wanna be nerd crashes at the CampusParty

aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaawesome. Julia sent me the link to the Campus Party 2011. Not being aware at all what that was. First I thought about a wild party of course. Then I saw pictures of thousands of students lining up for registration (at this moment I was pissed again not to able to speak the language since the homepage was just in Portuguese) – I wrote the organizing team a short email. They had access to thousands of students. Students are more than willing to learn languages!!!! Since I could not hook up with an organization or with a company I changed my strategy to find communities with members that had the wish to communicate globally.

Shortly after that I received a very friendly email from Carolina explaining what Campus Party really was. Realizing that CP was a huge event for geeks and nerds sitting in front of the computer all the time in the need to speak, work and play in English. What could they be interested in? I was at the right time at the right time. That was magic. I was paralyzed. They would crash on anonline tool. English as the common language in the virtual world. I was paralyzed. I needed to take this opportunity to get my busuu.com challenge done.

If I don’t get a company of 500 people why not starting Social Media activities. Don’t forget that www.chllng.me was a virtual experiment. Well from there on things started to roll. I was lucky that Marina canceled our meeting because therefor it was possible for me to get to the CP. While entering the venue I was blown away. I entered a parallel universe. Highly energized young people. Lights, flashes, loudspeakers, notebooks and screens everywhere. Robots that are able to work under water, robot battles, loud music, a 10x10 (metric system) big server in the middle of a huge hall.

Welcome to the world of the constructors of the virtual world.

In that moment it hit me clearly that I had no idea of the virtual world. I felt embarrassed to be the one doing this experiment. What should I explain the guys from the social media week? Did I have wrong assumptions because of my lacking knowledge of this tribe?

You could find all different groups at CampusParty. Software and hardware developers, designers, gamers, social media experts, and many more. Well I was in the right place of making things happening. 500 friends on busuu.com??? Easily. I felt like a kid in the candy store.

That feeling faded away after a short time. How do I reach all those people? I never used twitter, was never in a chat and well I started to write this blog 2 months ago.

I twittered the official venue but was just ignored. Writing the only English twits was not a good sign. Besides that I found out very quickly that was not aware of how to use Twitter properly. Ok going to everybody and explaining what to do was also not an option. But then magic again. I was lucky.

Carolina and Philippe were helpful in introducing me to the coolest multipliers but they could not do much more since I was not having an official. Well luckily I met Pedro and Bea, two very kind and extremely helpful graphic designers. I was so lucky to meet them since my problems of getting to the point of convincing 500 students started with the issue of getting the right device for my European power cable. Well since I used to work in the Hub (thank god for the flexible plastic tins) and on Ilha Grande where I could use the universal plug ins I didn’t get them before.

So back in the Tube. Just a short ride of half an hour. Learning something about different fonts in the European advertisement world. Getting in the store before. Getting back tired of travelling and talking in English. Woooooow how should I manage that? Then magic again.

I learned that there is something like a web celebrity. Ok that was really new to me. But of course also this crowd has some idols and opinion leaders that are the trend settters. People with more than 20.000 Twitter user. Bloggers who rock the scene. And with an online fan community that should be easily to mobilize 500 for my challenge.

Right next two us talked two dudes. Pedro told me that those were bloggers from Juven.. Well never heard but nerds that seemed to be pretty cool. So let’s chat with them.

Since I am gringo and totally missing computing and web skills I must have made a strange impression on them. I didn’t really have the feeling that they took me for real. But the promised me to twit about my challenge. What a great moment. Now I was pretty sure that I can make the challenge happening. But it came even better.

Philippe and Carolina had some minutes for me and explained me about the beginnings and vision of Campus Party. A video with an interview with Philippe will follow.

Carolina was so kind to introduce me to Edney Souza. Having a conversation with him was an epic win! Ed explained me about his career and dream to travel around the world and getting out of the corporate world at the age of 40. He comes from a very troubled neighborhood, went to a public school and runs 3 Companies. WTF. This guy is so down to earth, with a big heart and with an open mind that it was just not real.

We had a blast, shared a bit our visions and I felt like having met an old friend. When we talked I knew that I needed to meet him on my journey. He will be for sure one of the first persons that I will contact after returning from Europe. And guess what he offered right away to twit about my challenge. I was blown away and so convinced ok now the challenge is solved. He asked me for a short video and I figured out that I did not have the charger for my came with me. So my first official YouTube video would be an iPhone version.

