) put together a sweet video channel highlighting the many videos that have been produced about BarCamp around the world:

[splashcast YNNF9428AV]

If you’ve spent much time watching panel discussions at traditional conferences, you can understand why there’s a strong desire to at least try something different. How’s it working out? Now we can tour the world by video and get the answer right from the horses’ mouths. Displayed here are the RSS feeds from YouTube of video from and about BarCamps all around the world. Like what you see? Visit http://barcamp.org to find out when and where the BarCamp closest to you will be held – or learn how you can organize one yourself.

This content that appears in this player will update automatically, as new videos are uploaded to YouTube and tagged with the words BarCamp and location names. You can put this live player on your page (or your wiki!) using the embed code available in the player. If you live in one of these locations and want to have the player default to your group of videos – just grab the embed code while that set of videos is playing.

I’ve now added this to our fledgling video page on the wiki and encourage you to add yours!

Thanks Marshall!

I ran across an interesting post by Sunshine in the follow up coverage to BarCampKenya — a humble beginning for the Eastern African BarCamp community — the signs of yet another seed beginning to take root abroad.

Sunshine writes:

I wanted to work in a cybercafe once, and the owner thought I was pretty enough to make a good receptionist, or possibly a great personal assistant. I remember using Opera in its formative stages and chided for ignorance when a failed page popped up as a result of a bug in the version at a cybercafe computer. Beauty is no curse, nor can I neglect to mention that Opera has improved considerably since then, but I digress for that disclaimer. After discovering more about the power of the entrepreneurs especially in developing markets, I now want to own a series of cybercafes, nee, become a premier ISP provider in the style of Africaonline.

I foresee a time when the fastest medium of connectivity in Africa will mature and we realise the incredible potential of this mobile phone age, in a country where there are over five million mobile subscribers and less than 100,000 active landlines (approximately), we have walked into a time of innovation and must work to find solutions to the social networking needs of these customers.

On a more positive note, I learned of the first Bar Camp in Kenya, where there was a gathering of intellectuals and techies interested in sharing ideas, networking, blogging and as well as exploring new technology in general. While we celebrate this inaugural event, and I plan to attend a similar future event, I still searched the presenter roster for a lady speaker. Whereas I I know several women personally who were trained in computer science at home in Kenya and abroad, we were missing in action. One cannot fail to notice the dearth in the blogosphere as well, for African women in ICT blogging or otherwise sharing about their work. Kudos to the team behind the Kenyan Bloggers Webring and African Women Blogs, for their efforts to reverse the downward trend and having support teams and bloggers who have expanded in number considerably.

I have no doubt that there is set to be a dramatic rise in the number of podcasts, blogs and writings that emerge from African women and Kenyan women in particular. Before that happens, more little girls have to have computer lessons, realise that this arena of computing, information technology and web 2.0 is theirs too, and pursue studies in computing to their highest potential. I hope to find examples of Kenyan tech blogging that highlight the few, the strong and the proud. Viva la techie femme!

I’m thrilled at the description of this vision and hope that the BarCamp community both continues to inspire, connect and provide social capital with which individuals can pursue such important goals, especially in the context of proactive inclusivity and the need for .

I personally support Sunshine’s ambition to become “a premier ISP in Africa”. And I hope that somehow, the BarCamp community can reach out and bear witness to the realization of the goals of all who dare to dream so boldly.

Barcamp Kenya - Nairobi March 31, 2007

BarCamp has yet to take a strong hold in Africa in anywhere but Johannesburg, South Africa.

However, with this weekend’s (aka BarCamp Nairobi), it looks like that trend might finally be changing.

Organized by David Kariuki, Eric Magutu, Riyaz Bachani, Josiah Mugambi and Nick Muttai and taking place at University of Nairobi, Civil Engineering Lecture Theatre it looks like the seeds of BarCamp are starting to take root in the continent and I’m eagerly looking forward to hearing how it goes!

This is an article that has been in the works for a couple of weeks, but unfortunately made all the more timely by the terrible incident that Kathy Sierra is going through right now. Sadly, though, she is far from alone in this problem. I personally know several other bloggers and community members who have been struggling with online threats and stalking behavior in the last few months. I’ve had to deal with (relatively minor) versions of it myself, mostly just by being a female tech early-adopter and conference organizer.

