Monday, April 20, 2009

BarCamp EVN '09 -- my impressions

BarCamp is a “non-conference” in the sphere of information technology, new media and Internet. A “non-conference” is the unofficial, informal part of the conference supporting open discussions and a free exchange of ideas and opinions.
“BarCamp Yerevan” brought together bloggers, new media professionals, IT specialists, companies involved in Internet and digital technologies, journalists and journalism students, as well as many other groups interested in using technology and Internet in their work.

BarCamp is a place where everybody can participate for free and hold a presentation on any topic connected with IT, even partly connected :)

There were about 400 people registered on the website, i don't know how many people actually visited it. I saw many people appearing just for the second day, as it was Sunday (this Saturday was a working day in Armenia).

There were 3 simultaneous tracks of presentations in different rooms.
It was pity since we were physically unable to participate in all the interesting sessions. There were no breaks, and in order to grab a coffee, you should skip some session.

I loved it for several reasons:
  1. presentations were 30 mins at maximum, plus no obligation :) you could skip from one room to another if it was boring or uninteresting.
  2. there were already some active twitterers on BarCamp and I was refreshing my twitter page on mobile to see what is going on in other rooms. The hashtag #barcampevn09 was helping to search for all barcampers who were on twitter :)
  3. it was a great opportunity to meet old friends, colleagues and fellows from online communities, recover contacts, get to know people whom you knew only by nicknames.
  4. it was useful for networking, socializing, setting up important business contacts.
  5. getting a discount for iCON wimax internet. i don't know if i'm going to use it yet :)
  6. i saw and had touched (:D) a nabaztag ! I love these creatures and was dreaming to see one live since i first heard about it years ago.  
  7. it was useful for seeing projects and companies in faces, like: 
    • presentation of "Prosperous Armenia party"'s online PR tools, 
    • presentations of,, and their monetization options
    • Macadamian company
  8. For me, personally, it was also interesting to discover and meet some of my readers (hi folks! :) 
    I generally like IT people and tech geeks since they are interesting to me :) (and i am one of them), and as they are generally not so communicative in real life, they are more open and active in places where there are more people like them who speak their 'language'. BarCamp did a great job for bringing these people together and uncovering those who were hiding behind their online nicknames and roles.

    Some of the presenters badly lacked presentation skills, others were causing heavy debates bringing everything to politics.

    Somehow i didn't feel like making a presentation, although i was constantly having lots of ideas of possible topics i could present and i couldn't choose :D Next time - for sure ! Those of you who know me, also know how enthusiastic i am on making a session or presentation, especially on IT topics :)

    Presentations i liked:
    • Areg Maghakian told us how it was to work for Facebook. He had worked there in the early years of its development
    • Grizli aka Grisha was telling about the techniques of picking up girls online, especially on odnoklassniki
    • Maksym Savanevsky from Ukraine was making an overview on Obama's online PR campaign.
    • Антикризисная реклама by casualmente

    People whom I have seen online and met thanks to the BarCamp: @netcrash, @ditord, @kornelij, @ahousekeeper, @jesirobendebua, @reporter_arm, blansh :)

    BarCamp closed with an afterparty at Armeda club. Finally there was some time to freely socialize without missing any session :)

    My friend Tata, who is actually an artist and has nothing to do with IT also enjoyed the atmosphere of the BarCamp and pointed out smth i didn't notice before she said it: people that were there for socializing and meeting each other face-to-face, were still so much busy spending the time buried into their notebooks and smartphones twееting, updating statuses and blogs :D

    ...and by the way, I went into a little melancholy meeting a lot of nice young IT people who were still studying, and had a lot of things ahead... and felt myself a little more older, hehe :D no, no, i admit that there were people much older than me.. i wonder if they felt the same :D (or is it me looking for something to get depressed about :D)

    Here are some photos by me:
    BarCamp Yerevan

    and at last... 
    me at the BarCamp (by Gaspar)
    More photos by Gaspar: Day 1, Day 2, by konteck, on Facebook by Lusin Paravyan, by 10098, and a video by reporter_arm
    and in also you can google "barcampevn09" to find out more on the event.

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