Dennerlein Sebastian, Gutounig Robert, Kraker Peter, Kaiser René, Rauter Romana , Ausserhofer Julian
Assessing Barcamps: Incentives for Participation in Ad-hoc Conferences and the Role of Social Media
Proceedings of the 13th International Conference on Knowledge Management and Knowledge Technologies, ACM, 2013
Barcamps are informal conferences whose content is not de-fined in advance, often referred to as ad-hoc conferences orun-conferences. Therefore, the outcomes of a barcamp arelargely unknown before the event. This raises the question ofthe participants’ motivations to attend and contribute. Toanswer this question, we conducted an exploratory empiricalstudy at Barcamp Graz 2012. We applied a mixed-methodapproach: first we used a socio-demographic questionnaire(n=99) which allowed us to characterize the ’typical barcamper’.Second, we conducted qualitative interviews (n=10) toget a deeper understanding of the participants’ motivationsto attend, expectations, and the use of social media in thatcontext. We identified three concepts, which could be deductedfrom the interviews: people, format and topics. Wefound that the motivation to attend and even a commonidentity is quite strongly based on these three factors. Furthermore,the results indicate that participants share a set ofactivities and methods by following the barcamp’s inherentrules and make extensive use of social media.