BarCamp fever hits South Africa

By   |  August 25, 2006

“Open source conferencing” will hit Johannesburg and Durban by the end of the year as BarCamp fever grips South Africa.

Earlier this year, Tectonic reported on preparations for the massively successful BarCamp Cape Town (see some pics; roundup). Now geeks in Johannesburg and Durban are following suit.

The BarCamp formula is simple: entrance is free, but attendees are expected to help out in some way, for instance, giving a presentation or blogging the event. Dozens of BarCamps have been held across the world since the first, and most famous, one held in Palo Alto, USA, in August 2005.

BarCamp Johannesburg will run from 9-10 September while BarCamp Durban will run from 18-19 November 2006.

There’s been plenty of buzz around the Johannesburg event, since technology writer and co-organiser, Mike Stopforth, announced it on his blog last week.

The event, under the slogan “Culture. Tech. Media”, already has an impressive participant list and is likely to attract most of Johannesburg’s top geeks by the time it gets going at the Sci-Bono Science Museum in Newtown.

Meanwhile, planning for Durban’s event is well underway. Leading the charge is organiser Edrich De Lange, a 17-year-old uber-geek, who among his many passions (in no particular order: linux, amateur radio, developing a low-cost thin client and playing the French horn), enjoys organising events.

However, only 12 people have signed up on BarCamp Durban’s wiki. “I am worried a tad,” says De Lange, “but everyone else thinks we’ll have enough people”.

“I think we’ll get at least 80 [people] from the Durban area coming over the two days, so we should have a great jol,” he adds.

De Lange says his motivation for organising the event is the exciting ideas that may come out of a large geek gathering. “I hope it will spark things like new projects, as Barcamp Cape Town has done, for example in my case it just got more support for one of my projects [a low-cost thin client].”

“I hope it will spark new friendships as well.”

People can sign up for both events on the respective BarCamp wikis (Johannesburg, Durban).

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