If you read this blog, you are probably familiar with the concept of the ReBarCamp - an "unconference" where the participants set the agenda after they arrive. The concept was borrowed from the IT industry, and has taken hold in the Internet space referred to as the RE.net. Recently we held on in Philadelphia, last Friday saw one in Boston, and today is ReBarCamp Chicago.
ReBarCamp Chicago is an important event for a number of reasons. The first and most obvious is that I will be there (otherwise I might not be writing about it). But seriously, the venue itself is pretty impressive. The event is being held at the Chicago offices of the National Association of REALTORS (though they are not the creators of the event, and the volunteer event is not a function of the association). For an organization of the stature of NAR to host such an event says volumes about the organization's willingness to embrace change and technology while supporting the efforts of its members to spread knowledge in this peer based type of event.
Perhaps I am so impressed by NAR's willingness to provide the venue for this event because they have so often been the target of criticism in the Re.net, often without justification on the part of their critics. Even with that history, the association has shown themselves to be more than willing to reach out, communicate, and try to involve their members in all levels of their operation. I am sometimes accused of being overly supportive of NAR, but I really can;t help it. They give me so many reasons to support them.
Anyway, if you are near the association offices on Michigan Avenue today, i hope that you'll try to stop in and participate in the ReBarCamp. It looks like there will be quite a group of Web 2.0 and social media participants here for this centrally located event. At last check, Teresa Boardman from St Paul Minnesota, Ginger Wilcox, Mike Simonsen, and Andy Kaufman from the San Francisco area, Sarah Cooper from West Virginia (of Real Estate Shows fame) and my friend Kim Wood, from Chester County Pennsylvania. In addition, you have some home grown Chicago celebs like Todd Carpenter (NAR's Social Media Marketing Director), as well as Rich Rogala and Matt Dollinger, performance coaches at @Properties in Chicago. And of course there will be lots of new friends there that I haven't even met yet. I hope you'll be one of them.