These things always start small enough. One twit begets another twit which then begets an official site and before you know it, a barcamp is ready to happen. Such was the case leading up to the BarCamp Africa UK which is happening November 7th in London.
Ethel Cofie started the twit about having a BarCamp Africa in the UK as to date there hasn’t been one. Quickly the movement gathered a great deal of steam and a number of other people signed on as organizers: Richard Tandor, Conrad Taylor, Tony Burkson, Prince Kwadjo Ofori-Kuragu, and Julius Sowu. The best thing about this group is that in reading over the details of the event, they really and truly get what a barcamp is. They’re not trying to have what is basically a conference and call it a barcamp. No, they’re building up the event organically, keeping it free, and only having one keynote speaker. Of course it helps that the organizers have been to other barcamps before so they understand the format.
The organizers are mostly a group of Ghanaians and I was curious if there was a direct focus to the event, as sometimes a barcamp will have one. Ethel told me that they are much the same as other BarCamp Africa events which are to foster connections, grow ideas, and showcase success stories. They’re all noble goals which is probably the reason why they’ve been a regular set in a lot of these events.
I’m happy to say that I’m going to be able to make it to the event as it’s just a short flight for me at the moment. I can only hope that there will indeed be others from the African continent who are able to make it as well, given that the distance (and cost) is a far deal greater. However it turns out, based on the registration and sessions wiki it looks to be a pretty solid day in the center of London. I still can’t get over how our social technologies allow something that starts out as a musing thought to morph in to a full fledged event in a matter of just a few weeks. Obviously, you can make it take longer if you want, but why wait when there’s barcamping to be had!
Building a barcamp out of a twit