NZ e-government barcamp - the meeting

BarCamp Wellington - logoThe barcamp, an unconference, an unmeeting - how did it go? I’ll post on content of the day later and just focus on my impressions of the process.

I approached the day with a certain amount of scepticism as the idea of an unordered meeting conjured up for me all that is wrong with most business meetings. However, I was surprised. One of the Action Meetings Ground Rules is “It’s OK to change your mind” and that applied.

In no particular order, what I thought didn’t work: poor (no) timekeeping, kickoff fairly shambolic, I wanted to participate in a different session when my session was on, t-shirt distribution, no actionable items (although that may have been addressed in the final big group session which I attended only part of).

What I thought did work: overall behaviour and courtesy (no/few interjections and conversely speakers were concise), definite sense of community, no dominators, high and broad participation, frank and open discussion, nice mix of geeks, policy wonks and geeky policy wonks (the nexus of “e-” and government), the three-word intros/outros (very compact first and last words well-suited to large groups), the venue, the food, the t-shirts.

It was also acronym/jargon heaven - the following are a few from a single session - RSS, Atom, Latte, YAML, SMIL .

On balance, an excellent day, glad I attended and I can see that the unconference model works for the initial gathering and information exchange type of large group meeting.

NZ e-government barcamp - sponsors

Thank you sponsors.

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