So can you imagine a gringo who was avoiding any kind of technical or computing issues. This video is just a bad joke… But the beginning.

Well in the meanwhile it got night and I figured out that I would have to leave soon in order to catch the last subway at midnight. But once I started to mobilize my own network and adjusting my different social media accounts I forgot the time and missed the train. So I needed to stay in a hall full of people still working and gaming. I was not amazed that at 4 am still hundreds of people were around me and actively in front of their screens. Crazy crowd!!

It was great and fun the community was friendly and so helpful. I experienced and observed so much altruism and strangers helping each other in such an unselfish way, that I came across not very often.

It seemed so natural that cables, devises were exchanged, technical support given and common activities started in order to overcome the tiredness. Despite all my prejudice for geeks I became a strong fan of this community and was amazed by the great atmosphere. It was like family with their own way of expressing themselves with quite a bit of anarchism. How should I not feel excited?

I was very effective overnight wrote a blog entry, made a new twitter account, gmail account, uploaded my film material and sorted the material that I produced during my trip. This is anyhow my biggest challenge how I can process my material in order to make it interesting and mind blowing on one side and publish it quick even though I am traveling. A question that comes together with the need of learning how to produce and edit cool and easy movies. I wanna work on my writing style and so on.

After not having slept during the night I needed to get my charger for the video cam that I left at Rita’s place. Tired and exhausted but being in really creative and good mood I decided first to make a green walk and to have a great fresh fruit juice – I love that country for that nutrition. So imagine me in my sleepy and wracked condition getting through SP.

That meant a train ride of 1,5 hours fighting against sleep and finding a comfortable position in very uncomfortable Metro seats. Fortunately it was Saturday the train was not that crowded for god sakes but then happened something else…

So I was sitting (rather placed) there next to a very cute girl (what is not unusual for Brazil), as I said fighting with sleep and being in my own movie as the most gorgeous woman entered that I have ever met in person. Guys and girls I am not exaggerating, no really not. I have never seen such a beauty besides in magazines after a computing surgery. Holy cow!!!!!!!!!

Not only I was blown away, the whole train became very silent (and don’t forget that I am in Brazil) and you really could touch the tension in the wagon. Most of the passengers fixed her with their eyes. But that was not all - she stopped right in front of me and the cutie. Fuck.

So there I was - nearly in some kind of trance. The atmosphere was so tensed that I started to get kinda epileptic ticks. At least I had them inside as amazed as I was. My eyes must have been red like hell. The beauty started to change between hiding her nice curves and adjusting her bra in a challenging and shy manner. I was not sure if she did it on purpose since I tried to look everywhere else. That happened to be kind of tough.

All of a sudden the girl next to me stood up and changed the place. The tension was obviously too much for her. The hot chick sat down next to me and I stopped breathing. The night was long the work was exhausting and the hot hall was for sure not beneficial for my smell. Thinking of Julia I was sure that that was good like that I had no courage to talk to her. It was just not appropriate at all. I would not even have been possible to talk probably.

But don’t think that was all because when she opened her purse and started to put on new make-up I was pretty sure that my epileptic movements were not just inside anymore. Fuck. How could I have released that tension? Why didn’t I start yelling like at the Campus Part hoping that somebody would answer?

As you could imagine after this train ride and the 2 hours return in 35° didn’t help me to raise huge motivation. I was really down and especially as I realized that after the long night of working there were just about 3 more friends at busuu.com. Even though that Ed twittered.. So I think I need to buy you the promised beer upfront.

I was done. All my efforts seemed to be kind of useless. Instead of rushing out and doing some movements – of course I was too tired for that – I kept on doing boring work in a such a low speed that that made me feel even more crap.

Part 2 is following next week.


  1. Hey Philippe, you plant some seeds man, they'll grow :)

  2. .... let's do the gardening to create a beautiful parc. I know some great providers of artefacts, and creators of other parcs of thought (RayKurzweil, BarryPtoloemy, PeterSenge, EdgarSchein, OttoScharmer, JohnSterman, EricVanHippel, VivekWadhwa, PeterGloor, CharlesVanDerHaegen, VilleKeraenen)

    ... next action in Brazil?

  3. In Brazil...

    You can count on the gardener's daughter with the seeds.

    Let's keep on growing! ;)