Today I was accused of being a Barcamp Junkie (by Mark Ng (t)) because I suggested that I might fly to Belfast for Barcamp Belfast and then fly back and go straight to the Mashed ‘08 hack night. So you know what I did, I went and booked my flights with Ryanair. Two geek events on two islands in two days, awesome!
Seriously thought, I do seem to have become somewhat of a Junkie for geek events ever since that fateful trip to Berlin, where I met Melinda Seckington (t), Cristiano Betta (t) and Patricia Hanrahan (t) who encouraged me to go to Barcamp London 3, my very first barcamp, and the rest, as they say, is history (well, it will be when they write me into the book…).
My obsession for meeting like minded geeky people is probably one of the healthiest obsessions I have ever had, and probably one of the aspects of my life that I would be saddest to loose. There is something almost indescribable about going to barcamps, hackdays and geek meets and interacting with total strangers like you had known each other for years. In the past, before the rise of digital communication, it was a rare thing to find someone with a shared identity outside of you local or religious community, and yet at every barcamp I go to I meet people with my identity, people with whom I have a shared history even though we have never met.
I think events like these (both in and out of geek circles) will have a greater impact on the world that the internet which has created them could ever have. The personal enjoyment we gain from meeting people at these events can never be replaced by electronic meeting, only facilitated by it. And if we are already succeeding in building entirly new communities based around a shared digital history what will we be able to achieve in 10 years time..
The future is full of real life.