BeebCamp is the BBC's internal facing barcamp, over the last few interations its changed into something which now includes a choice of externals who are hand selected and given the free reign to wonder around with the rest of the BBC staff.
BeeBCamp breaks down the barriers between tech and creative communities inside and outside the BBC. It's a unique atmosphere where everyone participates in an informal, open forum. As an ongoing movement within the BBC, BeeBCamp has started linking people from across different divisions who might otherwise never have met.
Unlike most things which are arranged by the BBC, BeebCamp is deliberately uncomplicated, radically transparent and not by any department within the BBC.
BeeBCamp is run by and for BBC employees, but it is not an official department or division of the BBC. The views expressed here and on other BeeBCamp material are solely those of the participants and should not be considered official BBC material.
And thats the key, people are told from the start that everything said or done is public and unless you say its off limits by holding up a unbloggable sign.
This time around, BeebCamp was held in Manchester alongside London. A skype and Video conference was setup so sessions could run in parallel. The rest of the rooms were put to good use by the rest of the participations.
As Philip says on the BeebCamp site, an unconference like this tends to be a different experience for every person, as few people will attend all the same discussions throughout the day.
Roo Reynolds, Andrew Bowden, Charlie Beckett, and Paul Murphy of the BBC Internet Blog have already written up some of their impressions of the day. There are a lot of photos on Flickr already, and more will come.
So the whole event went well and we did well in Manchester, although people were very nervious giving sessions of there own for the first time, which was a shame. Looking wider and into the future, Philip picked up on this in the closing session.
One of the good ideas from this discussion was to keep the BeeBCamp vibe going by having more sessions spread throughout the UK - Glasgow, Cardiff, important regional centres. They could be smaller or shorter events, even just a lunchtime meetup. But they'd keep the open exchange of ideas and initiative flowing. It might even be an idea to hold a whole bunch of events simultaneously in various BBC locations across the country. They wouldn't even need to be linked live; as long as the sessions had a way to report back - such as this blog - they'd all be part of the same general event. Annual or semi-annual BeeBCamps could then be the plenary session that brings it all together.