Net Culture Technology Vancouver

Cyborg Camp (2013): Vancouver Edition

May 18, 2013

Cyborg Camp Vancouver via iPhone

Cyborg Camp was a lot of fun this year. There were less organized talk and edits around wikis and programming code in action but that’s all right because I finally got to hear Amber give her keynote speech live in-person. Watching a live stream on SXSW or archived TEDx videos doesn’t count. Good speakers are amazing in person because they’re bouncing off of their current environment and people-energy. It’s great to watch this in action and be a part of this surge of energy.

I got to go to the conference because there was a free ticket available the night before on Twitter. This is why I prefer using Twitter over Facebook. It’s like going to a seedy, rundown thrift store that’s difficult to get to commute-wise, and the staff may not be all that great when you’re asking for help, but it’s still your favorite store because it’s the only place where you can score a $100 retail-price item for less than $30 because nobody else is shopping there.


These were the speakers for the conference. The page is a short blurb so I don’t recommend clicking that link. When I’m reading a speaker’s page, I want to know how to virtually connect with that speaker. I want to know their email address, what company they’re working for, but most importantly, I want to continue the conversation with them. This may mean contacting the person directly, or a follow-up question to a note from their presentation or from a chat at the after-party. Because when you’re at a conference, everyone is busy networking but we should really be busy learning new information about the person and initiating interesting discussions. This is the main reason that I stopped attending these events because everyone wanted to sell to investors.

I tried to search for the speakers on social media networks but almost everyone’s top hit on Google search was LinkedIn. Here, here, here, here, and here. This is why we can’t have nice things. Alex Beim and Amber Case were notable exceptions but you already knew that, didn’t you?

I also didn’t find very many event photographs other than the ones I posted on Flickr from my iPhone and Olympus Pen E-PL1. There was an album of photos curated by the people who owned the building but it’s inside Facebook’s walled garden. We have a Creative Commons license for sharing photography on the internet but end up giving up the copyright to corporations instead. If there was a wiki this wouldn’t have happened I bet. Here are some nice iPhone snaps from people who shared the hashtag on Instagram. We were trending on twitter on the day-of the conference but everyone trends on twitter eventually or you’re not trying hard enough.

All in all, it was an interesting conference with interesting speakers and exciting ideas to share. Not as good as the first Cyborgcamp during the peak of the 2009  Recession though. I’d like to help organize another conference with more of a focus on different speakers and a wider range of topics but, I hope that next year’s conference at MIT will prove to be as equally interesting as the one this year in Vancouver.

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