Ali’s Mental Meanderings

wandering, not lost

Geek-i-odic Table of the Elements

Last night following the Sydney BarCamp 3 Unorganisers meeting I unveiled the ‘secret BarCamp project’ I’d been working on for the last few weeks. At an earlier meeting we were talking about the idea of having Mikons but they weren’t quite right for us. Instead I had the random idea to come up with a list of things that people can identify with and then just write a one or two letter ‘code’ for each thing on the bottom of your name tag. The others thought this was quite a novel idea and it was suggested maybe doing it in a table, which led to the suggestion that we modify a periodic table. Bingo! Since I had no other tasks I offered to take on this project with a fellow unorganiser, the lovely JodieM. The project took flight.

JodieM found a periodic table online and created a shared GoogleDoc that we could work from. Then as tends to happen she got busier and I got less busy. This resulted in most of the element ideas coming from my side and taking suggestions from others. It was easy to come up with the things that I could relate to but more than a few times I was concerned that I’d missed something glaringly obvious.  I ran my ideas past a few people during the development stages and was pretty happy with the spread I’d created. Hopefully not too much of some things and missing other. A moment of quiet humour led to me add ‘Ni’ for Monty Python and that has by far been the most commented on ‘element’.

The finalised table (for now)  is able to be viewed here.  It’s been licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Non Commercial-Share Alike 2.5 Australia License . I’d love to see it used in other BarCamps as I think it really does embody the whole BarCamp spirit and other geeky networking events. There are way more elements than space on the table which is no bad thing as it lets each group update the table and add the elements that mean the most to them. I’ve also deliberately left the space at the bottom blank. The element list is going to be printed up and put next to the table. On the day the bottom spaces can be filled in by Sydney BarCamp3 attendees with what they’d like to add.

I’m pretty excited that it’s been so well received. It’s also the first project that I’ve CC Licensed which is also exciting, for me at least. A couple of people have mentioned that it’d be a cool t-shirt idea. I think so too and may look into doing a run sometime. Keep an eye out here and on my twitter timeline for more details.

Thank-you to everybody for their feedback!


March 28, 2008 - Posted by | creative commons | , , , , ,


  1. What a brilliant idea! And it looks fantastic too – well done to both you & Jodie! 🙂

    Comment by Catherine Eibner | March 28, 2008 | Reply

  2. Great idea and it made the nametags last weekend much more interesting. Share it with the other barcamps – I vote for this as a standard 🙂

    Comment by sopeters | April 7, 2008 | Reply

  3. I absolutely loved it. It also makes a wonderful link to “chemistry” between people.

    Brilliant – well done Jodie/Ali


    Comment by Hans de Kraker | April 7, 2008 | Reply

  4. Wow – didn’t realize it was your own original creation!

    I take it you got the additions made at the Camp?

    Awesome work!

    Comment by Chriswaterguy | April 8, 2008 | Reply

  5. *skulks off* There are no IA, UX or Wd – Web Designer bits its all developer based, does this mean BarCamp is only for Web Devs. *sigh*

    It is still good. 🙂

    Comment by Gary Barber | April 18, 2008 | Reply

  6. […] one half of Buddy Christ, and finally, reiterating the size of the fish that I caught with the Geek-i-odic Table All up, I’m in for future BarCamps, and getting myself involved a lot more in the BarCamp […]

    Pingback by Barcamp Canberra Review | | April 20, 2008 | Reply

  7. is it only available on google docs?

    google may “do no evil” now, but that doesnt mean they wont in future, and it certainly doesn’t mean i want to sign up for every service they offer.

    please publish as just a plain document.

    Comment by Craig | April 21, 2008 | Reply

  8. […] Alegrya’s post: Geek-i-odic Table of the Elements Tags: barcamp, Geek-i-odic Table, osn, […]

    Pingback by Appropedia Blog » Blog Archive » Geekiodic table | October 18, 2008 | Reply

  9. […] Now there is a shorthand means of communicating the particular nature of your geekiness – the Geek-i-odic Table of the Elements. […]

    Pingback by Geek-i-odic Table of the Elements | Kate Carruthers | May 25, 2013 | Reply

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