Hitchhiker's Guide to BarCampLA

So it’s BarCamp Eve and I just wanted to share a few things with all of you so that everyone can get the most out of what’s looking to be one really fun event. Please forward to anyone you think is coming who isn’t on this list.

Location:

1218 Long Beach Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90021. [Google Maps]

You’re most likely to find it by turning onto 14th from Alameda, then making a right on Long Beach Ave. If you haven’t been before, yes, this is in the warehouse district near Downtown Los Angeles. The building isn’t well marked, but we’ll have the doors open and signs up.

We have paid for secure parking in the lot across the street, though some street parking is available. Please park in the lot if you’re staying overnight. Yes, this area is relatively safe. Your car should be fine here, but please do use some common sense and hide valuables, etc. You know the drill. We’ve never had an incident at this venue and we’d like to keep it that way.

Arriving

Please stop by the registration desk and sign-in and get a name badge. We’ve gotten the kind that hang around your neck so you can keep it for both days. Please bring it back for Sunday, we don’t have enough to replace.

Schedule

Saturday
We said 11am, we *mean* 11am. There are lots of reasons you’ll want to wake up early (?) and come see us. We’ll have Peets coffee and some breakfasty things if you’re just getting your day started. It’s a great chance to hang out and meet people before the talks start, Session slots will be starting to fill then, and we want you to get to know the space. Also, we have a really yummy lunch planned for Saturday and it’s all free. We’re planning to eat and then do intros as people finish munching then roll promptly into sessions, so please get there early, enjoy the food and the company and help us get started on time.

Intros will be short this year or people will be Gong’d. Either way, you win,

Saturday Evening
We’ve got a lovely dinner (by the way, all BarCampLA meals will have carnivore, vegetarian, and vegan options, and we don’t just mean side dishes), an awesome keg of local Craftsman beer, some very special visiting guests, PPT Karaoke, video games, and great company. It’s worth sticking around for, so we hope to see you there.

BarCamp After Hours
See Jason’s previous post about Camping. Do it! (just remember your phone charger, deodorant, and your toothbrush, pls) Please remember that our beloved Little Radio Warehouse gets cold at night and prepare accordingly.

P.S. Dan Tentler… no camp stove is the right answer, though agreeably less awesome. ;)

Time Change!
Remember it.

Sunday
10am Breakfast. More yummy coffee. Breakfast foods. Sleepy campers. Come early and see us.

Please plan to hang around a little extra while after the closing to help clean up. With 30-40 people helping, it’s like a tornado in reverse and we get done in no time. It’s great.

Sunday Dinner with RMS

Also, immediately post BarCamp, we’ll be hosting a group dinner with guest, Richard Stallman, aka RMS, founder of the Free Software Foundation and author of the GNU Public License. We’ll have room for about 50 people and it’s very close to the BarCamp venue. It’s open invite and if you want to come, come see us at the event and we’ll have a list. (pls do not email us for this)

General Tips

  • Bring surge protectors and extension cords if you’ve got ‘em. Keep them in your car unless we need them, but good to have extras.
  • Rehearse your talks and leave room for questions.
  • Don’t plan on having wi-fi for your talk. You probably will, but make screenshots and such just in case.
  • Be kind on the wi-fi. No torrenting or huge, full-size flickr uploads, please. Share the bandwidth, share the love.
  • Share and be helpful
  • Shirts are free, but please don’t take more than one for yourself.
  • Please don’t bring anything illegal. It’s not that we care, necessarily, but we would like to not get shut down over anything silly.
  • No, you don’t have to speak, but we’d hope, if you’re there, that you have something to share. This is a good place to come out of your shell.
  • Follow BarCampLA on Twitter for updates. If you have Twitter sending updates to your phone, you might also want to use their track feature to keep tabs on a few keywords (barcampla, bcla, barcamp) while the event is going on.

Props and Conduct

Lastly, Thank you to Everyone who has emailed in the last two days offering help.

Above all, the best thing people can do is to just do whatever you see that needs doing. No one is going to mind if anyone, ANYONE takes out the trash or steps in to help set up lunch (just wash your hands in between). There are a million tiny things that have to happen at an event like this and it’s impossible to schedule out all of them, so we’re not going to try. Larger cons have event staff for this stuff, but we have BarCampers. Just be ‘active’ and help out wherever you see and we should all have a good time.

Oh, there’s also a copy of our “Code of Conduct” you ought to read over. Nothing surprising there, but it’s been linked for reference.

Sleep well, BarCampers and we’ll see you tomorrow!

Crystal and Jason,
Your BarCampLA Un-Organizers

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Let's Camp!

As this latest BarCamp looms closer, I’ve realized that we really haven’t talked about one of the more important parts of BarCamp. The camping. I mean hell, the word Camp is in the name of the event. So it’s kind of a big deal…

Now, I know Los Angeles isn’t much of a camping city. Well, maybe it is — but even with a lot of great options around, I can’t remember the last time I heard any of my friends say “we’re going camping this weekend.” Maybe that’s because I don’t have very many outdoorsy friends tho. *shrug* Who’s to say, really?

Still, I know at the end of a day of networking, going to presentations and soaking up free wifi, food and beer, your bed probably sounds like an awesome idea. But there’s been a pretty decent (and growing) group of people who have been taking the Camp part literally and actually bring along a sleeping bag to get a little shuteye after things wind down.

It’s actually pretty awesome. We sit around and tell scary stories about relatives we’ve had to give tech support to and make s’mores over a hot plate. Just imagine camping without mosquitoes giving you the West Nile and bears trying to get into your food. Sounds pretty nice, doesn’t it?

