Community IT 'barcamp' in Sunderland

bringing together community groups, technologists and strategists

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2009 CommunITy Barcamp

Posted by grahamjordan on November 26, 2009

Following the success of the Community IT Barcamp 2008, a FREE Community IT ‘Surgery’ is being organised to bring together community groups, technologists and policy makers to discuss practical issues around digital inclusion and IT in the Community.

 We’ll be organising a series of ‘surgery’ tables where you can discuss

  •  Future direction of technology
  • Community websites
  • Social media for communities
  • The market for community ICT
  • Digital inclusion in the North East?
  • Digital policy and strategy in the North East
  • How to promote digital inclusion
  • Best practice
  • Funding issues
  • User privacy and consents
  • The time to launch a new product

 What will you gain from attending?


  • Links to new markets in the community
  • Practical ICT help
  • The chance to influence digital policy
  • Valuable advice from experts
  • Insight into user’s experience of technology in the community
  • New contacts


Who else will be there?


  • ‘Digital’ policy makers
  • Community groups / reps
  • People working on digital inclusion projects
  • Developers of new technologies and services
  • Intermediaries that support users with technology in the community
  • IT experts
  • Organisations planning digital inclusion initiatives
  • Delegates to the IT in the Community conference (automatically registered)


There is no charge to host a table and attendance is free, free food and refreshments will also be served.  The event will be followed on the 1st and 2nd December by the IT in the Community event which will be held at the Stadium of Light and will also be free to attend. For more information visit

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2009 arrangements

Posted by grahamjordan on September 2, 2009

Arrangements are being developed to hold another community IT event where community groups, suppliers, community technicians, engagement officers and strategists can get together to discuss and work to resolving some of the issues around use of technology in community groups, community engagement and activism.

A free event is likely to be held alongside the IT in the Community conference at the Stadium of Light in Sunderland on Tuesday 1st December 2009.  You won’t need to be attending the conference to come along.

Perhaps you’re a supplier of IT services to the community, a community group representative, or a community engagement officer.  Maybe you attended last year’s Community IT Barcamp that we held.

  • What format and content would appeal?
  • What would you like to see discussed?
  • How would you like to see that shape up?

We’d like your ideas and views.

One of our ideas is that we organise a sort of ‘drop in surgery’ where you can come along and join discussions with experts on topics such as:

  • making community websites
  • social media
  • community engagement using IT
  • advertising and promotion
  • digital strategy in the regions

Would you fancy leading one of these discussions?

We’ve opened up the comments section below and would love to hear from you.

Posted in 2009 | 2 Comments »

Goalie’s view

Posted by grahamjordan on November 27, 2008

no need for any yellow or red cards

no need for any yellow or red cards

Ok, I have to admit to being a bit nervous about this first Sunderland Community Barcamp.

We’d not spent months organising it, and we knew we were venturing into the unknown, ‘boldly going’ as one of the speakers at IT in the Community suggested.

The format was BarCamp-ish, and I think we held true to the BarCamp spirit.

So how did it turn out?

Well, if you weren’t there you missed out on:

  • a great curry
  • loads of opportunity to network
  • great chat about community websites, sustaining an aging population, web 2.0 and all that stuff and clever telephones that can help keep you safe

and I almost forgot

  • everyone that came along got a t-shirt (haven’t spotted any on ebay yet but these will be collectors items).
happy campers

happy campers

Around 40 people attended from all sorts of backgrounds – some local, some had travelled a long way, some community reps, techies, digital mentors, digital challenge team and some involved in skills training.

I didn’t see anyone with a long face, but perhaps I missed something….We would like your comments though so please feel free to tell us what you thought.  It’ll help us in organising the next Sunderland Community Barcamp.

Thanks to those who came along, and those who couldn’t make it but sent their wishes and helped promote the event.  And special thanks to everyone that ‘made it so’.



Posted in 2008 | Tagged: | 2 Comments »

barcamp background

Posted by grahamjordan on November 27, 2008

from the first Sunderland Community BarCamp – for the acrhives

· Relaxed, social setting

· ‘Speed dating meets networking’

· You set the agenda, and talk with others sharing your interest

· Not just for community activists or the IT crowd

· Meet delegates from IT in the Community

· No charge for attending

Please register your interest and intention to come along

A BarCamp is an ad-hoc ‘unconference’ born from the desire for people to share and learn in an open environment. It is an intense event with discussions, demos and interaction from attendees.

Who else is coming?

· Community representatives

· Community co-ordinators

· Digital mentors

· Skills trainers

· Delegates and speakers from the IT in the Community conference

· Technology providers

What to expect

· Please sign in and collect a nametag. After a welcome and housekeeping announcement the event is yours.

· We need you to tell us what you’d like to talk about or hear about, and we’ll use that to make up a list of ‘huddles’ in different sections of the Sports Bar that you can join if you’re interested in that topic.

· Please follow this link and ‘Leave a Reply’ to tell us what you’d like to talk about or hear about. The topics that have been suggested so far can be seen at the Sunderland Community Barcamp blog.

· If we have too many topics we’ll ask you which ones you want to prioritise. If we have enough topics we’ll ask you to ‘change ends’ at half time and join a second ‘huddle’.

· We’ll have wifi available, flipcharts and notepads for your ideas.

· There’ll be something to eat (no charge). When you arrive at the Sports Bar we’ll give you a drink voucher. The bar will remain open during the bar camp.

· There will be people at the event taking photos / video and blogging about what’s been said.

Rules of barcamp

· Anyone with something to contribute or with the desire to learn is welcome and invited to join.

· So we know how many people are coming, please register your interest and intention to come along.

· Please tell people about the barcamp; tell your friends and colleagues (maybe they want to register themselves); write about it on your blog; post photos on Flickr; please use the tag [DigitalSunderland]

· Please take away what you learn and tell others about it.

· Come early, but not too early – Showing up at the announced starting time will be fine. Show up later, and you’ll miss some social activity and possibly your drink voucher!

· If you give a presentation or demo, please publish a link to any slides at the Sunderland Community Barcamp blog for the benefit of all and those who can’t be present.

· It would be great if you could help us clear up after the event. This should be just helping to throw away any rubbish and taking down signs, but all the help is appreciated.

· By registering for barcamp, you’re giving permission for your photo/video to be taken (and anything you say) to be published by others at the event. Sunderland Digital Challenge may wish to use any video/photos and soundbites for their promotional purposes.

· Please dress casually.

Posted in 2008 | Tagged: | Leave a Comment »

Photos now uploaded

Posted by grahamjordan on November 27, 2008

see the flickr widget on the right hand side. >> >> >>

Posted in 2008 | Tagged: | Leave a Comment »

‘Community Barcamp’~ real life social networking

Posted by grahamjordan on November 3, 2008

wordle of sunderland digital challenge bid image of digital challenge bid

Sunderland Community Barcamp

Sports Bar, Stadium of Light, Sunderland SR5 1SU

6-8pm Monday 24th November 2008

A BarCamp ‘first’ in the north east, bringing together people that use services in the community with the people that build and provide them to talk about how technology can improve everyone’s life.

· This is a first for us so we need your feedback. If you liked the event, the format, or especially if you didn’t like it, please let us know, either at the event, or at this link by clicking ‘Leave a Reply’.

Part of the IT in the Community Conference

Posted in 2008 | Tagged: | 10 Comments »