Review: BarCamp BlogCamp Switzerland

On Saturday I did go on this little outing to Zürich to experience my first BarCamp that the local organizers insisted on calling BlogCamp, and it was not without some mixed feelings. From this perspective, it is perhaps not surprising that I returned home with mixed feelings, and that a look at the echo on the Blogsphere leaves me once more with them feelings still mixed.

First the good news: 0. Meeting Stephanie on the train in Bern made the whole trajectory rather short. Of course we had arranged this through IM ahead of time and texted the necessary confirmations. Communication today is not what it was when my son was born 23 years ago.

1. The organization was well done, all ran smoothly. The way from the Polybahn to the lecture halls of the HG were well marked, and upon arrival I got from Corsin a number to pin somewhere on my clothes like I had not had since I was doing track and field. A simple, no nonsense solution to the problem of tagging the odd 200 bodies at the the meeting or unconference. Congratulations to the organizers. Well done!

1.extra: There were fruits, including bananas, besides croissants (that I can not eat), plenty of juice, water and coffee. I really appreciated that for such an informal meeting it was rather well catered, including the pretty smiles of the people helping out.

2. I met for the first time a few really interesting people and whom I would like to see again or somehow interact over them cables and wifi networks surrounding and connecting us. In no particular order they are Christian (link?), Stefan, Jürg, Henning, Pia, Sarah, Kobi, Peter, Greg and most likely a few whose name I neither wrote down, nor marked somewhere in my list of participants that had been handed out to me at the entrance. I had a fun time listening in and giving my two cents at Gabor‘s session and then later connected to him via Facebook although I did not get a chance to talk with him face-to-face. If I forgot you, drop me an email or comment. I am a bit chaotic, especially when I am working on a few projects at the same time, make that very chaotic.

3. It was great to see and speak, albeit briefly, with some of the same old suspects like Matthias, Leu who did quite a fun flick of those willing to brave being shot by a Nikon D70s, and of course Bruno. Unfortunately I did not get much of a chance to talk to Nicolas Berg although we do know each other from what to me seems to be another lifetime. I went to Stephanie’s session which was quite enlightening. Take home lesson, bilingual bloggers are the bridge builders across language and culture barriers.

4. I was immensely pleased with the lively and insightful discussion in my session of “Why Blogging is not about Blogging” that Stephanie not only brilliantly contributed to, but also live-blogged! How does she do it? I look forward to seeing and listening to the video that Greg recorded, and all my thanks to you Greg for taking the initiative on this one. All my thanks and admiration especially for those who dared to explore what was perhaps not an easy inquiry of what blogging might be about.

Shameless self promotion follows: If you are interested in more of the mysteries of Theoretical Man, the next installment is most likely going to be at reboot 9 in Copenhagen in just a few fast weeks at the end of May.

5. The wifi worked (most of the time).

And now for the things I really did not get… I wonder what is the value of this bit that Kobi and a few others reported on. In my view a bit sophomoric, and the kind of thing that really does not serve any constructive purpose. But it might be just me, I only have second hand information, and this is the kind of action that went by me unnoticed at the event.

Ah, Peter, that thing with “Christoph Blogger” is sort of cute, but it sort of ranks right there with blond jokes, and is forgotten before the morning after arrives. Good try!

Fooled you, did I? Overall, the positive far outweighs the negative in MNSHO.


  1. well, i missed stephanie’s speech, but i read in your blog, that she was talking about bilingual blogging and building brigdes by doing that. i am not bilingual, but i’ll try to explain the benbit-hacking-story in english. because it was really not like you thinking, “the kind of thing that really does not serve any constructive purpos”. benbit’s blog ( is about security lacks on websites. he also writes about other things (he’s blog is quite entertaining), but he has hacked a lot of websites since blogging, so he got always attention from bloggers and also print-media. amongst others, he has hacked the website of the blochers justice and police department and faked a musicstar-voting on the website of the swiss televison (sf). the aim was to show them their security-problems. last saturday, live at blogcamp, benbit hacked the website of tilllate is a network that takes pictures at parties and puts them online. he showed us, how he could get the usernames and passwords of about 200 users. he would have been able to change the user’s password, delete or upload pictures of the users profile, read messages and so on. with doing this, he tried to make aware, that swiss companies do not care about their web-security enough. benbit told us, that the only way the users can make their internetusage safer, is not to use auto-login. if u use auto-login, say with a freemail-service, it sets a cookie and if there is a security-lack on the website, a hacker might be able to use xss-codes to hack your account quite easily.after the „show“, benbit got in contact with the and they are willed to solve the problem. but benbit not just has friends. somehow he even got deleted in the google-index (try yourself: search for „benbit“ in google). so not all the companies he was telling about their security-problems were interested to solve them. and some, also big companies, got mad about him.that is the reason, why benbit appeared covered with sunglasses and baseball-cap. shortly after his speech, a blogger from the audience posted benbits real name in his blog. he could find out his real because benbit was logged-in on the google-frontpage with his e-mail during his presentation. futhermore, the blogger posted benbit’s home-adress. Other bloggers posted then a link to a facepicture of benbit which is deleted by now.anyway, benbit is angry now, because he feels betrayed by members of the blog-community and he decided to leave the blogosphere. he will close his blog soon (but i am sure he will appear again, but then really anonym). the discussion in the german-speaking blogs is now, which side was acting childish in this unnecessary dispute. decide yourself.but more important as this kindergarten-game is, that you have to be aware, that your data is not safe when online. and you can only be safer, when you don’t use auto-login (after you have deleted your login-cookies)! so you can not say anymore that benbits presentation was “the kind of thing that really does not serve any constructive purpos”… 🙂

  2. thanks kobi for stopping by and explaining as a eye witness of the live blogging. i have no problem with hackers, how could i? i am an hack myself! security is an issue and secrecy is another. in my view there are ways to make the point about security without making enemies. when playing a game called “hacking” one has to be well versed in what the rules and ethics of that game are. i think that there is a lesson to be learned for all, the site that got hacked and benbit himself, and for those of us watching behind the sidelines.being logged onto google while hacking is in itself not the wisest move, thus the we say, live by the sword, die by the sword.

  3. It was a pleasure to become acquainted with you in little big city 😉 Off course, you will find “Uncondition” in my blogroll.Jürg

  4. Thanks Jürg! I do wish I had been able to be in your session but I am glad that I got the two sentence version of it directly from you. The rest I will have to read about. I am honoured to have “uncondition” in your blogroll! It does remind me how badly I do need to clean up my own blogroll, bloglines and RSS subscriptions on endo. Arrrghhh… 😉

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