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BarCamp Buffalo: A Conference of New Ideas By, Of, and For the People

Building a regional culture of innovation, entrepreneurship, and creativity requires more than capital; it requires a community of like-minded people to foster ideas. To that end, Buffalo’s burgeoning startup and creative technology movement takes another step forward this weekend as members of the tech community will spend Saturday, February 2, at Medaille College. Not to take classes, but to teach them, to each other. BarCamp Buffalo, a collaborative “un-conference,” gives everybody a chance to teach a session or a “lightning talk” about their work, their hobby, or their esoteric knowledge.

BarCamp Buffalo 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 attendees. No spectators, only participants. All attendees should give a demonstration, a session, or help with one, or at least strive to meet a few new people. Anyone with something to contribute or with the desire to learn is welcome and invited to join.

In the past, the standard 10- to 15-minute presentations have covered topics as varied as community journalism, homebrewing, search engine optimization, and programming code. In other words, there’s usually something for everyone. And if there isn’t? Sign up and give a presentation on a topic of your choice.

Steve Poland, one of the event organizers wrote the following on the Buffalo Open Coffee Club Google Group, “The goal of BarCamp is to teach others something, expose them to something, hate something you’re passionate about or been learning yourself, or a project or startup or app you have been working on, etc. Let others get to know you. You may find others are just as excited as you are.”

Registration is free, and the first 100 registrants at BarCampBuffalo.org receive a free event T-shirt. Breakfast, lunch, and beverages will be provided for all in attendance, barring overcapacity crowds. There will be multiple 30-minute presentations given at the same time, to provide a choice of subjects for attnedees..

Follow @BarCampBuffalo on Twitter for more real-time updates about the events. Also check out BarCampBuffalo on Facebook to get updates on future BarCamp events.

Doors open at 8am; the rogram begins at 9am. The event ends at 5pm, followed by an after-party.

> BY chris smith

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