Tag Archives: barcampla

Gone BarCampin’

A positive attitude causes a chain reaction of positive thoughts, events and outcomes. It is a catalyst… a spark that creates extraordinary results.
— Desktop calendar

Last weekend I dropped by BarCampLA 8, held at Mt. Washington Elementary, in northeast LA county.
BarCampLA signage

The road leading to the elementary school was treacherous to say the least. The neighborhood I passed through had many windy roads twisting and intertwining up a mountain. Most streets were only wide enough for one-way traffic, though it flowed in both directions. There were a couple of points where it turned into a game of chicken around blind curves. I made it there safely and eventually made my way over to the session wall in the cafeteria. This is where participants posted their topics for their talks.  Look at the variety.

Saturday sessions

I sat in on a Kids Ruby talk which was really interesting.  My computer wouldn’t load the software correctly for me to fully join in the coding exercises, but I watched the demo on the projector screen and absorbed enough info that way. After a bi bim bap burrito lunch from the yummy one food truck, I caught up with some friends and then attended a talk all about whiskey, in which I learned more than I ever thought I’d learn about whiskey without actually drinking it. Thanks, Bino G!

Next, I ran a session at 3pm and had a great group of attendees, all of whom contributed ideas and tips of their own.

Here’s a brief summary of my talk, called “5 Great Ways to Get Fit with Technology”

Hello, my name is Madeline and I’m more of a learning geek than fitness expert, but I’ve found some fun and effective ways to stay active in day-to-day life. And I enjoy encouraging others of all fitness abilities to do the same. I’m going to give you five great ways to get fit using technology. But first, let’s define what a good fitness goal is using the S.M.A.R.T. method. Once a S.M.A.R.T. goal is set then we can find ways that technology can help. Polled audience to find out whether they prefer to exercise in groups or alone. Most preferred group exercise.

1) Utilize metric devices. Solo exercisers can use a variety of tools (smartphones, wearable computers) and find training plans available on the web. Group exercisers can also use the web for training plans which they can print and also utilize each other for activities like pacing, being running buddies, and stretching partners.

2) Join online communities. Both exercise prefs can join online communities such as the active.com network to find out about events happening locally in just about any sport and train for ones of interest.

3) Attend group meet-ups. Meeting others who are interested in your method of fitness may keep you going a lot longer and stronger than doing it alone. Go to your favorite sporting goods store to find e-mail signup sheets or check their websites for local events or master classes. You can also find these by searching your favorite social networks by keyword. Good way to try out a new activity in a generally non-judgmental environment.

4) Try mobile and web apps. There are lots of free and inexpensive apps available for your smart phone or on the web. Here are a few that my friends use to post their results to Facebook:
dailymile – track workouts in multiple sports.
RunKeeper – makes tracking your workouts fun, social, and easy to understand so that you can improve the quality of your fitness.
Nike+ gps– Map your runs, track your progress and get the motivation you need to go even further. Hear mid-run cheers every time your friends like or comment on your run status, or outrun them in a game of Nike+ Tag. ($1.99)
SparkPeople – A diet and weight-loss online community.
IronApp – The first app for iron athletes (via facebook).
CardioTrainer – CardioTrainer is a free application for Android smartphones that lets you track and record all of your fitness activity.

5) Join a fitness group. Make consistent progress and new friends. These may be found on various social networks searchable by keyword or by asking around.

Wrap up and discussion
Advantages (creates accountability, automatic record of progress, instant stats) and disadvantages (over reliance on gadgets, inaccuracies, metric site outages) of using technology.

I exchanged info with a few people afterward and received this message in my inbox the next day: “Loved your talk at BarCamp… I’m only just starting exercise after being inspired by you.”

Sweet! I love that my fellow attendees and I helped make the event worth the price of admission and inspired life changes as a result. As an added bonus, I snagged a nice BCLA8 tee… Getting that tee might possibly be a big draw for you to attend the next BarCamp (if you’re like me), and that’s okay! Whatever gets you there to participate. 😛

Green deals for Earth Day (hooray) + Webby Awards & BarCampLA!

The month of April has been filled with Spring cleaning, organizing, recycling, and driving around in my SUV. Yes, you read that right. To help offset the last thing, I’ve taken a more active role in taking care of the planet by volunteering, helping people connect with others, and sharing some deals for Earth Day/Week/Month.

Earth Month Festivities

I took the opportunity to volunteer at the SEA lab‘s Earth Month event and Redondo Beach pier cleanup. We drew arrows and wrote encouraging directional verbiage on the sidewalks leading to the pier. This is where the 2011 Earth Month Chalk Art Challenge was held. I didn’t create this one, but thought it was too cute to not share.
Just Keep Swimming

Anyone was welcome have some chalk and draw on one of over 100 cement squares, to be voted on later in the day.

Chalk art A clear frontrunner by mid-morning: Beautiful chalk art by Penny

I didn’t stay in that area long enough to find out the winner, but lots of fun was had by all who participated. View 5 more photos on my Flickr.

Here are some Earth Day deals from Yahoo! including free admission to any national park through Sunday and free coffee or tea at Starbucks when you bring in a reusable mug. I’ve already entered the Target Refresh Your Nest sweepstakes listed on that page. If you enter too, let me know if you win something cool.

2011 Webby Awards voting is now open. This is a great way to find out about some top sites and apps you may not have been aware existed. I’ll list my top picks next week when I’ve finished voting.

LA Local Goodies
Have you registered for BarCampLA 8 yet? Here’s the BCLA event page on Facebook. This is the first one in a couple years, so if you have never been now is the time to go. I can only attend for one of the days, but I am looking forward to seeing my fellow tech geeks. If you don’t know what a BarCamp is you should check out the BarCampLA blog.

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