By Syed Nazir Rasik, Co-Founder, The Knowledge Foundation
BarCamp is an unconference born from the desire for people to share and learn in an open environment. It is an intense event with discussions, demos, and interaction from attendees. BarCamp is an open, welcoming, once-a-year anytime-in-a-year event for geeks to camp out for a day or two with WiFi and smash their brains together. It’s about love and geekery and having a focal point for great ideas, like FOOcamp but open.
In this article, Syed Nazir Rasik, Co-Founder of the Knowledge Foundation (TKF), the organizers of the BarCamp writes about the third edition that happened on April 11, 2010 at SRM University Campus, Vadapalani, Chennai.
Aswinanand, a veteran of BarCamp, launches his Facebook App called Picasaimporter (http://www.facebook.com/home.php?#!/apps/application.php?id=341954728942) that help import all your pictures from Google Picasa to your Facebook page with a few clicks.
Prakash of EthicsTech talked about the emerging opportunities in Android mobile app development and the role of India in mobile app development. He claims 900% growth in Android app development even though the only a few phones are launched in that space like Google's Nexus One, HTC Tatoo, Motorola Droid, and a few Samsung mobiles. The Android app development has led to a surge of large Chinese manufacturers to shift focus to develop phones using the Android O/S as it has advantages like obligation-free download of O/S, 3G compliance, and larger Google app community.
There was a lightning session by S. Anandanarayanan, a Vellore Institute of Technolgoy (VIT) student, on "Creating Collaborative Mindmap" online using a tool that he is developing right now. The tool will be made available from the browser itself.
Ms. Shyamala Rajaram, who heads Technology at Netlink, gave a hands-on demo of installing Drupal 7 and its flexibility as a dynamic content management system. The requirement for installing Drupal is that one needs to have a LAMP stack installed before installing Drupal. Windows users can download Xampp and run their mysql and webserver before proceeding with the installation. The topic was enlightening and there was also a comparison between Joomla and Drupal in terms of its features and functionality.
A similar video is available here
Now moving a bit away from the geeky part of Barcamp there were a few topics like IdeaCamp initiated by Nambirajan of TKF and Sivasubramanian of Internet Society (ISOC) Chennai that seems to gather a lot of support. IdeaCamp will be an event where people brainstorm about ideas. It will also be a sounding board for ideas where ideas can be discussed, sharpened, refined, and crystallized through both online and offline meets. People who have "an idea in their mind," those planning to start a startup, budding entrepreneurs, and technopreneurs can make use of the event to connect with people who are interested in their ideas and to create small communities around their ideas and thus take it forward. The bottom line is if you have an idea and bring it to the IdeaCamp, you will leave with a better idea and a listening audience who can enhance and support your idea.
Proto.in has also announced its initiative to build an online Startup Exchange where it can keep track of the startup community that will include not only the startups that showcase at Proto.in but also those that don’t make the cut owing to one shortcoming or the other. The initiative is focussed to be community driven and will serve as an exchange for startup to look for M&A possibilities as a talent pool to recruit wannabe entrepreneurs and credible source of information on their services.
On the lighter side, there was an awesome presentation on "Love and Entrepreneurship" by Ramasubramanian Alwarsamy, which kept the entire crowd on its toes. Finally, Chennai seems to have awakened to the "Women Reservation Bill"; for the first time BarCamp Chennai witnessed a sizeable crowd of women participating by not only presenting but also helping in organising the event and attendance.