with demise of turntable.fm in 2013, Code4Lib Friday Jams appears to have moved. Cite: https://twitter.com/bot4lib/status/411539434962554882
Budget willing, this year will be my third code4lib, one of my favorite conferences ever. I remember what it was like to be new and wondered if I could write a short piece that would help new people to the community get as much out of the conference as I do.
=== Hop into the #code4lib IRC channel and listen for a while ===
The conference back channel on IRC is the most invaluable tool available to help you quickly get the feel for the conference and the people attending. Most technical people have the attention span of a gnat at times, and the channel helps keep a conversation flowing when the presentations get slow. Be warned that the level of discourse on the channel is very similar to how a group of friends would be talking around a table full of drinks. The topics range from
in jokes about bacon and sad facial hair to esoteric explorations of the RDF expression of specific pieces of metadata. The channel is also very useful for seeing where groups are going for lunch or dinner .
=== Listen 90% of the time / Talk 10% of the time ===
code4lib is jammed with characters who are passionate about some aspect of our profession. Ask a question or two then sit back and bask in the output. Don't worry, you'll have the chance to talk about what you are working on when your companion stops to drink beer.
=== If you don't have a lot to share, at least be funny ===
My dirty little non-secret is that I love code4lib but I'm not a programmer, or even a sysadmin anymore. I'm a manager of these type of folks and I love hearing what's new. I often don't have much to offer in terms of pythons or rubies, but most people can appreciate a sense of humor.
One group that gets beat up on a lot is vendors. There's a healthy debate that comes and goes in the channel about whether it's good to have a place to vent, or if making vendors the butt of jokes limits their interaction in the community. One of the great strengths of the channel is that the norms are constantly in flux and openly discussed and debated.
Don't be too sensitive === Of course, political correctness can sway too far to the conservative, and what fun is that? Don't always assume that the jibe you took in the channel is meant personally. It is usually safest to always give the speaker the benefit of the doubt . So many non-verbal cues are missing in this medium, it is just a virtual conversation after all. === Be willing to laugh at yourself ===
=== Don't be intimidated by what looks like the "in crowd" ===
=== Take a sip from the firehose ===
Code4lib has a [http://code4lib.org blog] to stuff in your feed reader. But if you want to see what's going on in code4lib check out the [http://planet.code4lib.org planet] aggregator of blogs from code4lib folks. If you have a blog and want it listed there ask jrochkind in [irc://freenode.net/code4lib irc]. You can also follow [http://twitter.com/code4lib code4lib on twitter], or consider following code4lib twitter users via code4lib lists from [http://twitter.com/eby/lists/code4lib eby] or [http://twitter.com/mjgiarlo/lists/code4lib mjgiarlo].
And well there is a [http://www.linkedin.com/groups?gid=134499 LinkedIn] group you can join.