This weekend, BarCamp Brighton 2 took place at the University of Sussex in England. I attended, along with a bunch of the other Yahoos from the London office.
For those of you not in the know about BarCamps, they're fantastic little "unconferences" that cost nothing to attend and are put together by the goodwill of a few organisers and the sponsors they rope in to provide a venue, food, and drink. No talks are scheduled in advance, but everyone who attends is expected to be prepared to give a half hour talk on something dear to their heart. Thankfully this isn't as scary as it sounds at first.
As normal at these events, the talks ranged from the highly technical to the sublimely silly. There were sessions about setting up OpenID on your website (both consumer and producer were covered in separate talks), several talks about hacking the Arduino, a whole raft of talks about Second Life and a couple about Social Networks. There was even a Cheese and Wine tasting session, and session showcasing the trailers of this summer's big movies. Yahoo! Live was used to stream many of the talks over the weekend to allow those unable to attend to watch.
For me though BarCamps aren't about the talks, they're about the people. BarCamp Brighton 2 was no exception to this rule. As a camp veteran I was thrilled to see a load of faces that I'd never set eyes on before, and I can't wait to see them again at future BarCamps. As always, the atmosphere was bubbly throughout, with only the lynching of a few villagers during the night in the game Werewolf changing that. YDN helped out by taking care of the bar tab, keeping 100-odd developers going until about two in the morning.
Photos are up all over flickr, including a bunch showing the phenomenal new game of "Uncricket" (you play cricket using objects found at the conference), Semantopoly (like Monopoly, except you buy web companies using friends), and the ubiquitous Werewolf.
A great time was had by all, and I'd like to say a huge thank-you to Jay Gooby and everyone else involved for organising this fantastic event. I'm looking forward to BarCamp London 4 at the end of May already!
Web developer, Yahoo! London