I saw a Tweet Wednesday announcing the date for the upcoming BarCamp Nashville, and I promised myself this would be the year I finally go.
Nashville’s annual technology-focused “unconference” seems to have gained considerable steam since its inaugural year in 2007. And while the city may be best known for its music, BarCamp Nashville is another indicator that the Nashville area is no slouch in the technology department.
At BarCamp Nashville, attendees choose the content. Anyone attending can sign up to present a session covering a topic of her choice, and the final session lineup is chosen through a random drawing.
In a field where something can become outdated in less than a year, this format is ingenious in my opinion.
The people working in the field on a daily basis can tell you what the most up-to-date trends and challenges are, what works and what doesn’t.
And it also means information covers multiple fields and angles. Whether you’re a coder or cold-caller, there’s likely to be something of interest to you.
In 2012, session topics ranged from “How a redesign killed drjeffcornwall.com” to “You are not Don Draper, but you can still write copy” to “Mindfulness at work.”
You could even learn how to roast coffee beans in a popcorn popper.
I think technology-centered events can seem pretty foreign and uninviting for people not generally technologically inclined, but I also think those are also the people who stand the most to gain from going to those events.
The internet is changing nearly every aspect of how we’re functioning as a society, even for people not using it. Businesspeople in particular are very well-served to learn some of the ins and outs of the internet.
It’s not enough anymore to slap up a website and call it done. The information superhighway is bumper to bumper now, so anyone wanting to actually be seen on the internet needs to be strategic.
Search engine optimization, or SEO, lets you set yourself apart from the multitude, as does strategizing your social media usage. And while this may seem like techno-babble to the uninitiated, it’s techno-babble you can’t afford not to know at this point.
Fortunately, there are plenty of ways to learn these things in Wilson County or with a short drive to Nashville. Shop Lebanon offers a free monthly seminar at the Chamber of Commerce in Lebanon; the career center on Legends Drive offers periodic workshops; and events such as BarCamp Nashville and PodCamp Nashville also offer prime opportunities to learn more.