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Pre-GnomeDex BBQ Retrospective

I few months ago, I had a bar-b-cue at my house and invited the Internet to come over. It was the afternoon before GnomeDex and I wasn’t sure what I was getting into. I didn’t write about it much then, but the results were incredible and I hope others will do similar events.

It all stated with the guys at Bryght, who planned to come over that afternoon. I offered a BBQ and someone mentioned that I should have something for other folks coming into town. I accepted the offer and, on a whim, put an invitation on my blog, open to everyone. It was called “Pre-GnomeDex BBQ- You’re Invited�?. Word quickly spread to the GnomeDex wiki.

One the first times I felt a hint of panic was this comment from Carrick:
“You just invited the whole Interweb to your house for free beer? You are a brave man.�?

My response was:
“Yeah that's pretty much what it looks like Carrick, we'll see how this goes. :) If nothing else, it will be interesting."

As it turned out, I couldn’t have asked for a better group of people. For people who know Open Space Technology, this was great example of the first principle: Whoever comes are the right people. I was impressed and excited by the folks that came. Here’s a somewhat complete list:

(I’m sorry if I missed others here)

Despite all the things that could have happened, the best things did. We had enough beer and food. The caliber of folks was high and I think we had a good time. I would surely do it again, if I was going to be around for GnomeDex 2006 that is. Not that this was anything like Bar Camp, but I think there is something about planning for spontaneity that makes things like this work.

Here are some photos, more can be found here:

Andy Face and the Crowd
Andy Smith Freaks Out

Boris Mann, Grill Master
Burger Mann

Chris Pirillo and Marc Pincus
Chris and Mark

PhotoMatt
Matt Mullenweg

Zinga (Mark Pincus’ Dog)
Zinga

Dan Gillmor with Nick Dylan and Kris
People with cameras like to talk to dan

I really appreicate everyone coming, helping out and being well-behaved. ;-) A BIG thanks for Boris Mann for manning the grill. I hope we can do it again sometime.