Good question. Here's how CURATEcamp differs from related conferences.
- Code4Lib tends not to focus on the digital curation side of the house, focusing instead on other areas within library technology such as software development in support of search and the ILS. We wanted an event very much like Code4Lib in spirit but with 1) a broader focus on digital curation, and 2) an audience with greater diversity in technical savvy.
- RepoCamp was a one-off event primarily concerned with repository interoperability, an important topic for the digital curation community. CURATEcamp is an extension of RepoCamp's aims with (again) a broader focus on digital curation. RepoCamp was an important event, demonstrating the need for this community to continue meeting.
- The Open Repositories conference and CURATEcamp have roughly similar topical boundaries, though OR has traditionally revolved around particular software implementations (DSpace, ePrints, and Fedora). The other difference between OR and CURATEcamp is our informal unconference format, and we have been exploring OR/CURATEcamp partnerships.
- CURATEcamp emphasizes practice over research, unlike IDCC which has traditionally focused on research and policy. CURATEcamp shares a topical focus with IDCC but the camp's format sets it apart; the unconference style brings a more intimate, participatory, and informal feel to the camp. We're interested more in conversation than presentation.
- BarCamp and THATCamp use formats similar to ours. We find THATCamp's success particularly inspiring.
There's enough similarity between the camp and these other events -- particularly Code4Lib, Open Repositories, and IDCC -- to warrant collaborating to serve our collective aims. Despite our differences, we view these events as partners and have benefited from working together.
The idea for CURATEcamp was dreamt up by Declan Fleming and Mike Giarlo at the Thirsty Monk pub in Asheville, North Carolina, during the Code4Lib 2010 conference. We were looking for a combination of RepoCamp, Code4Lib, and Open Repositories. A number of ideas were brainstormed, jotted on cocktail napkins, and percolated up to the digital-curation listserv for comment. The community confirmed there was a gap in the conference space and thus CURATEcamp was born.