2015-03-23-boston-globe-questions

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Questions asked of the organizers after IndieWebCamp Cambridge 2015.

Original Questions

1. Tantek: Can you tell me about the FIRST BarCamp in August 2005 in Palo Alto and why you started it?

I started the first BarCamp to bring participant driven conferences to anyone who wanted to contribute, and six co-founders did it in six days. We documented it openly on barcamp.org so anyone could run their own, and hundreds have been held worldwide in the decade since. More: 2006-07-10 Remembering the idea of BarCamp

2. Ben: You called this BarCamp “a two-day creator camp focused on growing the independent web.” What does that mean?

IndieWebCamp is for those that want to take control of their own identity online. Social sites like Facebook and Twitter lock you into their closed systems. People can't talk to each other back & forth between these systems. We are growing a social web using the web itself, where people can be independent of these silos. IndieWebCamp is two days set aside to work toward those goals and to create. It could be as simple as writing blog posts to building powerful tools to connect with each other and other sites.

3. David: What was different and promising about this BarCamp at MIT? The continual interest and growing number of Indiewebcamps is very promising.

At every Indiewebcamp, new people show up who haven't been involved before, because the idea resonate with them and they want to learn more. They bring different things they are interested in doing.
That idea is that your own website is your presence on the web. You can post there and still send the same content to sites like Facebook, Twitter, etc and feed back into your site responses from others. Then, everything is under your control without having to separate yourself from the places where people choose to interact.
At an Indiewebcamp, we show up to discuss how we can accomplish this, and then start building those tools.
What is different and promising is what the attendees bring to the table with each event. What ideas they have for what they want to build...and by the end of the second day, they are demonstrating at least one thing they wanted to work on.

4. Tantek: What's next? (In terms of BarCamps)

BarCamp participant-driven conferences have been run for numerous topics from EqualityCamps to IndieWebCamps. I expect to see creatives organize BarCamps to collaboratively explore, share, and build communities around whatever positive & constructive goals their hearts desire. BarCamps are what people put into them.

Followup Questions

1. Why does having an IndieWeb matter?

2. What happens if we don't have one?

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