Monday, September 22

post SFD wrap

What a great day Software Freedom Day turned out to be in Wellington this year. Thanks to Nat Torkington for coming down to host and again to all organisers and sponsors for their contributions. But an even bigger thanks to everyone who came. It was amazing to see over 215 registrations with most of those turning into attendance on the day.

Brenda will be writing up the event for our global competition entry so send your thoughts about the day through to her so she can include your feedback. We would love to run an event again next year for Software Freedom Day '09, and most of the organisers met this week to ensure that happens.

The barcamp is a phenomenon for the uninitiated and can take some getting used to. I experienced my first barcamp at kiwifoo in 2007. There I met colleagues from the ICT industry, participated in discussions with thought leaders and listened to new concepts and ideas I'd never heard before. I was buzzing afterwards, and that's the kind of reaction I was hopeful at least some of those who attended on the weekend were going to have.

The barcamp is an unorganised conference or 'unconference' where anyone attending can decide on a subject for a session at the start of the day. It is up to those attending each session to contribute to the discussion and raise their own related thoughts and views. It generally works really well and encourages everyone to participate. The photos of all the sessions topics are up on flickr, as are all the photos taken throughout the day.

The hackfest was a hive of discussion, testing and installs, and an addictive place to be. Jethro and Brenda created a casual meeting place with sofas at one end and tables at the other for those bringing serious hardware for the installfest. It was nice that if you felt like it you could break from the structure of the barcamp sessions and chill at the hackfest and drink copious amounts of coffee courtesy of havana and Fletch. One of the highlights of Software Freedom Day was seeing the kids arriving with parents and testing out the latest shipment of laptops from One Laptop Per Child. Next year we hope to have even more activities for the kids (watch out for the bouncy castle).

The giveaways were a huge hit, from the Sun and Fedora CDs, Sun t's and other google goodies, to the webstock prize drawn at afternoon tea time by Tash Hall from the webstock team. Congratulations to Richard Clark for winning the Golden ticket to webstock next year, and to our other two winners of the InternetNZ books 'Connecting the Clouds'.

Thanks again to everyone who helped organise the day, and made SFD Wellington an awesome event!

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