If so, throw a sleeping bag (and maybe an air mattress and a tent) in your car and come crash out with us on Saturday. I swear that it’ll be fun. Hell, you’ll have an awesome morning commute at the very least… ;)

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BarCampLA-4 – Get Involved!

Hi folks,thanks so much to those of you who have volunteered to help. We do need it! There’s still lots to be done and if 10-15 fantastic souls can pitch in a bit of time, we’ll all have a much saner and happier BarCampLA. Here’s what needs to get done:

NOW

  • Publicity! – Yup, we want all the awesome people the space can hold, so grab one of the badges below, the boilerplate about BarCamp is on the wiki, steal blatantly and shamelessly from our info posts, and get to it! And even if you don’t have a blog (or are avoiding it because of the stack of unfinished drafts in there), tell the awesome, smart, curious people in your world and get them to come on down to Little Radio Warehouse this weekend. (But please, please register on the wiki so we can plan foods for all y’all).
  • Shopping – Feeding and quenching the thirst of BarCampers for two days takes a rather large quantity of water, drinks, snacks, etc. Buying these takes time and trunk space. As the song goes, we’ve got the money, honey, if you’ve got the time. If you’re willing to do some purchasing/hauling for us, we’ll gleefully exchange receipt for reimbursement check on the spot. Not even any guesswork to this, we’ve got lists galore.

Saturday

  • Set-up – There are drinks to be iced, food to be arranged, signs to be made and hung, projectors to set up, schedules to make on the wall, chairs to set up, and so much more. We need a good crew of people to show up by 9:30am on Saturday to get all of this done. We’ll provide food and sweet, glorious coffee, and all get to know each other a little better before the Camp starts. Sound good?
  • Pick Up Coffee – It’s as easy as it sounds. You tell us you can do this, and we’ll call in the order to a Peet’s Coffee as close as possible to on-your-way to Little Radio as possible. You show up, tell them you’re with BarCamp, and they give you a 5 gallon plastic urn of coffee and a shopping bag full of cups, napkins, sugar, stirrers, creamer, everything. It’ll be pre-paid and take you 10 mins, tops. If signing up for this, you’ll need to be at the venue on Saturday by 9:45am
  • Pick Up Ice – - Possibly easier than picking up coffee. There, we said it. Go buy ice. We’ll tell you how much. Get a receipt. Bring us the receipt and the ice, we’ll pay you back on the spot and there will be cold drinks for everyone.
  • Pick Up Lunch – Details coming on this, but it may require a bit of driving, depending on where you live. If you’re a Westsider and think you might like to show up to BarCamp right around 11:30 or so, this could be very easy for you.
  • Registration Desk – We’ll need people to sit at the desk all day in shifts. Signing up for this ahead of time seems like over-organizing, but keep in mind if you’re willing to do it. It’s a great way to hang out, chill, and get to meet people.
  • General Facilities Support – All day, there’ll be food to put out, trash to be taken out, things to be subtly arranged, minor engineering mishaps to correct. We need a few brave souls to arm themselves with some cleaning wipes and/or duct tape and be willing to just pitch in and help keep things running. This isn’t really a sign-up post. In a perfect world, EVERYONE helps with this. (It’s a BarCamp, right?). But a few people specifically minding these tasks would be nice.

Sunday

  • Set Out Breakfast – Lots of hungover souls will need you. It doesn’t take long, but some help with this would be much appreciated
  • Pick Up Coffee – It’s as easy as it sounds. You tell us you can do this, and we’ll call in the order to a Peet’s Coffee as close as possible to on-your-way to Little Radio as possible. You show up, tell them you’re with BarCamp, and they give you a 5 gallon plastic urn of coffee and a shopping bag full of cups, napkins, sugar, stirrers, creamer, everything. It’ll be pre-paid and take you 10 mins, tops. If signing up for this, you’ll need to be at the venue on Sunday by 9:45am
  • Pick Up Ice – - Possibly easier than picking up coffee. There, we said it. Go buy ice. We’ll tell you how much. Get a receipt. Bring us the receipt and the ice, we’ll pay you back on the spot and there will be cold drinks for everyone.
  • Pick Up Lunch – Details coming on this, but it may require a bit of driving, depending on where you live. If you’re a Westsider and think you might like to show up to BarCamp right around 11:30 or so, this could be very easy for you.
  • Registration Desk – We’ll need people to sit at the desk all day in shifts. Signing up for this ahead of time seems like over-organizing, but keep in mind if you’re willing to do it. It’s a great way to hang out, chill, and get to meet people.
  • General Facilities Support – All day, there’ll be food to put out, trash to be taken out, things to be subtly arranged, minor engineering mishaps to correct. We need a few brave souls to arm themselves with some cleaning wipes and/or duct tape and be willing to just pitch in and help keep things running. This isn’t really a sign-up post. In a perfect world, EVERYONE helps with this. (It’s a BarCamp, right?). But a few people specifically minding these tasks would be nice.
  • Tear-Down/Clean Up – This is cool because we get almost EVERYONE to help and it’s like a tornado in reverse. Please plan on staying a 15-20 extra minutes and together, we can have the place as we found it in no time.

Abbreviated versions of the above task lists are on http://barcamp.org/BarCampLA-4Planning. Please go take a look and sign up for something. (and then send an email to help@barcampla.org with your contact info).

Thanks and see you all at BarCampLA-4!

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