Next Event: January 2012

FORMAT

It’s not „just a bunch of programming freaks and hyper trendy designers“ sitting together in a room, listening to a talk. It’s not just an after-work gathering, where you end up talking to the same old people (because you don’t know why or how to approach the guy standing right next to you). It’s (and we’re still amazed, that this actually works out) a place, where designers, coders, researchers, architects, journalists, media consultants,… connect in an informal setting, exchanging tips and poins-of view.

TALK 

We alway kick things off with a talk. We invite people from fields as diverse as linked data, architecture or journalism to present their work. Usually, our speakers show a selection of their projects. We higly encourage them to share more than just the fancy results of their labour: painful lessons learned during a project (take-aways for people working in the same field) and anecdotes of their professional life (stories everybody can relate to).

We plan in 20mins for the talk and 10mins for questions. We try to keep it short but intense… since we don’t want anybody to think „Oh my, now I’m stuck in yet another endless meeting!“. There’s plenty of occasion to get involved with the speaker and the audience during the pause, half-baked session and later at the pub.

HALF-BAKED SESSION

The idea to present vague ideas or half-finished projects to strangers, might seem a bit awkward at first. But this proves to be an excellent ice-breaker.

Last time Rachel was one in 5 to pitch her project in a few sentences. She was looking for some help visualizing data of her PhD-project and brought along a few sketches. Her feedback: „The spontaneous half-baked session was great. I was amazed that people actually approached me to talk about my project… And even more amazed that Timo grabbed my laptop and started java scripting and downloading plugins and code. I came away with a much clearer idea of how to proceed and now know a few people who I can contact for help with the project… So for me it was fab!„.

How does it work? Signal your interest in the registration form / drop us a line. (Subjects can range from: „I’ve got this dataset and don’t know how to put it into shape“, „I’m building this application and wonder how to…“, „I fiddled around with scraper wiki and have a few questions.“). We’ll give you a quick brief, if needed.

Ideally, we’ll find 4 people to present their cases.

Too shy?! You’re not the only one. Kate put it like this:“Once the session actually started I quickly realized, that there was no need to be nervous. I think, this was in part because Christian’s talk was so high-level, and so of course the people who were commenting on it and such were also engaging at this very high level, that I didn’t really get a sense of the diversity of interests/backgrounds in the room – during the talk, the only people I heard speak were addressing such advanced stuff, my feeling was, there’s no way I can even show my stupid little project!“

WHAT NOT TO EXPECT

Newcomers to the field are heartily welcome! But shouldn’t expect an introduction to visualization. If you’re simply intrigued and wanna get an introduction to dataviz: The documentary Journalism in the Age of Data and the blog infosthetics are very good starting points. If you’re looking for tutorials, you’ll find a short list here. If you want to improve your technical skills: check out the processing for beginners workshop scheduled at the PUBLIC SCHOOL BERLIN, the bi-monthly processing berlin meet-up organized by informative or the Python-Training organized by Lorenz Matzat  and Will Hardy.

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