Mind Camp 3.0

Mind Camp 3.0 started at Noon today with the usual confusion and chaos of any sort of self-organizing conference. The past two conferences, I’ve stayed through the night – but today Karen wasn’t feeling very well and I thought it best if I got her to sleep in her own bed tonight. So we bailed around 9pm and came home.

But hey – it gives me a chance to blog about it.

First up – they had a new system for placing sessions and choosing among them that, while a pain to navigate around all the bodies, was 100 times better than the last camp. The biggest issue is that ~200 people want to try and all read sheets of paper in a 10′ corridor, and usually 50 of them want to read the same one at the same time. Giant arterial clogs… I do wish more folks had the sense to loose the backpack – that just adds a huge amount of bulk to the clogs. One of the best things to come from the new system was the popular sessions obviously stood out and were scheduled in the largest rooms – and that’s a HUGE improvement over Mindcamp 2.0.

I sat in a number of good sessions – the top two for me were a session on community sites (the guys at Menuism.com hosted the discussion) and Amazon Web Services – which was sort of delightfully given by the guys using the service instead of the guys running the service. The real-world anecdotes and information were refreshing.

Dinner was provided by Google this year, and they did a nice job of it. A good spread and there was certainly plenty of food.

Karen and I will be heading back for the morning sessions, although I rather expect it’ll be more socializing than any directed conversation based on past experiences.

Oh – and on the game side, they had a Wii there – and it looked pretty darn fun. They had a “tennis” match going that was as fun to watch people play as it looked to be playing it. I also got to briefly play a little Gears of War on the XBox 360 which was amusing. I sucked at it though – the game is reasonably complex, very detailed, fast paced – and I was suffering with an inverted view control – which just kills you in a first person shooter. Best of all, Gears of War has a co-op split-screen mode – which means I’ll of course have to buy it for when Dan and I can play over holidays…

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