Home for my rants, raves and general sharing of 'insytes'. Some of you will enjoy this gathering of text - others will wonder how I tricked them into giving me a Blogger's license...

Tuesday, February 28, 2006

BrainJams in Review

This past Saturday marked the fourth BrainJams held in six months. Never in my wildest dreams did I expect us to get to this point, but at the same time, this feels so right, I am actually surprise there have only been four events to date.

The Berkeley event was an interesting experiment as it was ‘set up’ to pay homage to Lee Felsenstein and the Homebrew Computer Club. The Homebrew launched this type of unconference over 30 years ago and there is so much we can learn from the past to make sure we make the most of the future. Lee has an incredible amount of knowledge and wisdom to share, and it was an honor to have him spend his day with us.

We played with the morning format a bit and for the sake of time, the decision was made to forego the one-on-one speed networking. I understand why we had to do it, but I was disappointed nonetheless as I believe this is a hallmark of the BrainJams events and a big part of what makes BrainJams so special. It also helps connect people immediately which can create a unique energy amongst the group and enable deeper conversations to happen faster. Note: I spoke with Chris about this during lunch and he agreed, so we will be bringing the one-on-one speed networking back to all future events.

While the new morning format did experience some hiccups, it was important to test the waters to verify what works best at these events, and the beauty of the way they are set up is it only took a slight modification to the agenda and the afternoon turned into an amazing jam session. Whalaa. Like magic.

Speaking of the afternoon jam - one of the breakthrough sessions I participated in was a discussion on the future of BrainJams. Basically, what do we need to do to seed the community and build a viable long-lasting organization that has passionate, vested, ‘members’/’attendees’ (I use the word ‘members’ loosely). There was incredible feedback given from the participants in this group, so I wish to extend a big ‘thanks’ to Shannon Clark, Dave Buerlind, Cathryn Hrudicka, Rachel Murray, Bill Allison, David Allen, and Dan Genova for their insights and willingness to devote their time to making BrainJams extraordinary. You have renewed my faith and solidified the fact that I need to do whatever it takes to help Chris build this organization. So again – thank you!

Overall I felt the event was a success, and with the feedback from the various participants, we have a solid plan to make BrainJams a sustainable and successful non-profit.

Technorati tags: brainjamsbrainjams25feb2006homebrewcomputerclub web20 unconference


Blogger GraceD said...

Kristie, bravo to you for creating this exciting venue! I am so very impressed with your work and leadership. As I mentioned on Chris's blog, I look forward to attending my first BrainJam one day.

I hope to see you sooner than later.

Many blessings to you...

10:58 PM


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