SocialDevCamp: 5 Awesome Things and 5 Things You May Have Missed

By August 29, 2011

(Disclosure: was a media partner of SocialDevCamp) I had every intention of writing a full guide on the two-and-a-half day goodness of SocialDevCamp this past weekend. I felt, however, that those who wanted to be there were, and those who didn’t wouldn’t be interested enough to read the article. So for those who wanted to go but didn’t or couldn’t, here are 5 awesome things going on that you should know about:

  1. Chicago transportation apps. Chicago’s DoT Commissioner Gabe Klein and Illinois DoT CIO Mark Kincade announced 12 (narrowed from 30 by panelists from Apps 4 Metro Chicago) slick transportation apps in various stages of startup and development. I won’t list all of the apps here, but I highly recommend checking out the full list at the A4MC website.
  2. The Awesome Foundation. It wouldn’t be an “awesome things” list without listing The Awesome Foundation, right? Christina Xu had to Skype in due to Hurricane Irene changing her plans, but she went on to explain how her group consists of 10 donors each donating $100 to give a total of $1000 to submitted ideas that they felt were smart, viable, monetizable, and well…awesome. More information on Christina and her group can be found on The Awesome Foundation’s website.
  3. Joshua Karp fails. Luckily for us, he also knows how to succeed. He also is very good at explaining why he failed to help us not fail. Key takeaway: While it’s true that failing can be a result of trying, so is succeeding.
  4. More social good than ever before. As apps get more social and we all get more connected, what could be more awesome than to see it being used for good? Using social tools to help disaster relief victims and the right ways to crowdsource fundraising was the topic of conversation on a panel made up of John Roa, Nico Preston Ph.D., and Desiree Vargas Wrigley.
  5. Julien Smith’s animated presentation. Most social media-types geek out a bit at the man who wrote the book (ok, co-wrote the book) on trust and influence. Julien’s whip-smart dialogue on transparency in business and pushing through fear, coupled with a funky (and at times bewildering) presentation, made for an enjoyable keynote on the first day.

Now for a quick 5 things that those of you who attended may have missed or overlooked:

  1. A beautiful, well-organized campus. DePaul University’s StudentCenter is a very convenient venue, provided plenty of space and Wi-Fi, and overall has a very modern feel. Where were these cool campuses when I was looking at colleges?
  2. Jeff Cohen’s Ruby on Rails demo. Jeff did a great demo and explanation for the non-developers in the room. As someone who has feels like they’ve already seen it all in web server technology, I had to admit that I may give RoR a fair shot, mostly thanks to Jeff.
  3. Sponsor tables. There was great swag to be had, and great info coming from many of the sponsors including Platinum sponsors BlackBerry, Dice, X.Commerce, and Geneca.
  4. The X.Commerce bus. The large, media-filled tour bus of app developer network X.Commerce in front of the campus was a slick marketing tool.
  5. The after-party. and The Nerdery sponsored the free-app-open-bar event at nearby State Restaurant & Cafe. Networking and mingling happened, everyone seemed to have a great time, and the food was terrific.

So there you have it. Thank you to all of the speakers, sponsors, founders Tim Courtney and Andy Angelos, and all of the volunteers who helped make SocialDevCamp possible. I know there were tons of things going on that I missed that were great, so go ahead and let the readers know in the comments!