perth had its first ever barcamp last month.
con wiebrands (the ass-kicking curtin librarian who helped convince the evil tech admins to unblock twitter and facebook on campus) and i did a talk on explaining web 2.0 to n00bs, such as older folks or university admin who think the internet is full of pedophiles and hackers.
there were a lot more education/librarian people than i expected, which was cool for getting a more broad range of views. i have, however, found that perth seems to have a lot of little pockets of people doing cool stuff but they tend to keep it to themselves. there isn’t as much cross-pollination as there should be.
the last session was entitled silicon beach (get it? huh huh? like silicon valley… but better cuz theres a beach) which was all about putting perth on the map and overcoming the interia that keeps perth quiet. this was where the microsoft guy, scott barnes, who had come to demo silverlight, revealed that he was also there to sniff out the cool shit going on in perth. he diplomatically told us that we still have a bit of work to do.
but you know what? i think the problem of the little pockets of cool that don’t talk to each other is the real problem. there is cool stuff starting to happen in perth, it’s just hard to find. in the past two weeks, i’ve discovered there were a bunch of killer festivals going on in the next few months, my favourite of which being the byte me! festival of digital geek creativity in december, which has an incredible lineup of VJs, game designers, electronic musicians and thinkers from perth and around the world.