Congrats to Colin, Roy & Andrew on a great event last night. YAH FacebookCamp

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Bryce Johnson

Aug 8, 2007, 4:14:32 PM8/8/07
I just wanted to thank Colin, Roy & Andrew and all the speakers like
Jay, Craig, Sunil, Ricardo, Rajat, Greg, Meagan and Colin (again) :-)

It was a great event with a huge turnout. A great success.

I did notice one thing which I think is clear to many of us the more
events we put on. Now I may be off base but there is some truth to
this. The more people at the event the less participation. People
asked questions last night but it definitely had the conference feel
more then the unconference feel. I felt that the energy in the crowd
was absent and I was wondering what other people think about this.

Now I want to be clear that I'm not trashing the event in anyway. It
was a huge success with monterous logistical and organizational
challenges and it is definitely a milestone in the TorCamp history. I
wouldn't be surprised if people are already asking when the next one

Maybe I'm just an event geek but I wonder how we can make the next one
feel more participatory.

Again huge congrats and thankyou to Colin, Roy & Andrew


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Bryce Johnson
Director of User Experience Design, Navantis Inc.
Chicken wrangler -


Aug 8, 2007, 4:26:30 PM8/8/07
to TorCamp
Good Question.. when does an "unconference" amibence change into a
"conference" amibence ?? Where and what point does this sutble change
take place ??

Personnally, I think that at places like No regrets.. there is the
unconference type of feeling, where the crowd is slight above the mid
mark of the 100 .Once it hits the 100 level, the warm and fuzzy
feeling goes away.. this only me or do other's feel the same way ??


PS. I did not attend FB yesterday..but I heard there was well over 400
peeps !!

Kristan Uccello

Aug 8, 2007, 4:28:52 PM8/8/07
The next one should be hands on. Lets write some bloody code and make
some cool things.
Take a design slam approach.

I agree with Bryce, it had more of a conference feel, I liked it but it
could be even better with more participation from those in attendance.
I would have to say the best part of last night was the last guy (I'm
sorry the name escapes me) - he dished the goods that developers want to
hear (at least this developer)

It was great, Colin thanks for the heads up on it and thanks to all
those who made it happen



Aug 9, 2007, 7:23:30 AM8/9/07
to TorCamp

In this specific example, I think that when that happens, it's a good
problem to have (especially for a first event). It means you have to
"verticalize" your event, i.e. create a techie version, a marketing
version, etc. to reduce the number of participants, increase the
relevancy and the participation level. The room seemed to be evenly
split between tech and business.

Praized Media Inc.

On Aug 8, 4:14 pm, "Bryce Johnson" <> wrote:

Deborah Hartmann

Aug 9, 2007, 8:58:02 AM8/9/07
How big was the turnout?

Deborah Hartmann
Agile Process Coach
mobile: 416 996 4337

"Learn the principle, 
abide by the principle, and 
dissolve the principle." 
-- Bruce Lee

Colin Smillie

Aug 9, 2007, 11:32:54 AM8/9/07
I think this is tha balance we'd need to try to maintain.  I agree with Bryce and Krispy that its very hard to create an intimate/interactive environment as the crowd grows.  Balancing this with a need to be open/accessible will be a challenge. 

Colin Smillie

Aug 9, 2007, 11:34:12 AM8/9/07
On 8/9/07, Deborah Hartmann <> wrote:
How big was the turnout?

Best estimate I have is approximately 450 people over the 2 rooms.

Deborah Hartmann

Aug 9, 2007, 12:17:03 PM8/9/07
Open Space has frequently been used to help large groups self-organize their conferences. It's been successfully used with groups of 500, 1000 and even larger. We have one of the best Open Space facilitators in the world in Toronto, in Larry Peterson. He ran a series of 14 Open Space sessions for an Ontario government health agency, with groups of up to 500 at a time.

There's a reason the "unconference" movement is growing wildly - developers are dynamic, smart people who are used to taking the initiative, as we've seen in Toronto. All that's needed is a committment to hospitality, a little structure, and a lot of (open) space! Unconferences DO scale up, but it takes some discipline on the part of organizers, and OpenSpace provides a simple fomula that works, honed by hundreds of facilitators over two decades. It gives the conference back to the crowd! If you are careful to attract a diverse crowd (as at this event) the resulting self-organization will reflect the different topics (business/tech) that people are passionate about.



Aug 9, 2007, 1:11:10 PM8/9/07
Are we neglecting an important trend shift here: Facebook application developers need not be and will not be entirely technical folks. I think that might be true with most of other web 2.0 applications as well.

Idea I want to throw in that we should start thinking about facebook developers audience more than just some Java developers.
Dilawar Syed
Business, Interaction, Technology
Tel: 416-848-1176


Aug 9, 2007, 1:35:27 PM8/9/07
to TorCamp
Darn... I forgot all about it with Family and StartupWeekend stuff
going on...
<sigh> Guess I can't do everything!

