StixCampNewstead – Paul Fenwick on ‘Hacking other peoples’ brains’

Paul Fenwick, a consummate and hilarious presenter at past BarCampMelbourne events, lived up to his reputation and had the audience in stitches with his talk on ‘Hacking other peoples’ brains’. The entire premise of his talk is that as geeks, we need to translate inter human communications to some form of protocol – like TCP for Humanz 🙂

Using The Sims as an example, he explained how to get better outcomes when communicating with people, we need to understand how they think and feel – what their ‘status bars’ are and how people are motiviated. As Paul explains – happy people are more likely to give us what we want. This is why people are more likely to say ‘yes’ when you buy then a coffee or bring them chocolate 🙂 A lot of the content in Paul’s presentation boils down to common sense – such as trying to create a win-win situation – if you are helping people fulfill their goals and desires, then they are more likely to assist you in return.

A key point of the presentation was that people are more willing to help if they are made to feel that what they’re doing – and hence themselves – are important and valued – which is why recognition should never be overlooked. If this means telling their manager’s manager about what a great job they’ve done – then do it!

Paul recommended HiveMinder.com as a great tool for collaborative to do lists.

StixCampNewstead – the journey begins

Along with Ben Balbo, Dave Hall (aka ‘skwashd’), Donna Benjamin (aka ‘KatteKrab’) and Joshua May (aka ‘notjosh’) I’ve been helping to organise a BarCamp in central Victoria, known as StixCamp. The location for this year’s StixCamp is Welshman’s Reef Vineyard, near Newstead. After swapping cars with my sister, who has a large station wagon that drives smoothly up treacherous hills and handles curves better than my buzzbox, I was off to pick up my passenger, Jackson. All was rosy. Half way to Waurn Ponds and stuck at traffic lights, a stranger came up to me in traffic to let me know that my tyre was flat! Grr! Well, Jackson was very adept at changing tyres and earnt his ride 🙂 . Soon we were on the road again.

I choose to go through Ballan, Daylesford, Hepburn Springs then Newstead to Welshmans Reef because if anything else went wrong with the car at least it would be in a populated area. These towns are simply beautiful – the scenary is amazing. One shudders to think how close they all came to being destroyed in the recent Black Saturday bushfires.

Finally, we arrived at Welshmans Reef Vineyard where I met the lovely Julia and Ron (Jackson’s parents). The vineyard building itself is pretty amazing – hand built by Ron from mudbrick and timber, with a cellar cut into the ground that has a drive in entrance on the opposite side of the building.

Dave had pitched a tent for me so that I wouldn’t have to pitch one in the dark (thanks Dave) and needless to say I slept like a baby.

Note to self: next time zip up the flyscreen on the tent to stop mozzies biting you.

StixCampNewstead is go for 14th-15th March – call for sponsors

You’ve probably heard of the BarCamp phenomenom which brings together technically minded folks in a forum to share, innovate, learn and collaborate. Victoria has now had two BarCamps, both organised by Ben Balbo. The first, in rural Victoria was held in 2007 with a very successful city based event in 2008.

This year, a rural based BarCamp event, StixCamp, will be hosted in Newstead, central Victoria.

We’re now putting out the call for sponsors – whether it be $$$, products for prizes, in kind sponsorship such as catering or anything else you can think of. So if you or a business you know of is keen about technology and wants to assist in growing and nurturing the bright young sparks of Victoria, then please get in contact. In return, we can offer the following;

Sponsors will have their logo on the http://vic.au.stixcamp.org/ website and the http://barcampmelbourne.org/ web site, linked to a URL of their choosing. These logos will be on the main page until the nextBarCampMelbourne or Victorian StixCamp are announced, at which time they will be available in archives within those two sites.

Sponsors will also receive verbal thanks and recognition during the opening and closing speeches, and in any communication with reporters. Press releases will also name all confirmed sponsors at the time of release.