A very merry unconference to you…

Apropos of my last post and my comments about Steve Moore and Policy Unplugged, I’ve been looking into this whole ‘unconference’ thing he mentioned and turned up this from Wikipedia…

An unconference is a conference where the content of the sessions is driven and created by the participants, generally day-by-day during the course of the event, rather than by a single organizer, or small group of oganizers, in advance. To date, the term is primarily in use in the geek community. Unconference processes like Open Space Technology, however, have been around for over 20 years in other contexts.

The term unconference first appeared amongst techies in an annoucement for the annual XML developers conference in 1998. More recently the term was used by Lenn Pryor when discussing BloggerCon and was popularized by Dave Winer, the organizer of BloggerCon, in an April 2004 writeup. Winer’s unconference is a discussion leader with a topic moving a microphone amongst a large audience of 50 to 200 people.

Right, so its a bit of geek thing is it, where a bunch of them get together and make up the whole event as they go along – no doubt using a venue that would be described on their expenses form as an ‘open access exhiliarative liquid dispensary’ (Pub).

Reading all that, does anyone else get the feeling that if one were to look around you would inevitably find, tucked away somewhere, a patent application on ‘unconferences’ in the name of Bastard Operator From Hell Enterprises Inc

Maybe there’s something to this unconference business after all – where do I sign up?

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