Camp Creep?

From Upcoming.org regarding the Online Community ‘Camp’

raines wrote:
One difference from the traditional ‘unconference’ format is the $200 price tag. The conference website is kinda light on ideas, and doesn’t yet link to a wiki so I can see who else is involved, before I register.

tedr wrote:
It’s weird that ‘Camps’ are now starting to cost as much as a rented server for the month. I really like the event idea, but I think there should be a different name between Conference and Camp as Camp w definded to be used as a ‘chip in to cover expenses’ event.
Woof and bark

fotogail wrote:
Yep, that’s what folks in the ongoing forum on online communities at The WELL said, too. Camp should mean nearly free or we’re seeing serious terminology creep. Fair point. I have enjoyed their invite-only Online Community Summit events so much that I am willing to pay for this one on the hunch that it will be of similar quality, no matter what it is called.It’s the lack of travel and hotel costs for me as a local that will mean I can afford this (as opposed to driving, airfare, possible hotel plus free event elsewhere).
Mon 24 Apr 2006 at 12:27 PM

The debate about what is a camp erupted a bit after Mashup Camp. Some people got upset that Doug and Dave had not been to a camp so how could they call one or lead it. I am not sure that people who have never been to an unconference or camp should lead them without inviting people who have led them to advise and help facilitate. For MashupCamp Both Mary Hodder (an advisor) and myself (the facilitator) attended the original Bar Camp. I had attended attended many open space events and lead the IIW in that process.

I thought given the comments about the Online Community ‘Camp’ that we could consider the attributes of the various events and discern more about camp creep.
Here are some of the BarCamp attributes:
Bar Camp happened to be a space that was not ‘exclusive’ (like Foo Camp was where it was Tim O’Reilly’s invite list).

  • It was Free – anyone could come for any length of time.
  • You could hack into the wee hours and camp in a tent or just on the floor in Social Text’s offices.
  • They broadcast audio and video live to include people who could not be there in person.
  • They invited sponsorships from any company or individual who wanted to make a particular part of the day happen – $200 for breakfast or $100 for a coffee break.
  • Food came from Costco and included lots of ‘geek delights’
  • An open public wiki that the whole world could access and edit.
  • A public list of attendees on the wiki
  • The list of proposed topic ideas on the wiki contributed to by anyone.
  • A live IRC Channel open to the world.
  • Schedual was made by writing on a wall where all session that people want to have happen can.
  • A long list of writing
  • Is a ‘community mark’ usable by others doing a similar model
  • Had T-shirts for free

Mashup Camp attributes:

  • was Free
  • Had corporate sponsors that took care of food – each covering catering for a meal or break.
  • A barista paid for by one of the sponsors
  • Schedule made via open space methodology where all session that people want to have happen can.
  • Demos were done via Speed Geeking sessions
  • Voting for the best mashup
  • Different roles were identified on badges – Masher, API provider, enabler,
  • A public list of who was attending
  • A public list of suggested topics to post to ahead of time
  • Had t-shirts for free

The Internet Identity Workshop that I produce has never claimed to be a camp but is hosted in the same spirit of openness and community accessibility. We had:

  • APublic wiki where who is coming and suggested topics are listed and editable by all
  • A public IRC channel
  • A low fee = for 2.5 days students $75, independents $150, corporate $250.
  • Invitation for Sponsorship from companies in the space – they covered cost for several meals including two dinners for everyone.
  • Healthy snacks available all day (we produced our own)
  • Barista serving coffee all day
  • Had shirts of all kinds and mugs on Cafe Press

The Online Community ‘Camp’ attributes:

  • has a closed wiki where only attendees can get to (and even then many can’t access it)
  • Has no IRC Channel
  • Has a very high fee for one day $195
  • Sessions were limited to 9 total via ‘pitching and voting’
  • No list of attendees posted publicly
  • A fixed list of potential topics not editable by attendees ahead of time

There has been a lot of discussion about what makes a Camp a Camp.

Technorati Tags: BarCamp, camps, conference, iiw, MashupCamp, occ2006, puppy, unconference

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