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A day at BarCamp San Antonio September 26, 2008

Posted by Arun Rajagopal in Conversations, Digital, Social Media.
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San Antonio BarCamp 2008

On September 6, I was one of the lucky few who made it to the first ever BarCamp at San Antonio.

It was my first ever BarCamp as well and I was determined to attend despite a badly injured toe. I walked into the imposing MediaRich Studio at South Alamo and felt that the event could not have had an even better venue.

barcampsa 123, originally uploaded by MediaRich.

The fabulous MediaRich den is located in a pretty San Antonio neighborhood with an impressive view of the Tower of The Americas. I believe that creative workplaces need to look creative as well and the colorful, well laid out MediaRich offices do inspire a lot of creativity in you.

So how did I hear about BarCamp in the first place? It started as a chance tweet-up between me and the ever-amazing social media diva Connie Reece. This is the second time I have linked up with Connie through Twitter and made it to a social media community event. Both Connie and Twitter rock!

Btw, for the uninitiated: BarCamp is an ad-hoc unconference born from the desire for people to share and learn in an open environment. It is an intense event with discussions, demos and interaction from attendees. Anyone with something to contribute or with the desire to learn is welcome and invited to join.

The BarCamp mantra is: When you come, be prepared to share with barcampers. When you leave, be prepared to share it with the world.

One of the first BarCampers I ran into was George Riley of TED. Thought I wasn’t aware of TED till then, George was kind enough to share with me the exceptional work they do in spreading Technology, Entertainment and Design Ideas. Later during the day, we had an exciting session named TED & BIL – Big Ideas, hosted by George Riley and Cody Marx Bailey. Watch the feed on ustream.tv.

It was a fantastic day of learning experiences with several participants sharing their 2-cents on topics as diverse as Podcasting Basics, CSS, Co-working, Evolution of San Antonio as a creative hotspot, Blogging vs. Vlogging, Email Marketing, Ruby on Rails, Open Source Web 2.0, Post/Trans Humanism, Extreme Freestyle Hacking, PR & Social Media, What’s New in Accessibility, Media Access & Ownership and so much more. That’s so much for a day!

The crowning point of the event was when Connie Reece announced the birth of Social Media Club San Antonio. And she duly noted, Texas is now home to 5 Social Media Clubs. Go Texas, go!

Some of the most enlightening discussions we had during the day centered on making San Antonio a world-class creative space. Many participants shared their experiences and insights on how to transform San Antonio into a quality creative city comparable to the likes of Austin. I agree with them that one of the first steps in that direction is to build a creative community of like-minded individuals and that’s where initiatives such as Co-working, Social Media Club and BarCamps matter.

I missed out on Vidya Ananthanarayan’s presentation on Marketing Brand “You”, judging by the tremendous applause at the end of the session. I also missed Laura Marie’s fab performance after the BarCamp, but then enjoyed her music later on YouTube and MySpace.

Jennifer Navarrete deserves a huge high-five for her efforts in giving life to BarCamp SA. I’d the pleasure of running into her at PodCamp San Antonio in May and it’s so amazing to have someone with the passion and energy to bring San Antonio onto the social media scene.

Also, a big shout-out to Dean McCall, Mandi Harrell Leman, Michael Leman, Rich Harrell, Veronica Jorden and Donald Wilcox, Jr who made BarCamp SA a reality. And kudos to everyone who turned up, and especially the presenters who made the whole event worthwhile – BarCamp’s better with you.

The generous sponsors of BarCamp San Antonio deserve a mention: MediaRich, Microsoft, Ryma, FireCat Studio, CampaignStream, BlogCatalog, CampusWire along with Casa Chiapas, Mad Hatter’s Tea House, Tito’s and El Sol Studios. Events such as BarCamps cannot be successful without the support of organizations who strive to stimulate learning and networking opportunities in their local communities.

Enjoy the action from BarCamp San Antonio:

Blogspeak on BarCamp San Antonio:



1. Connie Reece - September 27, 2008

Arun, I’m so glad you got to be at the first BarCamp San Antonio. It was a great gathering that day; my part in it was very small. Remember, I’ve challenged you to put on a camp-style event in Oman!

2. Craig Wilson - October 7, 2008

Wow Arun, you get about.

Are you going to SXSW in March? I am booked in and hop to meet as many AoCers there.

3. Speaking at The New Media Event, Dubai « Arun Rajagopal - December 9, 2008

[…] next year, my effort is to help organize a forum like BarCamp in Muscat so that we can help popularize and familiarize social media among followers. It’s also […]

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