We're nearing the end of the first day of Barcamp, and it's already head and shoulders above the dConstruct experience - ironic seeing as it's free of charge. It's far less pretentious, much more relaxed, and everyone's really friendly. The sessions have been more interesting and valuable too (I'm not counting Tom Coates' excellent presentation yesterday btw). Topics so far have included how to set up an ethical business, a possible future of mashups and how to do card tricks (this guy taught us how to do his trick!).
Anyone can choose whatever topic they like to talk about here. We started the day by going through the whole (small, hot) room of 100+ people, where everyone stated their intended topic. Everyone was really passionate about their specialist subject and looking forward to sharing their love with everyone else. This is what I love about this business; everyone's here in their spare time, and we all do our hobby for a living. We're a lucky bunch.
I did my session on 'Open Source meets $$$', where I tried to explain what we're doing at Osmosoft and asked Open Source developers how they'd like us to engage with them. The feedback was very encouraging, and several people stuck around afterwards to shoot the breeze.
The sessions go on until about 8.30pm, and then who knows what'll happen? One thing is likely: most barcamp overnight sessions involve a game of Werewolf (also known as Mafia). I'm a Werewolf virgin as well as a Barcamp virgin, so I'm looking forward to the experience...