Posted by: Margaret Rouse
Marketing, Web 2.0
| “Organizers are afraid that the unconference won’t come together, that it will be boring or unproductive. They lack trust in the attendees to produce a conference that meets their own needs.”
Douglas E. Welch, When is an unconference not an unconference?
I’ve always been a fan of Douglas Welch. Today I not only tip my hat, I give him this month’s “But the Emperor Has No Clothes!” award. Douglas writes:
Some of my best experiences this year have been the “unconferences” I have attended. These ad hoc events allow for a sense of spontaneity and serendipity that regular life often denies us. Unfortunately, I am starting to see a disturbing trend that threatens to suck the life out of unconferences — too much control.
Organizers of unconferences need to control where and when the conference will occur, sponsors for meals and other perks, bathrooms, etc., but more frequently now, I see organizers pre-scheduling the events more and more tightly. Instead of the typical “sign up wall” of a more open unconference, I am seeing schedules completely decided long before the event occurs.
Douglas has bravely asked what the rest of us have been thinking, “What’s happening to the unconference?”
I’m afraid the answer is marketing.
It was probably only a matter of time until the unconference, that underground ultra-hip name Dave Winer came up with to describe a “tech happening” where the attendees determine the agenda, would grow up.
And by grow up, I mean sell out.
Literally. Continued »