DemocampMississauga – The review

So it’s been just a little over a month since we held the first DemoCampMississauga.  I know I should have published this a long time ago but better late then never.  Putting together an event like this was an amazing experience and I look forward to hosting another one in the near future.  When you put an event like this together you expect a few things to go wrong especially if  this is the first time organizing an event like this.  We showed up to the bar early and tested out all of the hardware and everything was looking good until…..the owner of the pub says to me “we have another party booked but they’ll be finished by 6:00 at the latest”.  I’ll admit I was a little freaked out but I trusted the owner and fully expected the party to be wrapped up by 6:00 when people started rolling in.  I couldn’t have been more wrong!  People started to show up for the DemoCamp on time but the party it would seem was just getting started inside.  So there we were faced with our first “technical” issue and we had no idea what to do.  Luckily people that come to Democamps are the coolest people ever and they endured the wait and eventually the drunken school teacher party faded around 6:45.  Once we were setup everything pretty much fell into place.    So to sum it up, Democamps are awesome and the people that attend are amazing.  I feel privileged to have met the people that I did that night so thanks to everyone that showed up and participated.  Here is a summary of the presentations:

WeGoWeGo.com - A faceted semantic search application for cultural events and entertainment in Toronto. Our mission is to help people find information fast and make good decisions about where to spend their fun time. We are currently supporting Toronto, but plan to expand nation-wide and beyond. As we demonstrated, WeGoWeGo is:

A search engine where you can Find the events and places that you like
A wish list where you can Save your favourites in “My WeGoWeGo”
A community where you can Share your city and your perspective

Radar – A powerful and cost effective way to contact your entire customer base, readership or group of devoted followers and fans!
Because it’s an opt-in system, your users only get the info they want, and you can make sure the content is perfect.

You also have the power to offer your message to be sent via Microsoft Live Messenger, SMS text message, Email and Twitter which means your announcement will get responses.

Social Media Marketing can be an invaluable addition to your communication strategy. The benefits and bottom line impacts on your marketing initiatives will be massive.

Andrew Kalek – Gave a presentation about Unobtrusive Javascript, what it is and why developers should start using it.

Ben Vinegar – Guestlist is an online event management application with a focus on user experience, design, and simplicity. It lets event organizers sell tickets online via gorgeous looking event pages, which are built using an intuitive WYSIWYG editor. Guestlist is “getting real” applied to event management–it’s an elegant solution that focuses on the majority of use cases, while ignoring advanced features whose complexity would burden the application for others.

Rachel Young – Co-founder of Camaraderie, presented on the general concept
of coworking.

Coworking is a social way of working for solitary freelancers, budding
entrepreneurs, and digital nomads.
Working independently can often carry some unnecessary burdens. Family
life or home life is hard to separate from work life; partners may assume
that since the freelancer is home then of course he/she can do the
laundry, start dinner, go grocery shopping, etc. Home-based distractions
also play a part in the struggle to work independently; the new game that
was purchased as a reward for hard work often calls to the freelancer, as
does that fun project left unfinished in the garage, or simply the idea of
going back to bed and not going outside for days on end.

Rachel and her business partner Wayne A Lee plan to open a coworking
facility in Toronto in the Fall of 2009. Camaraderie will be an open space
that welcomes a diversity of entrepreneurs and freelancers, as well as be
a hub for a variety of community events and a central location for
collaborative projects.

MTrack  – We are working on a system (temporary called MTrack) which allows smartphone users to share their location information with their friends (which could be another smartphone user or a desktop user). By using this system, users can see where their friends are on the Google Map. Besides tracking location, the system also allow sending texts, pictures, and other communication data.

The system consists of 3 parts,
1.  Smartphone client application
It sends out its GPS data to other people (through the server system). It also provides a map which can displays other people’s location.
2.  Desktop client application
Desktop user access the system through Internet. He can see smartphone users’ location the map.
3.  Server system
Basically it authorizes users’ access to the system and relays data from one client to another client.
 
The market of the system includes
Social networking tool
Vehicle monitoring tool (e.g. for fire-fighters, ambulance vehicles)
Traffic emergency monitoring 

Yang Yu - Prognex Corp. specialize in Application Development using Raindrops Server to create Tailored End-to-End Business Solutions such as HR Recruiting Management, Project Management, Help Desk Management, Customer Service, Defect Tracking, Marketing and Sales Lead Management.

