Hard News by Russell Brown


Post Foo

If I got asked this once, I got asked it a dozen times: How do you think Kiwi Foo Camp 08 differed from last year's? Answer: more plots hatched, more plans made. The ability to cut through hierarchies and talk off the record lends itself to this.

It only works, of course, if you cap the numbers. There were a lot of people it would have been nice to have had there, but the answer isn't to pack 'em in, but to export the model. It's nice that the Bar Camp model has been established here without rancour. Anyone can do it. The trick is to put away the hierarchies -- the new kid is as important as the head of department -- and to invite people like you're planning a big dinner party, and let them set the agenda.

We'll probably mix it up even more next year, and try and introduce a wider range of arts and sciences to the mix. Which, of course, means that a corresponding number of 08 campers won't be invited next year. Trust me, it's nothing personal.

Anyway, I'm soooo tired …. When you're running sessions until 10pm and people come out of them with their geeky brains whirring, they aren't going straight to bed, so the days are very long indeed. The Werewolf crew were at it until 4am on Saturday night. (In wholly unsurprising news, Keith Ng is good at Werewolf.)

I also met people I feel I should have met a while ago: including Lucy from Felt and Jeff from Mukuna. I expect to have more contact with both of them as the year progresses.

The surprise hit for me was the session run by Erica Lloyd and Juha Saarinen about pitching stories and relating to journalists, where I chipped in quite a bit from the floor. The three of us were worried that we were dispensing the bleeding obvious, but we got feedback about it for the rest of the event.

Session I wish I'd made (but couldn't, because my one clashed): Ian Wright on his groundbreaking electric vehicles. He talked to Kim Hill during the broadcast from the venue on Saturday morning, along with various other campers. The podcast is here.

There are some nice pics from the weekend by Matt Buchanan here and I expect more will turn up here over the next few days.

And I'd love to tell you about how [REDACTED] is only a couple of weeks away from a big (and possibly controversial) deal with [REDACTED]. But I can't …

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