• Unsession Proposal: Epic brain dump!, or, THATCampception

    I got this idea talking to a guy about a New Year’s Eve party he was at with a martial arts club. They did a thing where everyone taught one quick lesson about something. Sounded very THATCampy to me, so I’d like to suggest giving it a whirl here.

    So, maybe one session where everyone there aims to teach, in five to ten minutes, something about DH, kinda like Dork Shorts, but less about projects and more about knowledge and skills-sharing (depending on how many people show up, might have to enforce a time limit!). So, you might teach the group about a particular tool you like (any Prof- or Grad Hackers here?), or about some general knowledge or technique you use — a habit for managing RSS or Twitter feeds. Or maybe a quick lesson about some detailed technology (what is Object Oriented programming? or what does a MySQL database look like and do, anyway?). I think it could be a fun way for people to share something that they’ve learned recently and present it to others — always a good way to reinforce newly acquired knowledge!

    We’d have to be versatile in the session depending on how many people (if any!) are interested, and we could riff along based on what people want to hear more about, depending on time. In that way, I guess it’d be a kind of THATCamp within a THATCamp. I imagine very short lessons that would span a lot of knowledge and interest–very quickly presented–that would be a nice brain-dump and exposure of who’s interested in what kinds of things, and who has skills that other people are looking to learn more about.

    Whaddya think?


  1. George Brett says:

    Patrick, I like that idea a lot, but dose it need to be “recent” learning? Some folks have useful habits that others might want to adopt or adapt. Like the “Getting Things Done” meme has generated may physical and many software tools to meet personal work styles.

    For example when I talked about mind mapping at one CAMP the conversation ranged from computer software, to paper notebooks, to those large easel pads of paper for capturing mind maps for planning or brain storming. Multiple modalities with similar out comes.

    Thanks and #HNY

    — George

  2. Definitely doesn’t have to be recent! That just struck me as one particularly useful way to play. The idea is just any quick knowledge-sharing that anyone wants to do. I’m thinking I’d do a 5 minute “This is RDF triples”, which is certainly not new to me, for example.

    Come to think of it, it might be useful to treat the idea as a swap meet. Maybe a two-column list of what people could give a 5 minute lesson about, and what people _want_ a 5 minute lesson about?

  3. Or like a “here are tools that I use every day” thing. Half the time, Patrick, you’re right — all I need is the name of something and what it does, and then if I’m interested I can go check it out myself.

  4. Alex Galarza says:

    This is a fantastic idea, I could think of a few of things I would like to share. We don’t have a Zotero workshop, so I could cover a 5 minute intro on how to use it in the archive or for courses…

  5. George Brett says:

    How about a 4 column document (online or hardcopy)
    Col 1: Name of Tool / Resource
    Col 2: URL for Tool / Resource
    Col 3: Purpose / Function of Tool / Resource
    Col 4: Name & optional email of person submitting Tool / Resource

  6. Organizing and working with personal digital library: Mac/Pc>Zotero>SugarSync>iPad>GoodReader>SugarSync>Mac/PC

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