Ladies and gentlemen, fellow hackers,
Welcome to Hacker Beach, episode 1! It’s about time to properly introduce you to Phu Quoc and Hacker Beach in general. From now on, this website will be the central hub for all things Hacker Beach, connecting all relevant information for our un-organized gathering.
In this first journal entry we’ll just give you a few pointers and links, with the next one being a more extensive Phu Quoc 101, containing more detailed information about places and conditions on the island.
Most of you probably looked up some general Phu Quoc facts already, so we’ll keep it short. Phu Quoc is the largest island of Vietnam, located in the far South, and actually closer to Cambodia than mainland Vietnam. From Ho Chi Minh city, you can either use a cheap 50-minute flight to get there, or go by bus and ferry, which takes about a day.
Some call the island Vietnam’s attempt to become king of Asia’s beaches, and with a government plan in place, that aims at 2 million tourists a year in 2020, development is going fast. Days before we arrived, the new international airport was opened (only for domestic flights for now), and new streets and resorts and are being built around the island. Development is still 20 years behind similar islands in e.g. Thailand, though, which makes it a nice and rather quiet tropical paradise for the time being.
Hacker Beach came into being, when 3 nomadic hackers discussed their plans for a warm winter getaway over some beers in Berlin. As we all love unconferences and spontaneous gatherings, we thought why not invite more people to stay with us, and elude the frosty temperatures in Europe for a month. So that’s what we did.
We decided on rough dates, registered a domain and Twitter account, and told some people about our plan. But other than that, nobody organized anything until we actually met on Phu Quoc about two weeks ago. Today, we still haven’t planned much, but an amazing flock of hackers joined the party and booked their travels so far (16 attendees on Lanyrd by the time of writing), and we’re anxious to finally meet all of you during the next days and weeks.
Participate, contribute, make it yours!
As you have guessed by now, Hacker Beach is what you will make it! In order to get the ball rolling, and give you guys some tools for participation, we’ve set up a few things, that you can use and contribute to:
You can add any type of session or event to our Lanyrd schedule. Plan a talk, a workshop, an introduction to something, a hack night, or even a 2-day hackathon – whatever you want. We also have some plans for all-hands activities, like a day-long snorkling and fishing trip, a bbq party and more. You’ll find those on the schedule as well, of course.
Add your photos and short videos to our Flickr group, where they can be followed and aggregated properly. Nobody keeps you from instagram’ing the hell out of Hacker Beach, of course, but this will be our (un)official hub for visual content. Hint: go crazy with the RSS feed and build fun stuff on top of it!
@skddc built a Hacker Beach map app, that works well on desktops, tablets and smartphones. You can fork the app on GitHub and contribute new places in a simple JSON format. If you like, you can also contribute new features (there’s a small idea list in the README). It’s built with leaflet.js, and hacking it is easy as pie.
The Twitter account will be our (near-)real-time channel for all news, updates, announcements. We’ll also answer all of your immediate questions there, as well as retweet anything interesting you post mentioning the account.
Need we say anything about the hacker’s favorite water cooler? Join us in #hackerbeach on Freenode!
This journal is intended to be our channel to both you and the outside world, i.e. people not lucky enough to be able to attend Hacker Beach #1. We’ll post everything from summaries of interesting sessions and results of our hacks to small stories about Phu Quoc and life on the island. Like with all other mediums, you’re invited to contribute! Just register an account and tell us, so we can give you admin rights.
Bring it on!
So now should you know how this all works. We hope you like the idea, and we invite you to make this the best month-long hacker gathering on a tropical island that ever was!
Welcome to Hacker Beach!