Oh Byes and Oh Hais

So our very own Crystal Williams

is leaving LA for greener pastures — and by “greener pastures”, I mean Seattle… ;)

The number of ways that Crystal has helped the Los Angeles tech scene grow are a little hard for me to recap.  That’s mostly due to sheer numbers tho.  I also don’t feel like I can really begin to do them justice.   Everybody who has been in the BarCampLA community the past couple years tho should already have a pretty good idea.  She has been seriously passionate about bringing great events to great people — and I think that shows.

It should also say a lot that three people are stepping in to help plan the next BarCampLA.  And even tho they’re newcomers to BarCamp planning, Chris Darbro, Bronwyn Lewis and ландшафтJeremy Kitchen are tentatively ready to rock your faces off.  Like you guys have no idea the stuff we have percolating for BarCampLA-6.  But we’ll have to get a little closer to September/October before we can talk about that.

Still, Crystal is seriously going to be missed around these parts — and by more than just me, I’m sure.  So go give her some love and say your goodbyes, LA.

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BarCampLA-5 Wrap Up

You know, we keep thinking that at some point, people are going to get tired of this whole “BarCampLA” thing. Apparently that point hasn’t come yet. *phew!*

This past weekend, about 220 of you joined us at the AOL offices in Beverly Hills for the fifth BarCamp in Los Angeles. We talked about WordPress, hacking, the Internet Backbone, Computers that may/will take over the world, Ninjas, Zombies, and sandwiches. We played fake guitars (and real ones). We danced with inflatable robots. We rickrolled each other. We ate, we laughed, we talked, and hopefully, we learned some cool stuff in the process.

One of the best feelings I get at these events is when I’ve poked my head into the room to give a 5 minute time warning, and I get a dozen people shooing me away. That happened more than a few times this past weekend, and I can think of no better validation that we’re doing something right here. So thanks, everyone, for showing up, sharing what you know, and soaking up the knowledge and ideas of your peers. It’s always amazing to see what people bring to this.

Ok, enough with the sap, let’s start thanking people.

Travis Savo and Marie Maxey, our in-house hosts from AOL went above and beyond the call of HALP!. When we decided to abandon our potential downtown LA venue because of complications from the LA Marathon (it would have been ugly, folks), Mike Macadaan from AOL answered the call and got this space arranged in under a week. Since Mike couldn’t join us for the weekend, Travis and Marie, veteran BarCampers, volunteered to be our hosts. We couldn’t ask for two nicer people in the world, and much of the credit for the event running as smoothly as it did goes to these guys. Thanks again!

Geoff Emery (Dude, what’s your url?) also jumped into the fray of organizing this time by handling all of our food arrangements, catering orders, etc. If you enjoyed eating, you should thank this man. We did! (Thanks!)

James Cooper was there before I was on Saturday and already had half the chairs moved into rooms. Much, much thanks. We’ll work on that hat, ok? :-)

Jane Lee once again swooped in and picked up the monster load of Saturday’s lunch and the lion’s share of the sodas. The necessary Saturday morning Costco run is one of the biggest logistics “can’t be in two places at once” problems, and twice in a row now, Jane has made that a non-issue. Thank you!

Chris Darbro ensured we all had coffee. Both days. Deserves a medal in some cultures, but isn’t coffee its own reward? (thanks, good sir!)

Eric Hammond – Somewhere a few weeks back, I just started getting a flood of people interested in giving us money to do this. It turns out, Eric sent them our way. Funding these things is always one of the hardest parts. (It’s a what-camp? Bar-what?) I don’t know what you did, man, but thanks! It worked!

Chef JoAnna continues to guide our fooding, even when the catering orders come in looking a little too small to feed the mob outside the kitchen. That woman can wield a knife better than I hope to in a hundred years. Thank you!

A shout-out to the incomparable C.Nelson for bringing you the SMS and flickr projection walls (written on-site!) and the DJ/sound gear. Mucho entertainment. Props to Substandard!

Big thanks to Woody Pewitt, Andy Sternberg, and Mr. Michael Lambie for the kegs, without which, Rock Band would have been better performed and far less popular.

And to Vaughn Hannon, Michael Dorausch, Bronwyn Lewis, and Chris Gagne for just being darn helpful with a bunch of various things. If I’ve forgotten you, please ping me. No slights intended, all help greatly appreciated, and no notes taken (by me). :-)

And finally, there’s this “Jason” character I keep hearing about. Dude… It doesn’t feel right to thank you here, because this is equal sweat, blood, and lolcats. (ok, the LOLcats are *all* Cosper. Actually, if it was spontaneous and glinting of awesome, it was almost surely Cosper) But holyFSM, we did it. Again! BarCampLA-5 was sustained awesome, and I’m so glad we’re on the same team. (psst, folks, the Scoops Ice Cream on Sunday? That was ALL Jason – go mob him with your thanks).

But wait, there’s more!

Sponsors!

A Giant thanks to all of you. You make this event happen!

Venue

AOL – Again, thank you! You guys really came through for us last minute, and it was fantastic.

Sponsors ++

Sponsors

Party Sponsor

Media Circus

I am totally going to cheat right now and just post in the slideshow of all photos from the camp here:

photos tagged barcampla5 in flickr
I’ll put up some personal faves soon. Go check out the main page of BarCampLA-5 for links to talk notes, PPTs, audio, video, etc. And add your’s if you’ve got ‘em!

Looking Forward

Yes, we’ll be doing another one of these. Yes, we’re open to new faces getting involved (and old ones taking on bigger roles. We’ve already started some great discussions on the google group about that and also started a Suggestions Page while the ideas are fresh. Lots of good points there already.

Ok, As the pig says, That’s All, Folks. This community continues to impress me as it grows. Tag your photos, keep up the conversation, go out and learn more cool stuff to share, and we’ll see you for the next time.

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We Can Has A Suggestion Box?

Man, this weekend was awesome, right? The feedback I’ve been seeing so far has appeared to be universally positive, and that’s great. I know that both Crystal

and I are working on recaps of this weekend’s events and after we’ve had a few days to digest things fully, I’m sure they’ll get posted here and to the Google Group.

Anyhow, after seeing a few people drop feedback to the list and such, I’ve gone ahead and started a page on the wiki for ideas and suggestions. This should give everybody a central, open place to let us know how we can make BarCampLA better for everyone.

So please, get your ideas up there! And feel free to add your name and a +1 to the ones on the list that you like. The more popular ones should hopefully be a snap to implement and will (*fingers crossed*) make things better for everyone involved.

Thanks again for another great BarCamp, folks!

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