Our services include:
Change Management Strategies to improve workforce efficiencies
Improve business functional accuracy using Business Process automation
Improve business decisions by implementing Business Intelligence
Create custom integration with Legacy Applications, Microsoft Sharepoint Server, BizTalk, and SQL Server.
For more information on our Technology and Services and our contact information, please visit us at http://www.prognex.com

DemoCampMississauga – The Countdown

Only 10 more days until the DemoCampMississauga!!  The last few weeks have been pretty calm with regards to organizing the DemoCamp.  Once we established the location people started to email me and now we have booked all of our slots for demo’s and we only have 1 spot left for presentations.  We did manage to make it down to DemoCamp Toronto #20 which was awesome.  We couldn’t stay for the whole thing but we saw a few really good demo’s and a couple great presentations.  So what’s in store for you if you come?  We will be offering a casual night full of very cool demo’s and some thought provoking presentations, easy access to delicious beers/cocktails and some finger foods.  We will also be doing some raffling off of some prizes toward the end of the night so if you are coming make sure you stick around!

The Venue – Part II

I know we are a little behind schedule picking the venue but we needed to go back to a couple places just to make sure we chose the best spot.  We are going to hold the Democamp at the Cock and Pheasant Pub in Streetsville, it has everything we need and it’s just the right size plus they were very nice people and couldn’t have been more accommodating.  We are going to have some finger foods available for everyone which is a good thing but it might mean we have to charge a couple of bucks for tickets ($2 – $5), hopefully that won’t deter anyone from coming down.  We still have a few spots open for demos and presenters so if you would like to demo something you’ve been working on or talk about something you find really interesting please contact me trevordean@gmail.com.  Don’t foget to check out the wiki for more details.

DemoCampMississauga – The Venue

A couple of weeks ago I contacted David Crow and we finally had a chance to talk this weekend over the phone. David had a lot of great suggestions and words of advice for us on how to put this event together.  To put it simply David suggested we keep it “simple and cheap” which sounded good to us, so we re-prioritized a few things and really started to focus on where to hold the event.  We are looking at two bars in Streetsville, either one would be a good place kick off the first DemoCampMississauga.  Hopefully we will be making our decision by the end of this week.  Once we’ve decided on where to hold the event I’ll update the blog.  We are also working on a website but for now if you have any questions or would like to do a demo or a presentation please email me trevordean@gmail.com with your request.

DemoCampMississauga – Full Steam Ahead

It all started with a phone call, well actually it all started with a comment on my blog which led to an email which led to a phone call, with Rick Ballard.  Rick is a seasoned veteran in business development and technology support and I think he might have even done a little programming in a previous life although I don’t think he would admit it.  My Wife and I met with Rick last week and it was fantastic, I think we have a real shot at making the first DemoCampMississauga a really great event.  I was also able to get in touch with David Crow and he graciously accepted an invitation to meet with us to pass on any words of advice with regards to organizing a DemoCamp.  We want to try and do something a little different but still play by the rules so hopefully David can help us with that.  We have also set a Date of June 25, 2009 which is pretty exciting.  We are learning a tonne of great things trying to put this together and when it’s all done hopefully we’ll be able to pass on some advice to anyone else that is thinking about hosting or even swap stories with people that have already hosted.  We will be working on a small website as well as posting the event on eventbrite.com and upcoming.org.  If you happen to stumble across this blog and you are interested in coming to the event please go to the wiki and add your name to the list and if you are interested in doing a demo or an ignite presentation please let me know ’cause we still have some spots open.

DemoCamp Mississauga – Camaraderie

My wife/business partner and I met with Rachel and Wayne from Camaraderie
If you haven’t already heard of Camaraderie you should get to know it.  Rachel and Wayne are starting a
co-working space in Toronto and are in the process of trying to finalize a space.   Rachel extended an invitation to us to come down and meet with them to see if there was anything they could do to help with DemocampMississauga, and to bounce any ideas off them.  What an amazing gesture, we couldn’t have been more excited to meet with them.  We had a great night, we had some laughs, shared ideas, and had some great food.  Keep checking back to the blog and the
wiki because the wheels are in motion.

DemoCamp Mississauga – Tools of the trade

I try and stay educated or at least aware of software trends, design patterns programming languages etc.  What I realized by trying to put this event together is that I’ve never blogged before, I’ve never edited a wiki and I’ve never sent anyone a tweet nor have I been tweeted!  The easy part is parking your information in some virtual space but the hard part is getting people to see it.  Aside from moving my blog to wordpress the only other thing I’ve done is add tags to my blog and wiki.  Just for the record I had no real reason to move my blog to wordpress but it had been a couple of weeks and no one had left a comment so I got a little panicked.  If you are a seasoned blog / wiki veteran maybe you could give me some advice on how to drive some traffic to your blog or wiki.