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BarCamp Berlin 3 Review

Now that the third Barcamp Berlin is officially over, it's time for me to take a look back at the event that took place at the Hauptstadtrepräsentanz der Deutschen Telekom. As prestigious as the building itself is, it's only partly fit for a Barcamp. While the atrium was the perfect place to meet people, to have a chat or two, and to simply relax between sessions, the session rooms just weren't rooms yet mere compartments, divided by foldable room divider. That brought the noise level up way too high, with the result that many participants had a hard time understanding what they were being told - not to mention discussions that would have been possible. Apart from that, however, it was an excellent Barcamp. I met lots of old and some new friends, had a great time at the after-hour at St. Oberholz, and was tired but happy after eleven hours of sessions and chit-chat.

I was especially pleased that most of the session more demanding, on a higher level than those at BarCamp Munich the week before. It's always a matter of luck to find the right sessions because, too often, you just don't know what to expect after the session slotting. But, as I said, this time I attended six interesting sessions which I will summarize here in chronological order.

The first session I attended was by Ole Begemann who introduced us to the Strobist approach to photography which is basically about how to use off-camera flash lights to improve the quality of one's photos. Ole published some notes about his talk. Thanks, Ole, it was an enlightening session in every resprect, especially because I bought a digital SLR this year and still have a lot to learn.

Petar Djekic then showed us mufin, a new service that seeks to make up for the shortcomings of conventional music recommendation services. While users of, Amazon, or other popular sites and services are often faced with inconclusive, uninteresting or even wrong recommendations that are direct results of their respective approaches - user generated recommendations, automatic matching of any kind - a new, better strategy should add one more important information: It analyzes the actual music files. Of course, other tools do that, too, but mufin aims to integrate all known methods and thus generate better recommendations. Inspiring.

Next up was a session by our hosts, Deutsche Telekom, who have launched a developer portal some time ago. The German telecommunications giant read the signs of the times and obviously realized that they need to open up their products to developers. In short, there's an Open API for interested developers who want to play around with voice call services, VoIP, and sending short messages over the net. I don't want to go into details here, but I must admit that they realized that they have problems there and honestly asked third-party developers for help. This seems to be quiet an achievement for this huge corporation that - in the eyes of most geeks - ranks not much behind M$ on the unpopulariry scale. We'll have to wait and see, however, how this endeavor turns out in the long run.

Far more interesting in terms of practical use was Konstantins session on Advanced JS. He could have skipped the introductory parts, though, and skipped straight to closures and prototypes, but it's all in his slides. Very interesting stuff that gave me a lot to think about, and he also recommended a couple of interesting books on the topic. Since JavaScript has become so ubiquitous, it might well be worth reading one of those.

Equally instructive was Jan and Volker's talk about CouchDB, a document-oriented database written in Erlang that seems to be very useful for a variety of diverse applications. It demands an almost completely new way of thinking from someone who usually developes for relational databases, but it seems to be lightning fast if you know how to use it right. Definitely worth a closer look. You can find links to further presentations on CouchDB on the wiki.

Although tired and to the brim filled with information, I stayed for the last round of sessions and attended Ian Forrester's talk on Boxee and XBMC. Unusual stuff, but we heard and talked about a lot of tools that I will try out for sure. Building my own media center for watching TV, recorded video, and everything else has been on my list for a long time. I set up a MythTV box once on Fedora, and it worked, but the hardware was to old, cranky and loud. Maybe I try to find an old X-Box and fiddle with it a little more. Anyhow, the next time I got a couple of hours left, I will give Boxee a shot.

All in all, I really enjoyed my day at this BarCamp, and I also enjoyed relaxing on Sunday, with no BarCampers around, just a long breakfast, strolling around Görli, taking a walk through some other parts of the city and thinking about anything but computers ;-)

pl0gbar München #6

Am kommenden Montag, dem 27.10.2008, findet in München im Tassilogarten eine pl0gbar statt. Bisher haben sich leider nur Jan und ich fest angemeldet. Die Voranmeldung ist nicht verpflichtend, erleichtert aber die Planung. Also, wenn ihr Zeit und Lust habt, gebt euch einen Ruck und kommt vorbei. Wir beißen nicht ;O)

Hier noch ein paar Sätze darüber, was eine pl0gbar ist: Leute treffen, fachsimpeln oder einfach nur bei Bier oder Kafe Latte plaudern. Lerne die Menschen hinter den Pixeln kennen, in Farbe und bunt! Wage den Schritt ins echte Leben, treffe Leute, die Du bisher nur aus Deiner Kontaktliste kanntest und lerne neue kennen, die deine Interessen teilen. Wir reden gerne über WebZwoNullige Internetthemen, aber gern auch über alles andere ;O)

BarCamp Berlin 3 started

Finally, here we go. BarCamp Berlin 3 has just started at the Hauptstadtrepräsentanz der Deutschen Telekom. I already met lots of old and new friends here. The organisation team hast just declared the BC opend ;-) Now session slotting begins. Some of the topics: Internet television, opening up Deutsche Telekom, map of accessible places in the real world, visualize the taste of wine, the science of sleep, Netvibes, web2.0 for theaters, failures of web projects, Drupal, the wisdom of crowds/Krauts, addiction to TV shows, software as a service/cloud computing, getting things written, learning languages via Twitter, virus hunting, photography with strobes, user recommendations/collective intelligence, internet in Armenia, Android development, interactive vector graphics in the browser, personalized feeds, Erlang, CouchDB, music recommendation, YAML, beer " sauna, finding things again in the web, new media in Central Asia, screencasting.

Ok, almost an hour to go until the first session starts. Check the live coverage at

Nachbericht BarCamp München 2008

Nachdem mein letzter BarCamp-Besuch schon einige Monate zurücklag, hatte ich mich entschlossen, das Münchener BarCamp am vergangenen Wochenende zu besuchen. Die Entscheidung fiel mir nicht zuletzt deswegen leicht, weil ich momentan regelmäßig beruflich in München zu tun habe. So habe ich einfach die Fahrt nach München um zwei Tage vorgezogen und am BarCamp in den Räumlichkeiten der Firma Sun in Heimstetten teilgenommen. Ein großes Dankeschön geht gleich zu Beginn dieses Rückblicks raus an Sun für die wirklich schönen Räume, an die Organisatoren, die einen sehr guten Job gemacht haben, an und Jan für den exzellenten Kaffee (Lebenselixir für mich und viele andere; es gab aber auch Tee), und an meinen Arbeitgeber, der mir das Hotel für das Wochenende gesponsert hat ;-)

Foto von nhitze

"Nachbericht BarCamp München 2008" vollständig lesen


Michael Praetorius arbeitet bei Antenne Bayern und findet den Münchner Sender M94,5 cool. Wie ich auch ;-) Wir definieren hier erstmal, was ein Podcast ist. Gibt es hier irgendjemanden, der nicht weiß, was ein Podcast ist? Thema soll aber eher sein, wie man Audio und Video produziert. Leider habe ich mein Zoom H2 nicht dabei, sonst würde ich vielleicht spontan einen Podcast erstellen ;O)

Offenbar geht er davon aus, dass ich mir als Podcaster eine Mikrofon-Sammlung zulege. Tipps: Überschriften sprechen! Soundteppiche nur kurz und knackig. Schreiben fürs Hören. Ein Raum hat vier Ecken. Geht mir jetzt alles zu schnell und zu durcheinander. Ich hoffe, er stellt später Slides online.

Update: Michael hat seine Session sehr ausführlich bebloggt. Alle Informationen sind hier deutlich strukturierter nachzulesen, also ein echter Tipp!