BarcampCHS Newbie!

So I have just attended my very first unconference. It was very different than what I expected but I loved it and since I did not bring my computer with me, I am writing one big entry for everything. (I FAIL in the techioe geek department today!)

I found it a bit strange to plan what to attend in just a few minutes looking at a bulletin board full of post-its. But, thanks to help from friends, I found what I wanted to attend. By happy accident, I found myself going to the Foreign Film session and loved it! I have never considered just how many great movies there are from other countries. So based on that I have a must-see list for me personally. They discussed a lot of great films but these storylines caught my attention. I love how many sounded similar to some small and big screen plots I had seen in recent years.

1. Rashomon
2. Hide & Seek
3. Just Do It
4. The Ring
5. Italian for Beginners

This session was presented by The North Charleston Picture House (located in Park Circle at The Old Village Community Center, East Montague Avve @ Jenkins) www.parkcirclefilms.org

Next, I decided to visit Paul Reynolds’ A Layperson’s Guide to Reading Code. I am such a newbie at code that I need all the help I can get. I know basic HTML but beyond that I am out. However, Paul’s talk was really great at breaking down the general concepts that make up most coding languages. I got some flashbacks from college when he started talking about logic but once we looked at real examples of code, they made more sense. So thanks Paul and here’s your plug http://blastoffgames.net/

So who’s program do I attend after lunch but my friend Michael Carnell’s first session Podcasting 101. I have been wanting to really get to the nuts and bolts of podcasting for quite awhile now and loved this talk. He went through different considerations to think about before starting your first podcast. Also, he went over what hardware and software is best to use. It’s times like these that I wish I had a Mac so I could use GarageBand for creating podcasts. The presentation gave me lots of programs and methods to try out. Unfortunately, I don’t think I will be creating a podcast for the library anytime soon. We just don’t have the hardware and software to do it properly yet.

The next two sessions I learned the ins and outs of WordPress.org. Carnell continued with another presentation on setting up security WordPress.org. He went through the different considerations and techniques to set up a secure site. It may seem strange but I am really new to the whole blogging world as this is just a WordPress.com blog. His talk gave me something to think about for when I am ready to set my blog on a hosting site instead of wordpress. In addition to this, Cheryl Smithem also gave an excellemt presentation on ways to customize you WordPress Twenty Ten theme. They gave some excellemtn advice on choosing themes and tweaking your site to meet your needs. They both gave me quite a bit to digest concerning moving to a WordPress,org blog. It is something that I may do in the future.
Be sure to check out Michael Carnell at www.palmettobug.com and www.TheSocialMediaMonster.com and also Bill & Cheryl Smithem at CBSdesigns.com

My last hoorah for the day was James Moffit’s Geocaching in the Lowcountry. It wasn’t until we got a Geocache at the library that I even knew what this was but it sounds like a great deal of fun. The basic premise of this is to use GPS and other clues to find hidden geocaches hidden in different areas: mostly parks, woods and different places of interest. As a former Girl Scout who used to loved doing outdorsy-type stuff, this sounds like a great idea. I may give it a shot if I ever get a portable GPS unit. It was a fun presentation and now I know more to tell folks who come by the library.

All in all, my first Barcamp was a hoot. I was able to learn a lot and get to meet tons of great people. I am a little more excited because USC is having an unconference called Infocamp in the Spring and cannot wait for that.

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