BlogWalk Seattle: conference attention modes
These are more "notes to myself" from the discussions at BlogWalk Seattle on the nature of (un)conferences; not a coherent text.
The world is changing:
- opportuniy to connect with and to meet far away people
- being there (physically or online) costs more (energy, time, money) - also because now we can connect with those far away
Getting together f2f:
- critical mass is important to make sure interesting things happen
- you want to be sure in that to get into what it takes to be there
- it's more about opportunities, than problem, which is always difficult to justify
- so, what are the attractors powerful enough to attract "right crowd"?
- shared goal / topic
- strong connections with others
- authority trusted enough to rely that the previous two will be there
Events attention models
- centralised/authority - "star performers" who can hold attention of big groups with finely crafted messages and engaging interaction style
- distributed/community - "open space" - designed so everyone can attract as much attention as it's worth in a particular group
Backchanneling - something that happens during an event designed with the centralised model in mind, but without "star performers" who can hold attention - so it's diverted into other channels. Those "other channels" would be legitimate conversations in the "open space" case, but they are not in the centralised model - hence authority challenges and resistance.
- Centralised attention events are easier to plan
- Distributed attention events are challenging - how to make sure that those who have something to say have an audience?
- Enough attractors (critical mass)
- Visibility of attractors (knowing whom to talk/listen to)
- Movement around (being there at the right moment)
Technology actually enables a lot of that :)
Technorati: BlogWalk, BlogWalkSeattle, unconferences