- Brill Pappin

Colin Smillie

Aug 9, 2007, 3:11:34 PM8/9/07
Thats another interesting area of feedback.  For some we didn't include enough real code examples, details on development/debugging for different platforms ( specifically Java and RoR ).  I think your right in that "developer" has been a very broad title and its hard to meet everyone's expectations. 


Aug 9, 2007, 4:04:07 PM8/9/07
I had some discusion with folks from marketing, design, and even VC's, they all were looking at developing a good application for facebook. I am of the view that a good (viable) facebook product/application will need contribution from all of these expertise.

If i develop a cool gadget, will people come to buy it. Well its an ancient debate, but we all know examples that can prove either point of view. But if I have to spend my time and money in a facebook application I will consult all developers: people who are experts of market, people who conceptualize it, people who build it, and people who make various partnerships work.

Sometimes I find making a few phone calls or buying some drinks for friends have made my product/app more relevant(viable).

Now thats what I call web 2.0.

Rowan Hick

Aug 9, 2007, 4:37:57 PM8/9/07
Hey everyone, 

I didn't attend (so take this with a grain of salt!) but I actually have a polar opposite view of Dilawar's comment "Facebook application developers need not be and will not be entirely technical folks." 

Having read some extremely interesting articles recently. I understand that sure a dev who's not entirely technical can build a Facebook app in a weekend, that's not the issue. However if they want to take that app and actually leverage FB's user base - ie make something that's intended to be popular - the app needs to be able to scale up, and scale up extremely fast to phenomenal levels (ref this post ) which requires some pretty serious technical skill to achieve. From the post: 

Translation: unless you already have, or are prepared to quickly procure, a 100-500+ server infrastructure and everything associated with it -- networking gear, storage gear, ISP interconnetions, monitoring systems, firewalls, load balancers, provisioning systems, etc. -- and a killer operations team, launching a successful Facebook application may well be a self-defeating proposition.

Granted the key here is whether or not you want to build a popular Facebook app or not.

More food for thought, 


Rowan Hick
skype: rowanthenerd
mb: 416 876 6656


Aug 9, 2007, 5:28:04 PM8/9/07
Rowan, you and I are talking about the same issue, just different angle.
You brought up a very important issue about scaling.

But allow me to make some generalizations: An application that is scalable will not by default mean it will be more successful. And not necessarily it means it will generate more revenue. To build an application that is popular, scalable, profitable we will  need insight from various roles (which i mentioned in my last message).

We were discussing that yesterday there was a mixed audience at the FB Camp. People from both traditional tech skills and soft skills were there. I take it as a sign of changing application development environment/landscape, at least for social networks like FB.
Colin: I think we could divide facebook development into Foundation, and specialization. Foundation will be for all and specialization can cover specifics.
What you think?

Roy Pereira

Aug 10, 2007, 8:20:48 AM8/10/07
to TorCamp
I just wanted to say a big thanks to all of the attendees, volunteers,
and presenters at the 1st FacebookCampToronto.

We never expected it to be such a popular event and have 450 attendees
and major media attention.

The original concept for the event was going to be very intimate and
focus on sharing of information on how to create facebook
applications. We had originally thought about holding it in a large
boardroom for 30 people. This would allow for everyone to ask
questions and then actively work out issues and ideas.

We quickly had to re-arrange our logistics around the event when the
number of attendees hit 50. We chose to move it to No Regrets, as we
were all familiar with that venue and the type of event that we could
have. We were still hopeful of achieving our 'information sharing'
vision, except we would also have a beer. ;-)

But once the attendee list pushed over 200 and we had confirmation
that senior facebook employees would be presenting, we knew that we
needed a much larger venue and that the event would probably need to
be more 'conventional' than we had planned.

Overall, I don't regret how it turned out at all.

A couple of other points:

I think the people at MaRS did a fantastic job at accommodating us on
such a short notice. I sometimes hear some negative remarks about the
entire MaRS program (since you and I fund it), but on Tuesday they
delivered on their mission to foster emerging technology (and science)
in Ontario.

In addition to Amber Mac (CityTV) and Nestor Arelano (
covering the event, CBC covered it on Tuesday morning when Jesse Hirsh
mentioned the event. Also, I was interviewed on live radio at 5:15pm
on Tuesday on Heard and Now. I spent 5 minutes talking about the
popularity of facebook, how Canadian's love facebook, and Toronto's
great tech community, TorCamp.

Rick Innis

Aug 13, 2007, 3:53:29 PM8/13/07

On 10-Aug-07, at 8:20 AM, Roy Pereira wrote:

> I just wanted to say a big thanks to all of the attendees, volunteers,
> and presenters at the 1st FacebookCampToronto.
> We never expected it to be such a popular event and have 450 attendees
> and major media attention.

Indeed, there was even a write-up about it in this Saturday's Star.


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