From treatises on “Sandwich Making” to panels on “Lock Picking,” BarCampLA is not your traditional snore-inducing tech conference. It's the ultimate “un-conference,” where all attendees are encouraged to contribute in some way, either by making a presentation, giving a demo, running a session or helping out with one (just post your topic on the handy white boards provided!). A spin-off of Web 2.0 guru Tim O'Reilly's FooCamp, the name “BarCamp” has its etymology in the hacker term “foobar,” which represents an unknown value. Taking off on this concept, co-organizer of Chris Darbro emphasizes that BarCampLA is a place where “[you can] make it what you want, share what you want, learn what you want,” a sort of à la carte user-generated conference. Founded in Palo Alto in 2005, and now held in hundreds of cities and countries, BarCamps are not just for hardcore techies. With attendees coming in from as far away as Africa, South America and New York, Darbro asserts, “You don't really need to be a tech person to get something out of it.” That “something” includes free drinks, snacks, and T-shirts for those bold enough to contribute and learn. Note: All presenters are responsible for making sure that notes/slides/audio/video of their presentations are published online for the benefit of all who attend, and those who can't be present.

Sat., May 2, 10 a.m.-5 p.m.; Sun., May 3, 10 a.m.-5 p.m., 2009

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