Am very excited about the forthcoming BarCamp for UK government web types. In fact, I think the remit is probably going to expand beyond government into all areas of not for profit web work.

Jeremy Gould, of the Whitehall Webby blog, seems to have kicked things off with his post:

My proposal was to run a barcamp event, where those who want to participate in  developing ideas, sharing their expertise and swapping tips can come together as a community. For those not familiar with the barcamp concept, check out the wikipedia page. The key point is that you come if you have something to offer and you participate, rather than simply observe.

I’m delighted to report that they agree, so I’m pleased to seed the message here that we aim to have the event run across the last week of January 2008 (Saturday 26th/ Sunday 27th). I say ‘aim to have the event run’ because it will only work with the input, energy and enthusiasm of the participants. We have suggested a proposition and date, we’re hoping that enough people will want to be part of this to come along and also to help organise the event.

The story was soon picked up by David Wilcox, who describes it very well, with Jeremy

inviting us to help transform government by sharing expertise in the use of social media tools.

As well as the traditional BarCamp wiki (hosted on the excellent, and free, PBwiki) today I set up an event on FaceBook and a Google group for mailing list discussions. Hopefully more social media tie ins will be possible once photos and videos are being taken at the event – they can be shared through the common ‘BarcampUKGovweb’ tag and maybe some groups and channels.

One of the cute things about Barcamps is the fact that every attendee is expected to present. I’ve put the hugely vague topic of online social tools, community building, using social media to improve engagement down as my area – lord only knows what I’ll actually say. Any suggestions, let me know.

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