Relevent Conference 2009

This morning, I leaked high level information about a new conference I’m organizing here in the DC area. This conference was born out of over a year of attending conferences and events that were mostly good but seemed to be missing key components. The most recent was WordCamp Dallas where I noted in previous post:

At the end of the day, it’s not about if you use WordPress or Typepad or any other blog platform. Sure, there are things to consider when choosing. However, at the end of the day, it’s about creating engaging content that creates community between author and readers. That’s the important part.

The conference, that is being called the Relevent Conference (typo intended, play on words), is all about relevancy, a topic that I talk about a lot in various forms on this blog. I see relevancy in social media that meets real life needs, brings real life value to individuals and businesses. I see relevancy as being as much a philosophical factor as it is a practical factor. Why is Twitter more relevant than Pownce? To me, it’s because I can use it from my cellphone much easier than Pownce. Just a single example.

So the goal in Relevent 2009 is to bring together web people tot talk about relevancy in the social space. how can we do better? What is being done right? How can I contribute? What is relevant to me?

To that end, I’ve got a rough list of folks I’d like to have come and speak, but the list is far from complete or set in stone. The distinctive nature of the event is that fewer of the “typical players” that make the conference speaking circuit will be speakers and more folks that can speak to the application of social media in their mainstream lives will be there. Hopefully a few you might know of. ;-)

The questions I have to answer before going into a whole lot more details are:

  1. Can we get the speakers? How much will they cost me?
  2. Where in the Baltimore/Washington area can we host this?
  3. What is a good balance between conference pricetag and sponsorship?
  4. Which companies (with a good mix of local companies) can sponsor?
  5. Who will design our site and blog?
  6. Who can step up as a facilitator and help with the logisitcs of bookings, phone calls, etc?
  7. Dates
  8. Parties and Dinners
  9. Wifi
  10. Which bands will be asked if they will come and perform? (Yes, I want a mini-concert or two from a local band – distinctive! ;-) )
  11. ______

I’ve never organized a conference so this will be a learning experience. Any advice, pointers and volunteers are welcome. Email me at and I will also certainly share more as the details become clearer.

BarCamp Miami 2008

Durante la conferencia FOWA 2008 en Miami se llevó a cabo también el BarCamp Miami 2008.

BarCamp es un concepto de conferencia muy interesante… es en realidad una desconferencia a donde asisten los que quieran y las presentaciones dependen de los asistentes, por lo cual la conferencia se va desarrollando dinámicamente sin agenda previa. Este año, más de 300 personas asisitieron a la segunda edición de BarCamp Miami, organizada por Alex de Carvalho, Brian Breslin, Chris Saylor y Nick Dominguez.

En BarCamp los asistentes que deseen realizar alguna presentación (algún producto, concepto, idea, servicio, etc) se anotan en una cartelera y las presentaciones proceden de acuerdo a ese orden. Esta vez las presentaciones ocurrieron durante toda la tarde en más de cinco salones.

Entre las presentaciones podemos destacar:

El nombre BarCamp tiene una historia interesante. Existe una conferencia llamada FooCamp, organizada por la editorial O’Reilly Media y llamada asi por las siglas de “Friends of O’Reilly” (Amigos de O’Reilly). El concepto de FooCamp es que la agenda de la conferencia es dictada por sus invitados. En programación se utiliza mucho el término “foobar” para designar una variable temporalmente. Por lo general, si utilizamos una variable llamada “foo” también usaremos una variable “bar.” (Cosas de hackers… ¿qué les puedo decir?)

Y ya que existía FooCamp, pues ¿por qué no BarCamp?

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Conferencia FOWA 2008 en Miami

El pasado fin de semana fue la conferencia FOWA (Future of Web Apps) en Miami, FL, organizada por Carsonified.

La conferencia consta de un día de talleres y un día de presentaciones. Lo último en desarrollo web fue presentado en esta conferencia.

Entre las presentaciones más interesantes estuvieron las de Cal Henderson de Flickr (muy divertida), Emily Boyd de Remember-The-Milk (la integración de RTM con Gmail a través de una extensión para Firefox es simplemente genial) y la de Gary Vaynerchuck del vodcast (una verdadera lección en como dominar el escenario y capturar a la audiencia).

Matt Mullenweg, el creador de WordPress, dió una charla muy interesante sobre como diseñar un servicio web con escalabilidad, utilizando su experiencia positiva con

Blaine Cook intentó dar una charla sobre Twitter sin darse cuenta que al momento de la charla Twitter se encontraba caído. Después de dejar sonar su teléfono por cinco minutos, se dió cuenta que era una llamada de su socio informándole de la caída del servicio (y entendiendo al fin qué le gritaban desde la audiencia). Al final terminó echándole la culpa al haber utilizado Ruby-on-Rails como plataforma de desarrollo, supongo que para gran alegría de Larry Masters, creador de Cake PHP (aunque dijo que si tuviera que volver a tomar la decisión de usar RoR, la volvería a escoger).

La conferencia terminó con una grabación en vivo de (vean el próximo episodio) y varias fiestas playeras en Nikki Beach.

No dejen de venir al FOWA Miami del 2009!

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Blog World Expo: Bonus Day of Sessions

bw_joinme_135.gifFor anyone going to Blog World Expo in Vegas next month (you are going, aren’t you?), you’ll be interested to know that there is now a BONUS day of sessions courtesy of b5media. You can see the BWE announcement here. We have a jam packed lineup of sessions and speakers too. I’ll be doing a panel with Brian Clark of Copyblogger on using Digg and other Social Media tools to drive huge traffic to your blog. Allen Stern of Centernetworks and Jeremy Wright are talking about thriving as a B-List blogger. Marshall Kirkpatrick, also known for his writing on Read/Write Web and previously Techcrunch and Tris Hussey from blognation will be talking about creating a powerblogging toolset.

b5media’s own WordPress ninjas Brian Layman and Mark Jaquith will talk about using WordPress to its fullest. Leora Zellman and Mary Jo Manzanares, two of our Channel Editors, will be dishing out survival tips for network bloggers. I’ll give the CE that mentions my name first on the panel $50 in cash. ;-)

Of course, there’s also Alex Hillman from Philadelphia’s Independent’s Hall (whom I had the pleasure of meeting at Podcamp Philly) and Jake McKee from Community Guy who will bring their experience to Creating Conversations. Finally, there’s a private session for b5’ers who want to join us at the end.

I’m really looking forward to BWE, and not because I’m flying Virgin America. This is going to be a fantastic chance to catch up with folks that I haven’t seen in awhile and meet folks I’ve yet had the chance to meet. Plus it’s Vegas and is by nature unbloggable. ;-) Kidding!

If you’re a full conference badge holder, you get access to this bonus day for free. You can also opt in and if you want to get into a session but can’t for some reason, just drop me an email and I’ll see what I can do.