I went to Barcamp Glasgow this evening with DigitalSean. It was hosted in the very lovely venue of STV's Pacific Quay building and featured lots of interesting 20 minute talks largely on media and new media. We were given a list of sessions, most of which ran twice (in fact I ended up attending the Scottish Government session twice!) The sessions were by big name organisations: STV, BBC, Scottish Government, The Scotsman, Realtime Worlds
...but it was not a BarCamp.
The sessions were planned in advance. The programme was printed beforehand and given to attendees as they entered.
You could come and go in a limited way, unless you were in a room where you had to go through another session to get to the main area and the stairs.
The audience were just the audience though. After the end keynote session they had an attempt to have a more interactive session (difficult in a room with a couple of hundred people) but they asked all the speakers to put their hands up, again defining the audience as separate.
This is not the ethos of BarCamp or Unconference. It should be planned on the day on big sheets of paper, with the audience as the speakers, volunteering by writing their name on the big sheets of paper. It should be flexible, evolving as the day progresses depending on the interests of the participants and the themes that arise.
It was also sad to see so little Twitter backchannel, to the extent that the #barcamp hashtag was being used more frequently by people in Equador planning heir next Barcamp! This was an event about media: traditional, digital and social. There should have been a much greater electronic involvement.
I did very much enjoy the event. I came away enthused and inspired with ideas I want to put into practice. I would certainly be very keen to attend another media BarCamp, although next time I hope we all get to participate, to broadcast rather than just receive.