Barcamp Brussels #4: 10 days to go

barcamp brussels #4

Barcamp Brussels #4 is coming closer: Saturday Dec 1st is 10 days away. Our main sponsor is MSN/Windows Live.

If you’re not already on the attendee list (we’re around 70 now), please hurry, we have to close that list on Monday to fix the right quantities for catering.

Some last remarks:

  • As usual, we start at 9AM, we stop at 6PM. 
  • Parking is no problem, we can use the mVillage parking that’s empty anyway, since it’s a Saturday. 
  • Who wants to record videos? Out of experience I can only say I cannot do it myself, nor can I make them ready afterwards for Youtube/GVideo. So I need 3-5 people taking care of that.
  • Anyone doing anything with photography, like the previous time?

Barcamp Where #4

Barcamp Brussels #4
I’m getting a little nervous. Barcamp Brussels is gonna happen on Nov 24th or Dec 1st and I still haven’t found a location. All my options have returned negative. The previous times I never really had a problem with that.

So I’m gonna put the question out there: who knows a nice location for Barcamp Brussels #4? If possible, I would actually like it to be hosted at someone’s offices, since it’s on a Saturday anyway …

  • In Brussels (not just the center, let’s take Brussel/Halle/Vilvoorde)
  • I expect around 100 attendees 
  • we need 3-4 presentation rooms of 20-30 persons each
  • a hall or lounge with seats and coffee would be nice
  • catering on-site or otherwise a neighbourhood with restaurants at walking distance
  • available Wifi would be handy – or we can set that up ourselves
  • preferably easy to reach by public transport, or with sufficient parking
  • if the location costs more than, say, 2000€, it’s not an option.
  • I tried a lot of socio-cultural venues (KVS, BSB, DeBuren, BTCCTB …) , but the moment I mention ‘Internet’ they say ‘no’. So I gave up on those.
  • none of the locations of the previous events

Suggestions welcome via mail or comment!

Announced: Barcamp Brussels #4

It’s almost been 6 months, so here we go for the 4th time: I’m starting the preparations for Barcamp Brussels #4.

Barcamp Brussels #4

The proposed dates are: Nov 24th or Dec 1st. Location: to be defined. Sponsors: to be defined (you know how to reach me). Logo can be found on Flickr.

If you want to attend and/or present: please add your name to

(via )

The Barcamp video saga: background

I’ve had a number of requests from attendees of the Barcamp Brussels 3 event. “The speeches were recorded on Nokia N95 phones, right? How come we haven’t seen them yet on Youtube/Google? What’s taking so long?” Well, here’s the answer.

The reason is purely me. I received the N95 video’s (3DVDs, about 12GB in total) from Fré quite soon after the event. At the time, I was ‘just going to throw them’ on Google Video, maybe with a title image before the movie that included a Barcamp and Nokia logo. How hard would that be, right? Well, slightly harder than I thought. The files were huge, so had to be transcoded to something smaller, there were too many files to do things manually, so I needed to start scripting, and the tools I used for it, ImageMagick and FFMPEG are powerful but tricky. That combined with my tango activities, a holiday, a girlfriend abroad and the non-negligeable fact of having a day-time job made for this delay of over a month. Mea culpa. But the wait is over.

These are the first videos. Feedback on video, sound and other details are welcome! I will then proceed with the conversion of the other ones. I will also do a post on what tricks I used to do the video rendering of the title, the transcoding and the merging of video files.

Jeroen De Cock – “Online communities & offline events”

Will Moffat – “Introduction to Freebase

Reinventing the wheel: Twitter backchannel

I was chatting a bit with Bart about Barcamp, and I asked the inevitable question: “Should we do something with Twitter?” To which Bart’s answer was: “Maybe, but what?”. Let’s see:

  • create a “BarcampBrussels” Twitter account, which would serve 2 purposes: 1) be a source of Barcamp organisational info (“Speaker XYZ has to leave early, wants to do his speech before noon, anyone wanna swap?“) and 2) be the ‘glue’ between all Twitterers that are interested in Barcamp: the creation of a BarcampTwitterFriends group, of those who follow that channel.
  • But the Barcamp Twitter account also gets the updates of all its friends, so wouldn’t that be good info too? Well, you do get *all* updates, so not only the “Barcamp speech about XYZ rocks” but also the “feeding my cat” messages. What if you could create a filter on the aggregated messages? Hey: Yahoo! Pipes can do that! We take the RSS feed with all the Barcamp Twitter friends ([code].rss), pipe it through Yahoo and only use the updates with the word “Barcamp”!