As the ever-expanding blogosphere reaches a more mainstream audience, prominent bloggers and community members attain celebrity status, and thus, they begin to draw anti-celebrity backlash. Add in the research showing that people find it easier to be, well, completely reprehensible online because of the perceived anonymity, and it should come as no surprise that we’re suddenly having to deal with a surprising number of trolls, stalkers, and worse. We’ve hit critical mass.

And while entertainment industry and political celebrities seem to have developed the means of protecting themselves against these people, the tech industry is rather poorly prepared for it. Think of the differences in security between, say, the Oscars, and ETech. This leaves conference planners (and especially un-conference planners) with the very uncomfortable task of figuring out how to screen for this – and how to protect speakers (and all barcampers) without completely destroying the sense of community we’ve all worked so hard these past 18 months to foster.

Sadly, we had to deal with a similar issue for BarcampLA-3. An individual who had previously been a respected and contributing member of our community took an unfortunate turn at BarcampLA-2. At our event in November, we had to deal with extremely disruptive behavior during sessions, harassment of female barcampers (to the point where they felt unsafe), and flagrant alcohol and drug abuse on site. Since then, the same individual has also been exhibiting online stalking behavior towards local (female) community members, as well as making public calls for violence against specific individuals in our community in San Francisco.

And then, he signed up for BarcampLA-3.

Obviously, this is was not ok, but it’s a difficult decision to un-invite someone to an un-conference. Even more difficult was figuring out how to enforce it if we did. On the other hand, it was paramount that we keep our attendees safe. In light of this challenge, we drafted the following:

Code of Conduct

To ensure that BarCamp is a safe, enjoyable event for all comers, we have devised the following baseline code of conduct.

The following will not be tolerated and will result in immediate dismissal from BarCamp. Please review these rules carefully, there will be a zero tolerance policy in place at the event:

  1. Excessive Alcohol Usage, or ANY alcohol usage outside of the venue. This is disrespectful and the possible legal ramifications could jeopardize the event for everyone.
  2. Use of illegal drugs in or anywhere near the venue. As in #1, not only is this disrespectful to other BarCampers, it could also lead to the event being shut down. This is unacceptable.
  3. While healthy, participatory discourse is encouraged, we will not tolerate abusive, badgering, or baiting arguments, whether during a session or otherwise. Likewise, disrupting the presentation of any individual, either through excessive interruptions, loud talking through a session in close proximity to a session, or attempting to take the stage (or similar presentation area) during another individual’s presentation will be grounds for immediate dismissal.
  4. Aggressive behavior towards other BarCampers, whether physical or verbal, will not be tolerated. This covers, but is not limited to:
    • Threats of violence
    • Excessive personal insults
    • Sexually aggressive behavior
    • “Stalking behavior” of any sort
    • Harassment of any person present at BarCamp

We want to make BarCamp a safe and comfortable environment for everyone involved, which is why we believe these very basic ground rules are necessary and non-negotiable. Feel free to contact any of the organizers if you have any questions on this matter and we will be happy to address your concerns.

Roughly a week before the event, we posted this Code of Conduct in the BarcampLA section of http://barcamp.org. We also sent the text directly to the individual cited above, not formally uninviting him, but letting him know that yes, we were watching, and yes, we were talking directly to him. We had an unofficial security force lined up for the days of the conference (essentially, a small group of very large geeks willing to serve if needed) and a small cash fund to call a taxi for any individual who needed to be ejected from the event.

In the end, our event went off without any of the problems experienced before and, hopefully, the majority of campers never knew that these issues were at hand, which was our goal. We want people to feel safe at BarCamp, and not because there’s a security guard at the door.

But as our events become larger and ever more publicized, these issues will continue to crop up, and most likely, even to grow. As organizers, we have a distinct challenge in front of us – to protect the spirit of our community while also protecting our community members. While it’s far from pleasant, I believe we must be proactive about calling out the behaviors that will not be tolerated at our events (and ready to take action if needed). Please feel free to amend and re-post the guidelines above. I hope this begins a discussion, and I’m really looking forward to getting feedback from the community on this matter.

And lastly, please do not be complacent about the issue of online stalking. NO ONE in our community deserves to live in fear.

CRW

Logo my buddies at Assignment Zero are inquiring about “unconferences.” DrupalCamp, Barcamp, PodCamp, Social Media Club, RootsCamp, FOOCamp, and Penguin Day are just a few of the examples they list. personally, i can attest to the value of peer to peer knowedge sharing, and “unconferences” are just the beginning. take a few minutes and tell Assignment Zero your opinion of unconferences and it’s variants.

this was article is cross posted on the noneck.org.