Barcamp Mobile 2009

I’ve been trying for weeks to figure out a way to do a wrap-up post for Barcamp Mobile 2009, and to be honest, I’m still having a hard time.

When I decided to volunteer a bit of time to helping plan the first Barcamp to be hosted here, I had NO idea what I was getting into. Literally, I had no idea, because I’d never been to one before. I just knew that after looking up what Barcamp was, it sounded like a great idea, and I wanted to go. (Funny bit of trivia here, I volunteered to help organize only because one of the rules of Barcamp is ‘everyone participates’, and I am terrified of public speaking!) However, once I got involved, it became so much more than just something to do. I realized the principles behind the project- the inclusiveness, the sharing of information, the creativity- really do set Barcamp apart from anything I’ve ever seen, and that it is something I truly believe in with a passion. I am thankful to have been a part of Barcamp Mobile 2009.

We had a great turnout for being the first Barcamp in this city, with around 35 people attending. Small potatoes compared to some larger cities who are on their 3rd or 4th year, but for the inaugural event, we were incredibly thrilled. With all the talk afterwards, we expect the numbers will easily triple for next year’s event.

For those who were not able to attend this year, you missed some great sessions. With such an eclectic mix of people, the topics and discussions were varied, ranging from network security to photography to social media and beyond. It was impossible to walk into a room and not end up learning something new.

Our pre-conference social mixer(sponsored by Automattic!) was held at Baumhower’s Wings the night before, and the impromptu after-party at Buffalo Wild Wings on Saturday night were both a ton of fun. After spending the day together, the Buffalo Wild Wings event was the more relaxed of the two, with the after-party being capped off with an after-after party(!) of a group of 11 heading off for a 10:40pm showing of the new Star Trek movie. We may be geeks, but we know how to have a good time!

I can’t think of any better way to wrap this up than to say thank you to everyone who made Barcamp Mobile 2009 what it was. Thank you first and foremost to my co-organizers- Michael Ivey, Gillis Jones, and Brian Wright. Thank you to Paul O’Flaherty for both your hard work on the newest incarnation of the site, and your patience in dealing with me as I worked to pull this together. Thanks to Michael Owens for the pictures and creating the Flickr pool for Barcamp.

A huge thank you to the sponsors, without whom we never could have made this happen. Thank you to Baumhower’s Wings for hosting us, and Magnolia Media for the kick-ass logo that we will continue to use on the site.

Most importantly, thank you to the participants, both local and those who traveled from as far as Birmingham to be with us for this event. It was awesome meeting everyone, and I hope you will consider joining us again for the next one.

Next one…? You heard it here first! After such a great time this year, there was no way I could walk away and not commit to doing this again! Keep an eye on this blog (subscribe here!) and we will be talking about both local events going on such as the monthly Tweetups and news from the Mobile Bay Technology Alliance, but also documenting the joys and headaches that go into planning Barcamp Mobile 2010. Be sure to follow us on Twitter as well for all the latest news.

Sara (@SaraOflaherty)

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