BarCamp Blackpool

BarCamps have become somewhat of a rarity recently, not sure why? But I made it to the yearly BarCampBlackpool. BarCampBlackpool is a odd one. So you have your unconference but its about 3-4 rooms/tracks and instead of the overnight, the whole thing takes place in the Norbreck Castle Hotel  in Northern Blackpool. This means the overnight doesn’t happen unless you are staying over in the hotel but the bar it generally stays open till about 2am. Then if you got your fill of drinking you can chat/play on regardless till some time in the morning.

Usually I don’t stay over in Blackpool but this year I decided I had enough of zipping out to catch the last train to Manchester. Not in the hotel of the event however because the reviews were all shocking and it was twice the price of my hotel (Hesketh Hotel) just down the road.

Anyhow there were a few stand-out talks worthy of noting.

Freakyclown didn’t disappoint with his unique view on the darknet. Firstly he talked about how to get on to the darknet. using Tor, what kind of things you could buy, how and why wireless is seriously insecure. Lots of questions followed in another good session by the clown.

Jeremy totally surprised me in his talk about how we can be better by not thinking so negative. It reminded me of a number of posts I have written over time including. Richness of Life, SerendipityFear of rejection, Familiar strangers, etc. I thought it was great having a more life talk between the technical talks at the barcamp. Tim wrote a blog about Jeremy too.

There was a panel debate which I was a part of around the governments misguided plans to censor the internet or as they say, so they can protect the children. I was on the panel with Tim, Freakyclown and Ben. The idea of a p0rnwall is a joke but it was clear something needed to be done to help parents who did want to protect there children. This post from the Open Rights Group was shown.

Of course we had some excellent games of Werewolf till about 2am. Rather than massive circles, we opted for 2 smaller circles and a higher turn over of games. Heck I even survived quite a few of them and didn’t need to be the moderator all the time. The best moment, was Ben getting revenge on me and me using my snap judgement to kill off Martin in one single moment. Too hard to explain but it was great!

Another good BarCamp thanks to the guys who arrange it…

Author: Ianforrester

Senior firestarter at BBC R&D, emergent technology expert and serial social geek event organiser.