Just back from BathCamp and keen to blog the things that most impressed me. This was my first time at BathCamp and my first ever BarCamp so was not sure what to expect.
Excellent meal at The Bell in good company then retired to the Media Barn for a spell before climbing under canvas nylon.
Woke early helped with the registration prep’, thick coffee n’ Croissants then straight into talks.
Giles Turnbull’s talk about his part in the URL Shortening phenomenon was good, especially how he linked it to digital and hardcopy preservation and the ways in which we retain, discover and prize certain formats (papers, journals, newspapers) of old data. He then introduced the Newspaper Club to us, and how it’s helping create traditional format versions of digital content.
Dan Hilton talked about clients – how they understand and interpret digital media, often come to inappropriate conclusions on cross-media marketing; and agencies – how they’re often too willing to benefit from clients misunderstanding of the field, and ways that both can work better to make the most of the medium.
During questions Dan also pointed out the ways media providers are sharing cookie information to market recently viewed items on previously visited shop sites amongst similar content across other sites, reminding visitors of products they’ve examined.
Rick Hurst’s talk about the features and uses of JQuery interested me as it mirrored much of what I’ve been doing in recent weeks with the Guerrilla Gardening project, with the problems of access to data, hijacking HTML content for UI enhancement and problems formatting data from Content Management Systems.
I’m now reassured that switching to JQuery from Prototype will be trivial as DOM traversal, helpers, chaining, events and actions barely seem to differ between the two.
Caz Mockett showed us how she uses Blurb for high-quality self publishing of her photographic content. The results were impressive, something I may pursue for future art projects.
Chris Leonard presented his thoughts on providing publishing & discussion of scientific research outside of the conventional journal, using extant services as a starting point he discussed ways to provide effective peer review, reward schemes and metrics.
Rich Quick presented insights from his recent work on HTML emails for a number of clients. How we need to work HTML in ways that would make us sick to even to think about normally, considerations on the range of major desktop and web mail clients, quirks of each, how to make the best of the anticipated viewport with appropriate calls to action, A-B Split testing to provide feedback on more effective layouts.
Rich also discussed the issues of permission based marketing, legal and privacy concerns as well as the use of online services such as Campaign Monitor.
Saturday night saw a great barbecue, sponsored beer and cider, a band and a camp fire under a clear sky lasting into the early hours. Pleasing to meet such a diverse bunch of dedicated, motivated and knowledgeable people doing interesting work and more than willing to share it with their peers.
Excellent breakfast helped everyone recover from the night before, then I attended Alex T’s talk on the fun he’s been having using a PHP/MySQL API to track Forex currency trading.
After which I gave my (first, ever) BarCamp talk about the work I’ve been doing to improve the University Course Finder using html hijacking techniques, making data sources from the CMS and using AJAX and JSON to provide an enhanced user-experience with zero impact upon the usual management of course information. More information on this ongoing project can be found in the Guerrilla Gardening category.
Shortly after we said our goodbyes and began to head home. In the last twenty-four hours I’ve probably gained more insight into the tools and techniques I use now and will go on to use than I have in months. it’s also good to see those areas where you’re exactly on track with your own developments and be able to help others with theirs.