On Saturday April 5th 2008, some of the brightest minds in Florida got together for the 2nd annual Barcamp Orlando. The topics ranged from microformats to the latest agile development strategies. One talk that stood out however was Gregg Pollack’s talk entitled “Ranting about the community”. The talk was the last of the evening and BarCampers packed the room. Gregg clearly strategically timed this talk to be the last of the evening as 30 minutes later the room was going to empty and pack the offices of Izea for the Geek out 2008 Party.
Gregg focused strongly on the importance of community and how you should be involved in it. He pointed out the many options one would have to get involved in their local tech communities; blogging, going to user group meetings and getting your involvement wherever you can.
This blog is my reaction to Gregg’s talk. It’s one of the easiest way to gain yourself some exposure within the community and not just local but the the entire community; world wide. I’m unfortunately a little bit of a drive away from Orlando but I do my best to get to Orlando for their Ruby User Group meetings. I would love to get to lunch_fu which is put on by Florida Creatives every once in a while but it’s not feasible with my distance from Orlando.
Twitter has been an incredible resource for me personally. It has allowed me to be in the know with what’s going on out in Orlando as well as add some input every once in a while. One of the craziest Twitter moments so far would have to be my encounter with Josh Blount. He had been out in the rain with his iPhone which resulted with some technical problems so I went ahead and replied to his tweet with a suggestion on how it could be fixed. It corrected his issue. He even blogged about it, giving me a little credit.
Back to Gregg’s talk. He finished with a little exercise that got everyone shaking hands with someone they had never met before and introducing themselves. This exercise continued at the Izea party. After playing some Rock Band I noticed a small group chatting so I went over and introduced myself. Low and behold, Josh was in that group. Conversation quickly turned to topics such as Python and pinging a MySQL employee with database questions. It was a great night with a lot of good conversation. I really enjoyed networking with a lot of people this weekend.
I now have almost 100 followers on Twitter and if I can pull 100 followers on this blog I’ll consider it a success. So feel free to subscribe or just drop me an e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org if we didn’t get a chance to talk at BarCamp. Until then, stay tuned and I’ll try to keep it interesting.