Yesterday was Bar Camp Austin, and Whurley and company put together a great hacker unconference in the middle of SxSW.Â Â Frankly, SxSW is an overblown, bloated mess.Â Tickets are $495, and I hate to say it .. but it’s mostly a bunch of geeks circle-bleeping with each other.Â SxSW was originally about independent music, independent film, and the creative spirit.Â Â Â The addition of SxSW interactive was originally meant to do the same, and bring out the creative side of online content…
… what it’s devolved into is a tech conference, and an exclusionary one at that.Â Â Dorkbot was there LOCKED BEHIND A FENCE.Â “Platinum badge, Gold badge, VIP…”
VI-fucking-P for a Dorkbot meetup.Â With a tent, music, and god knows what else.
So, thank you William Hurley for putting together Bar Camp Austin!Â Â Thank you to the sponsors who pitched into the BarCamp and made it free for anyone to come and attend.Â Â Somehow, I feel that more and better things happened there that day, than were going on at the big conference.
Bitter?Â No.Â Â Not really.Â Â Â I just have this feeling that enjoying independent film, music, and enjoying some time with hackerly peers doesn’t have to come with a $500, $700 or even $1000 price tag.