Updated: 10/10/2005; 4:12:54 PM.


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  Wednesday, September 07, 2005

  More on (un)conference blogging

Just in time: Events: wikis, blogs, podcasts and a diagram for how they might fit together by Piers Young (and I checked Codewitch before Monkeymagic :)

Social Event

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  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

Two extremes:

  • 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 :)


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This weblog is my learning diary. Sometimes I write about things related to my work, but the views expressed here are personal and do not necessarily reflect the views of my employer.

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