Dispelling Social Anxiety & Fears about attending BarcampLA

1. Fear of not being “Tech-savvy” enough.
BarcampLA is not just for coders. Though the focus is on technology, we gather people of all disciplines, philosophies and skillsets for the purpose of knowledge sharing and community building. The use of technology to connect people and improve lives is a shared goal and passion of most Barcampers. You will not be ridiculed or diminished if you don’t speak in binary, or if you have no idea who Ruby is, or why she’s on Rails, or why people would be talking about the cleaning product AJAX. People who come to Barcamp are programmers as well as users, and if you don’t understand something, someone there will be kind enough to explain it to you. Isn’t that beautiful?

2. Fear of socializing in Meatspace

Coming out from behind the screen can be daunting. Our online avatars do so much of our socializing for us. BarcampLA has a host of other things to do besides attending seminars. Food, drinks, games, engineering challenges, jell-o shots, networking for collaborative projects and jobs, free schwag. Like a trade show, but more fun, and most importantly – FREE. And you can camp overnight if you want. Or you can be like me, show up, do a presentation and lurk in the back talking to other fellow lurkers. It’s just like being online!

3. Fear of participating as a presenter
You’re not required to get up in front of people and do a presentation if you don’t want to. Participation means attendance, helping out to set up, clean up, showing up, taking photos you can upload to Flickr, liveblogging and generally being a decent, not-obnoxious attendee. Previous presentations have focused on new applications and best practices, and have included sessions as diverse as “How to Make a Digital Camera for $35″, “3D Metaverse Roadmap” , “Coder Yoga” , “XML-RPC APIs” , “GTD with Google Tools” and “Web 2.0, the pain, problems and paradoxes”.

4. Fear of “L.A. People”
No glam, fancy cars, or press passes are required, and paparazzi are absolutely invited to capture photographic evidence of technophiles in a collaboratively created weekend terrarium. And while you may fear “L.A.” people, rest assured that the Barcamp in LA is not a clusterfuck of incestuous blogerati bending over to kiss each other’s asses like the Oscars or some ____Camp up in NorCal (who are just trying to get mentioned in Valleywag anyway). (just kidding, i’m a born San Franciscan. I’m not hating. Maybe trolling. A little. Teeny bit. Skosh.)

For the uninitiated who don’t really know what the hell an “ad-hoc unconference” means – BarcampLA is a biannual weekend-long event hosted, created, facilitated and populated by people seeking to build community, share knowledge, meet, greet and make friends/strategic alliances with other motivated individuals who want to learn and get involved with using technology to connect and share personal experiences and other data sets. Organizers are unpaid. Registration is free. Sponsors who want to reach out to this “wired” demographic help pay for the event location, food, drinks, schwag, and bring info, product demos and opportunities. It’s an “open and collaborative” environment rather than a competitive one.

C’mon down. Don’ be skeered.

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MiniBar LA February 007

Psst… You totally know we’re doing a geek dinner next week at El Cholo, right? If you didn’t, now you totally do. Go sign up on the wiki or add yourself to the listing on Upcoming if you want to join us.

We eat at 8:00PM and drinks happen before that — so please feel free to come early and have some nice conversation. Also, this is the second to last dinner before BarCamp LA 3 happens. If you’ve never been to a BarCamp before and want to put faces with names, this would be the perfect time to do so…

P.S. Just like all the cool Web 2.0 compliant kids, we’ve got an account on Twitter now! Go ahead and make friends with BarCamp LA for updates and event reminders.

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Jan 16 – 007 g33k dinner/mini bar

I know it’s just one week notice, so get on down. We’re back at Canters, so be sure to get some Matza soup. Full details and RSVP on the wiki.

Bring a gift (new or regifted) to participate in the White Elephant!

Logistics
* Date: January 16th, 8pm dinner
* Location: Return to Canters! 419 North Fairfax Avenue, Los Angeles, California 90036, (323) 651-2030 –> 2 hours free parking

Discussion
* When and where are we doing Karaoke?
* Regifting white elephant game. Bring a reject gift (or swag or something no more than $15) to have fun with.

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