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Reflections is a page for documenting what went well during IndieWebCamp Portland 2012, and what could be improved.

Things that went well

The two-day format worked well.

The first day was 45-60-minute back to back sessions, with a 1-hour lunch break where everyone went off-site for lunch. Fairly standard barcamp scheduling in the morning, and the sessions ran until 5:45.

We skipped the name + three tags/phrases intro in preference for people organically meeting each other throughout the day - this helped us get started faster.

Session proposing was run a bit differently than the standard BarCamp:

  • Session proposers were asked to write on a oversize sticky note:
    • 1. Session Topic / Title
    • 2. Session #Hashtag
    • 3. Their name
  • ... and then to line up to announce their session topic, hashtag, and name and stick their session on the board. That seemed to both a) give other folks thinking about doing a session ideas of what to pitch (or combine with the current proposer if the idea sounded similar), and b) hear at least some attendees introduce themselves by name.

We also recommended that every session organizer create an etherpad for real-time collaborative note-taking using their session #hashtag as such:

  • etherpad.mozilla.org/indiewebcamp-hashtag
    • (some /indieweb-hashtag etherpads were created as well)
    • and add them to etherpad.mozilla.org/indiewebcamp

After the session finished (during the 15 min between sessions), session organizers were asked to copy the etherpad notes to the wiki, and then further edits could occur there. This seemed to work really well to capture a lot of notes from a lot of people during the day.

The second day was a building day.

We started out with a morning intro session where everyone had the opportunity to say what they wanted to work on that day.

There was no pressure to choose certain projects to work on, and there was no sense of competition for attention. The result was that the day started off with [separate projects] being worked on, and some people finishing their projects and joining others. The extra cube spaces helped a lot with enabling individuals to break-off and design/code a bit between larger efforts.

Things that could use improvement

This year discussions tended to be very technical and I (Tantek) got some feedback that some were difficult to follow if you weren't deeply familiar with technical details. I'm not sure how we can improve this, but we should. We should seek out and invite more designers, UI/UX creators, and encourage them to propose sessions early in the process. - Tantek

Ideas for next year

  • Start the event with everyone giving a super short demo of what code of theirs they are running to power their own site
    • Perhaps with only what's already been listed on the Projects page. If you want to demo what you're running on your indiewebsite, please list it on the Projects page first!