DemoCamp12: World Class Edition


Responding to recent concerns about a general lack of quality in demos and calls for a retooling, David Crow’s announced DemoCamp12. Get on the wiki, go to Upcoming. It’s setting up to be a great one – World Class, all the way.

The new format includes invited demos/discussions by Will Pate on Flock, Mike Beltzner on Firefox and Albert Lai on Bubbleshare. It’s also an opportunity to review a fantastic year of DemoCamp, with the story by Albert and David on the origins of DemoCamp and 2 minute updates from past presenters on what they’re up to now.

I hope the Conceptshare guys come back, I’d like to see the DabbleDB guys again, and I’d love to know what’s up with Bumptop. What’s up with PlanetEye, Nuvvo, Semacode, Ambient Vector, BlogMatrix, Freshbooks, Radiant Core, Idée? For all the concerns about slipping quality standards, looking back overall there is a remarkable collection of talent and ideas and companies in the mix.

Anniversaries are great opportunities for a reset…appreciate what’s come before, reset expectations, look forward to the future. The community is a friendly, open, cooperative and competitive environment which should be continually raising the bar of quality and expectations. There is now an authentic grassroots tech community that didn’t exist a year ago, which has created excitement in the Toronto tech scene that is drawing them in from Sudbury to Vancouver to Silicon Valley.

I’ll be sure to invite our friends at ICT Toronto to come. But I’m not making bets on whether any of them will, having been disappointed by good intentions in the past.

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Enterprise Camp Toronto, unconference edition

Enterprise Camp Toronto was a success. Thanks to Bryce for organizing, and Navantis and Microsoft for sponsoring. For those who have never been to a BarCamp event before, this is what it looks like:

How to Get Users to Use It 1, originally uploaded by chesh2000pro.

Kind of like group therapy for geeks, except much more fun and creative. Thoughts and analysis after the jump…

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Hire Will Pate: your next Web Strategy, Tech Evangelist, Community-Building super-dude

I’ve had the opportunity to get to know Will Pate over the past week as he has received the David Crow and BarCamp royal tour of Toronto’s tech scene. Apparently Will was suitably impressed by the enthusiasm of our little community and the excitement that continues to build around the TorCamp community and more recent developments like the Indoor Playground. It looks like he’s moving here. Mission accomplished., originally uploaded by kk+.

See Jevon’s post for background on the little guy from PEI, Will’s hire me page and his LinkedIn profile (25 recommendations!). Will’s done a lot in his young life, most recently at Flock, and he appears to be part web slinger part energizer bunny. You enter his event horizon, and can easily be swept away by the enthusiasm and genuine warmth of the guy. Rumor is he’ll be in Toronto starting February. Book him now.

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Toronto Tech Week: May 28 to June 1

ICT Toronto bears some fruit. This should create some excitement:

During the week of May 28 – June 1, 2006 Toronto’s ICT (Information and Communication Technology) cluster will come together to celebrate, innovate and develop business over the course of a week called Toronto Technology Week (TTW). During Toronto Technology Week a series of events showcasing the depth and growth of Toronto’s technology sector will be organized such as CIO Breakfast Seminars, Job Fairs, Innovation & Excellence Showcase and other educational seminars.

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John & Malgosia @ Golden Gate Bridge

Ok, apparently John and Malgosia were far too stylish to stay in Toronto anyway. How completely left coast. I love it!

Gender Bias in Nerdville…er…DemoCamp?

Bryce brought to my attention Jennifer’s post about gender bias in the DemoCamp community. You should also read Rohan’s recent post on the subject of diversity and Web 2.0. I think we can agree that there is a problem. The ways to fix it aren’t obvious or trivial, however. My thoughts on the sources of the problem after the jump.

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Global Connect: Wonks Gone Wild!

GlobalconnectI will be attending the Global Connect conference at MaRS next week, December 6th-8th. A global network of innovation and commercialization policy types and community leaders, this should be an interesting gathering for a policy nerd like me. Their vision:

Bring the benefits of globalization to regional technology entrepreneurs and local economies.

I am hoping to learn something about what is going on in vibrant innovation and technology clusters in the rest of the world and hope to begin some conversations and establish some connections between emerging (and recently funded) angel networks and the TorCamp community, i.e. Graham’s rich people and nerds.

Within the ICT Toronto framework, it has been well recognized that innovative small startup companies and the talent that drives them are an important part of the future success of the technology cluster in the Toronto region. However, there has been relatively little progress on this front, and it is up to the communities of practice (entrepreneurs, technologists and investors) to develop these missing links. Government can bring the horses to water, but it can’t make them drink.

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Read Joey’s “Power Breakfast”

IBM is Our Friend Edition

TorCamp braintrust members Joey deVilla and Jay Goldman attended the Technology Innovators Breakfast put on by the Toronto Board of Trade. We were invited by Alicia Bulwik, Project Manager for the ICT Toronto initiative, who has been doing a good job at reaching out to the community.

Unfortunately, due to a technical glitch involving setting the alarm on my new mobile phone and drinks the night before, I missed my opportunity to suit up in time. Fortunately, Joey blogged a very comprehensive set of notes featuring the main speaker, Dan Fortin President of IBM Canada:

How do we innovate to make Toronto stand out?

* The best way is to focus on the expertise that’s available right here
* We need to track and retain expertise, and to do this, we need to
* We need to realize that collaboration is key

Exactly! Indigenous talent, indigenous companies and improved collaboration. I love the fact that IBM is strategically looking for emerging Toronto companies (they want to buy companies, their technology and sell their services, after all). Reading this, it makes me think that the TorCamp community’s interests are more in line with this view of IBM than with many of the organizations pushing for a foreign investment and trade-driven approach to the development of Toronto’s tech cluster. Very interesting.

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DemoCamp11: Mixed Reviews and a Retooling

Another month, another DemoCamp. It was good to see some friends I haven’t seen in far too long. Here are some reviews: Rohan, Greg, Martin, Ryan McKegney, Craig Borysowitch, James.  Jennifer McCarthy remarks on the skewed gender balance.  (When are we going to fix that?)

I’m giving DemoCamp11 a thumbs-up overall. My reviews, thoughts on Powerpoint, on DemoCamp as JobFair and Retooling after the jump…

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