Dienstag, 24. Juni 2008

barcamp salzburg 2008 round up - part 2/3

or why barcamps are the consequence of self organization

ever been fascinated by „swarm intelligence“, heavily entertained and slightly afraid by the novel „prey“ or michael crichton?
i definitely was and still am. alex baumgartner outlined the laws and determinants of „self organization“ (see presentation here). then, using the program netlogo he showed live, how the seemingly intelligent behavior of birds, ants or fish occur.
50 to 100 lines of code are sufficient for the simulations. that made me wonder - somewhat of topic - what military research will bring upon us in the near future with swarms of armed drones.

barcamps, per definition un-organized events, also form structures and patterns by themselves (or are a consequence of them). they are somehow a similar phenomena as the elegance of moving swarms of birds. there are simple rulesets which lead to great results.
there are some formal rules like active participation, blogging about the barcamp or voting with ones legs. and there are less formal ones. being open and friendly to each other. share your insights with the others and not use the barcamp as a sales ground.
the results are easy communication with the other barcampers. information flows well and people looking for business are not often seen twice.

there is a tipping point - one of the essential elements of self
organization as well, where the numbers of barcampers reach a certain number, such that more and more people the event. barcamps are now an established elements of the austrian netculture, from salzburg, bodensee, klagenfurt, graz to vienna. and while on a micro level every barcamp appears to be somehow different on the macro level, the show a high degree of similarity.

in following part 3 of the salzburg round up, there will be three core elements of my start.up talk outlined as well as my concluding remarks on the barcamp.