One of the interesting things about coming to an event like BarCampBankSeattle is trying to explain it to people who have no framework with which to contextualize it.
What’s a BarCamp? Why a BarCamp for banking? Why not just have a regular conference? What are you doing down there in Seattle? Why on Earth would a grown man go to Banking Camp?
It’s only now struck me that with new tools emerging to allow for greater online collaboration, whether you’re talking about BaseCamp, Facebook, Del.icio.us, LinkedIn or Second Life, the needs for in-person collaboration is changing. For people who are not using these new tools, nothing has changed and therefore they don’t need new ways of interfacing with their peers. But for those of us who have embraced these new tools and found that they have significantly improved their ways of collaborating and working together, we want our real world events to change too.
Along comes BarCampBankSeattle. I wouldn’t be interested if a traditional conference was organized this way because you’d be in a room full of people who want content served to them, just like people who are used to traditional web experiences (the irony of a term like “traditional web experience” is not lost on me) want content served up to them. They aren’t used to co-creating and collaborating.
So the idea of BarCampBank – that the right people are here and the right things are being discussed – really works because the people who have opted in to this process are all on the same wavelength when it comes to collaborating and working together. The guys at Trabian are leaders in this space, because their employees live in different cities and still work together through tools like AIM, Twitter, blogs, Facebook, BaseCamp and so on. So a loose, informal heavily collaborative event like BarCampBank makes perfect sense to the people who are here because we want new models for in-person meetings that fit into our new working relationships.
The penny dropped and it’s amazing to be here.
I’ll format my thoughts properly and post some content this week – I promise.