BarCamp Ends and My New Startup Begins

BarCamp Boston 7The past couple of months I’ve been busy with Boston’s largest annual geek unconference, BarCamp Boston. A yearly event I help to organize, we had at least 550 attendees this year, despite conflicts with PAX East, Anime Boston, Passover, and Easter. An event where the content is meant to be generated entirely by attendees takes a surprising amount of work to make happen. Arranging a venue, finding sponsors, ordering t-shirts, creating the right structure, planning food, creating web apps that facilitate attendee connections, arranging additional programs like hardware recycling & a programming contest, and promotion, promotion, promotion.

BarCamp Boston fortunately has an incredible crew of organizers that help make it all doable. If you’re interested in helping with the planning next year, we have a mailing list you can join where we coordinate planning (extremely low traffic most of the year).

Now that BarCamp is finished for the year (well, still a bit of wrap-up work to do, but almost there!), I’m excited for what’s next. What started as an AngelHack project is now a startup Bob Cavezza and I are working full-time on. RiverInsights will save time and add value for social media managers, a job I’m very familiar with after filling that role for brands, startups, and various organizations over the past few years. Social media management is a very new but rapidly-growing profession, and these professionals are still lacking useful tools in many areas (recall my 11 Twitter Tools for 2011 post — many of these still don’t exist).

We’re starting with the problems of finding content to share with your audience, and of finding conversation opportunities on twitter to engage members of your target market. Right now social media managers spend a lot of time checking a bunch of saved searches, building twitter lists, searching twitter directories, checking hashtags, and maintaining & refining each channel. We want to provide an effortless view of the most relevant content / tweets for the account you’re managing, giving you an always-on, always-fresh stream of content and conversation opportunities relevant to your particular target market.

Right now we’re working on getting a private alpha version ready. Sign up at if you’re interested. Bob and I are pulling together a lot of very interesting twitter data; hope to share some of it with you soon. If you are or know someone who is a social media manager, I’d love to connect! Early feedback helps us provide the tools & data you’d most like to have. Drop me a line at: jay [.dot.] neely [@at@] socialstrategist [.dot.] com