    There are some issues with that: people have to remember to prefix each Barcamp-related comment with “Barcamp” (they choose a differente namespace, as it were). That’s cumbersome and ugly. Also, the Twitter RSS only lists the 20 last updates, so the filter might easily remove all updates and leave an empty screen. Even worse, it seems the RSS feed is only updated every X minutes (easily 30, from my experience). So it seems we should have to use the Twitter API to create a live-updating feed. Imagine we do that:

    Then we refresh it every X seconds, project it on a screen and tada!! … ladies and gentlemen: the backchannel! We’re not the first to think of this, of course.

What’s your take: should we do anything with Twitter? Set up a group chat in MSN Messenger or Skype? Or use an classic IRC backchannel? (Who still has an IRC client on his laptop these days?)

Barcamp Brussels: one month to go

Barcamp Brussels logo In about 30 days, a bunch of Internet entrepreneurs, enthusiasts and geeks will gather at the Halles des Tanneurs in Brussels to share experiences and learn from each other: Barcamp Brussels. This is the 3rd edition of this ‘unconference’ that has proven to be a great place to meet new people and ideas.
Les Halles des Tanneurs

Attendees = participants

So what is this ‘unconferencing’ thing about?

A BarCamp is an ad-hoc gathering 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 participants. (

Continue reading Barcamp Brussels: one month to go

Barcamp Brussels #3: May 5th in the Marolles!

It has been decided, the bullet is through the church (*)!
Barcamp Brussels#3 will take place on Saturday May 5th at the Halles Des Tanneurs, the renovated Wine Palace right in the Brussels Marolles!


For those of you who want to participate

  1. add your name to the official Barcamp wiki
  2. Block the date in your agenda (duh!)
  3. Between now and the end of April, add the topic that you will talk about

We will again have the help of Skynet for the organisation. Keep an eye on this blog for more info as the event approaches!


Barcamp Brussels: this Sunday!

Five more days to go! Some more tips for those of you who are attending Barcamp Brussels on Sunday:

How to get there

SAP Lounge: map
The SAP Lounge is located in the Arsenal complex, an old military building that is now turned into fancy offices. The address is Chaussée de Wavre 950, 1040 Etterbeek. That is on the corner of the Chaussée de Wavre and the Boulevard Général Jacques, right next to the VUB University. There is a parking for SAP Lounge visitors just before the Colruyt at the right.
Here is a map of SAP Lounge.


SAP LoungeLike last time, most things have been paid for (thank you Skynet), but we are still going to need some sponsors for drinks. If you or your company would like to contribute (I will of course mention this kind gesture), please contact me on the day itself.

Barcamp Brussels is approaching!

The day is coming closer: Barcamp Brussels II on Sunday Sept 24th!!

Some concrete info:

SAP Lounge

  • breakfast starts at 09H00. The actual speeches start around 10h, and end around 18h.
  • the event takes place at the SAP Lounge (at Arsenal, next to VUB)
  • there are 4 simultaneous tracks in separate rooms (20-30 persons each)
    for those who write it
    for those who use it
    for those who plan it
    for those who sell it
  • all presentations should be 10 minutes long (i.e. “Elevator pitch” style). That leaves 5 minutes for Q&A and 5 minutes to swap rooms. 10 minutes is short? Yes it is! The goal is not to show your thorough knowledge of a topic, but to show people what you are doing and if they’re interested, they’ll find you for more info!
  • all presentations are in English. There will be an international crowd, and a priori the ‘de facto lingua franca’ is Latin English, res ipsa loquitur.

Those who still want to participate:

  1. put your name on the Barcamp Brussels attendee list (we’re already around 70 names!)
  2. put your 10-minute topic on the Barcamp II topics page
  3. prepare your presentation: focus on the important stuff, don’t go
    in too much detail and practise iot. 10 minutes is really short, and
    you will be stopped when your time is up, so that we can keep the four
    simultaneous tracks synchronized.
  4. show up and have fun


On the origin of speeches

If you were wondering why I posted so little this week: I was collecting presentations, sorting through pictures (Flickr and Lifeblogger) and movies (Google video and Dailymotion) and posting the reviews of the Barcamp topics. The collection is still not complete (let’s say that I’m at 70%), but I’m still waiting on feedback from some of the speakers/podcasters.

Here they are:
Barcamp Brussels speeches

I have video footage for a dozen presentations (thx to Maarten!), Powerpoint or PDF presentations for over 50%, and in the worst case only some pictures. At least there is proof that the speaker was really there. I’m still waiting for video’s from Bert (Netlash) and audio interviews from Alice and Irene.

And then: start preparing the next Barcamp Brussels!