Open Buddha

Open Source Buddhism, Technology, and Geekery
Bay Area, California

A Short Trip Report for Seattle Mind Camp 2.0

I wanted to give a very brief trip report for a very brief event: Seattle Mind Camp 2.0.

I and two coworkers, Cyra and Sean, attended the event from noon Saturday through noon on Sunday (well, some of us were there by noon…).

This was a 24 hour geek camp along the lines of Foo Camp and Bar Camp down in the Bay Area. Individuals would create a session on a topic of interest in one hour blocks and people would attend throughout the afternoon, evening, and morning.

Sessions are listed in the grid at http://campmind.gearlive.com/wiki/index.php/MC2_Session_Grid.

I attended the following sessions:

  • Using Mindjet MindManager for Brainstorming (Michael Scherotter)
  • Free society of the future (Lion Kimbro)
  • The Future of Social Networking Services (Jack Bell)
  • Social Networking that Doesn't Suck (Dan McComb, Chris Haddad)
  • The good thing rapid discovery (which became a session on removing paper from your life… It may simply have been moved… no one seemed to know)
  • The Iron Wiki
  • Getting Things Done software - Does it have to suck? (John Moody)
  • Blow Shit Up (destruction of hard drives outside with thermite as a spectator sport)

Several of the social networking sessions were also attended by Sean and members of the Shell and Windows Live teams. A few “blog celebrities” likes Dave Winer and Robert Scoble were present but the crowd was a pretty strong mix of Microsoft, Amazon, Boeing, Free Software Foundation, and other independent companies or groups. Microsoft was much more strongly represented than at Mind Camp 1.0 from what I can gather.

In a general sense, most of the sessions were very free-formed and often not terribly focused. They varied a lot from being led discussions directed tightly by a single individual to collaborative discussions led by no discernible party. Of the sessions that I attended, the social networking ones were probably the most lively from the point of view of discussion. I found the Iron Wiki session to be the most interesting on a personal level since I’ve run wiki sites before and the problem of how to have online collaborative spaces is very interesting to me.

Dinner was catered from 6:00 to 8:00 PM by the Windows Live team (who also catered breakfast).

After we melted the hard drives to slag outside just before midnight, people adjourned to either game playing, hacking, crashing or just talking. Out of the 190+ people registered and attending, probably 50 or so stayed the night. A number of us played Halo 2, Night Fight and other games on the Xbox 360 on the giant theatre screen in the auditorium space and we started uploading pictures to Flikr and blogging about events.

Around 4:00 AM or so, most of us began to crash though the noise level was pretty intense. Around 7:30 AM, the blinds were flung open and people got moving. After breakfast, there were a couple of morning sessions, which I skipped in favor of chatting with people. I got myself included in a couple of video podcasts and general blogging craziness. Mind Camp was closed with a final discussion from 11:00 to Noon and then the raffle was done. (I did not win the Xbox 360.)

My photos are up on Flikr at http://www.flickr.com/photos/albill/. Here are a couple of choice ones though…

A little creativity with the official t-shirt (deodorant was not given out):

Sean having a moment:

And the overview of popular sessions on the wall: