SA Geek Camp 2017 Post-Camp Report

Geek Camp’s Purpose

“To carry the message to the still suffering lust addict by the appropriate use of information technology.”

Introduction

Geek Camp brought over 650 members of SA from around the world for an online video and audio convention. It was held over twenty-four hours on 23rd & 24th of August 2017 beginning at 09:00 UTC. This pioneering event enabled SA members to share their experience strength and hope, without borders, in a series of panel talks, shares and workshops. Most members connected to the Camp as individuals, but others came together in physical groups to participate. In cities such as Durban (South Africa), Limerick (Ireland) and Bournemouth (UK), members created “nodes” where they met in small groups to tune into the event together.

Brief History

SA members began planning for Geek Camp in February 2017. EMER adopted the project later the same month. Initially we planned for an IT-centric event but soon modified it to appeal to a more general audience. Channel A was based on the SA Service structure and this proved to be a breakthrough. Twenty-four one hour Panels of 2-5 speakers ran consecutively on Channel A. All SA Regions except one were represented, plus other parts of the service structure.

Channel B included general and technical topics. The Channel featured workshops, fellowship and entertainment all in the same Jitsi room. It soon became apparent that the practical capacity of the room was about 25 people, which was obviously inadequate considering the numbers wishing to participate. However most of the workshops completed as planned and the audiences enjoyed by their experience.

A technical support Channel, added as a last minute thought, proved to be an important factor in the success of the Camp. It was the place to go for anyone experiencing frustration, technical or otherwise. It provided both on-the-spot troubleshooting, technology coaching and emotional support for speakers and viewers alike. Over 100 participants responded favorably to the post Camp survey. See the Geek Camp Full Report here.

Acknowledgements

More than 90 members assisted with preparations for the Camp. They publicized the event, shared in task-specific WhatsApp groups or acted as extras at online rehearsals. Four members need special recognition: Daniel T. (Rehearsals and technical support); Laurens A. (Speaker recruitment); Marsha D. (Publicity and website); Tzvi S. (Technical coordination of the whole Camp)

Statistics

  • 651 Registered for the Camp: 584 (English Database) + 67 (Persian Database)
  • There were 952 Unique page views of the Camp stream page
  • 533 Unique users of the Camp stream page (24 hrs of Channel A and 14.5 hrs of Channel B) from 11 Regions
  • 83 Panel Speakers on 24 Panels
  • 21 Workshop Leaders for 14 Workshops
  • 9 Channel Coordinators; 3 Tech Support personnel; 1 Camp Coordinator
  • The cost for Geek Camp was 0!
  • Participants were noted from: Singapore, Taiwan, Switzerland, Australia, U.K., Ireland, Germany, Russia, South Africa, Mexico, Poland, Netherlands, Spain, Slovakia, Greece, Israel, France, Canada, Columbia, Venezuela, Iran, and United States.

Some of the Key Lessons Learned (see Full Report for more)

The Camp succeeded in its mission and was extremely popular and an exceptional value for money. The technology worked well, though mid-camp enhancements were necessary. A powerful sense of worldwide fellowship can be achieved online. There is significant demand for more events of this kind. Many volunteered to help prepare the Camp but only a handful stayed the course. Good access to the SA service structure was key for speaker recruitment. General interest topics are more popular than technology topics. Initial reservations about anonymity were addressed and this proved helpful. It provided loners the ability to listen live to speakers with long-term sobriety.

We hope that Geek Camp can be renamed and placed in the service structure of SA. This could become a regular event. International conventions could utilize this technology to expand the streaming capabilities to make them more accessible to more addicts. Finally, this technology could be used for the General Delegate Assemblies, the Board of Trustee meetings, and for the SA International Committee to encourage interest and participation for world-wide service work.

Respectfully submitted,

Nicholas S., UK

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