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Sunday April 9, 2006 10:02 pm

The Random Wow Factor

Posted by Stuart Maxwell Categories: Aftermath, Upcoming,

(Speaking of random:  I was trying to find a picture of something with the number 20, and was suddenly struck with the realization that the portrait of Andrew Jackson on the double sawbuck is a dead ringer for Jeff Conaway.  I mean, is it just me?)

20 days until Seattle Mind Camp 2.0

As we look ahead to SMC2, I thought it might be interesting to take a moment to look back at SMC1.  I’ve been poking around the Mind Camp wiki today, and there’s a lot of good stuff there from the planning stages of the first camp, much of which I’d forgotten.

The Session Ideas page from Mind Camp 1.0, for instance, lists a bunch of cool stuff, some of which turned into sessions, some of which didn’t.  Ideas ranged from the pragmatic (managing multiple blogs across multiple domains) to the useful-but-frivolous (building a cheap solution to have your email read to you in the shower).  One thing that I don’t think happened last time, but that I’d definitely like to see at SMC2 is something Bryan Zug suggested:

The Good Thing Rapid Discovery Slam—Here’s an idea that seems like it’d be cool—Bring something short and interesting to read or show (5 minutes or shorter is probably just right, 10 minutes is probably way too long)—something that has inspired you (or been caused as a result of you being inspired). Can be original or someone else’s work. Bring stuff from every genre—the blogosphere, novels, poetry, tech, business, software/product design, whatever. Watch and listen to things that are inspiring and provoking minds from your tribe.

This, to me, captures the essence of what we’re trying to achieve with Seattle Mind Camp:  get a bunch of passionate people together and give them ways to be inspired by new ideas. 

Did we manage to do that the first time around?  Well, Mind Camp 1.0 absolutely exceeded my own expectations in terms of the people who showed up and what they brought to the party.  Reading some of the attendees’ thoughts on November’s conference, I am rewarded to find that Mind Camp had a positive impact on others, too.

Tom Weir liked “The random wow factor. Lots of interesting people doing interesting things: it didn’t matter where I wandered; there was always some group of people doing and/or talking about interesting things. I learned a tremendous amount over the weekend.”

Michael Laine was prepared to check out if Mind Camp turned out to be lame.  But, he says, “I didn’t leave for a minute, because it was fun, engaging, silly, hopeful, visionary, educational - and this was important and why i stayed.”

And Lion Kimbro was inspired by the gathering, too:  “Mind Camp means to me that we’re organizing our culture. That we, as geeks of many stripes, are getting together, in person, and figuring out how our interests and values connect with one another. That we’re concentrating our attention, figuring out what matters to us, how to make things work. How to connect, get work done, and get our stuff together.”

Stuff yeah, man.  I can’t wait to see what Seattle Mind Camp 2.0 brings.

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Bryan, please do use the wiki for organizing and collaborating.  And, as far as tagging, I suggest we follow the convention from SMC1 and make the tag mindcamp2.0.

The Uplifter movement is trying to connect people to their technology. Check out uplifter.org for more on the movement.

Bryan - Just go to the edit tab on the MC2 session ideas page.  put double square brackets around the words you want to make up the title of your page (eg. [[The Good Thing Rapid Discovery Slam]] ) and save the page.  You’ll then see that those words have become a link highlighted in red.  Click the link to start editing the new page.

There’s more detail here:  http://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Help:Editing

I visited http://uplifter.org and they could stand some serious organization.  I suspect that there is a meta-challenge around how to use a Wiki.  (What I do like is the prevalence of WikiMedia Wikis these days.  Now there needs to be some uplift on using these thingies, and uplifter.org would be a good place to start 😉 . 

So, yes, I support the idea of an Uplifter meet-up at MindCamp 2.0.  I thought Hugh’s Pragmatism page was very interesting.  In many ways, I am aligned with this in wanting to make sure people have “confirmable experiences” in approaching technology, verifying what is happening, and being able to communicate that to others for whatever reason (e.g., troubleshooting, tips, and problem reporting).  Let’s do it.


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