It seems to me that Second Life is a great place to hold an unconference. I’m inspired by Dave Winer’s “what is an unconference?”
First, a disclaimer, Mix06 is definitely NOT an unconference. Just wanted to get that out of the way.
But, what’s great about an unconference? You can make your own conference. If you wanna listen to someone else, you can. If you wanna speak, you can. If you wanna go outside and roast wienies on the fire, you can! (That’s why my evil software company is built on top of a bed of lava in Second Life, after all! Heheh).
Anyway, Channel 9 is close to an unconference, no? You can listen to a conversation, which is driven by a moderator, or you can start your own conversation, or you can even just go in the corner buy yourself and start a wiki.
Map that onto a physical space and you get either one of Dave Winer’s shindigs, or something in Second Life (on Saturday night I was dancing, virtually, in Eric Rice’s club while watching video content be displayed on his virtual wall).
Anyway, this is all a very long way to say that I’m addicted to Memeorandum and it’s been a very long day of temptation to look there. Yes, the head lemur is right, I need an intervention! Heheh.
But, before I get an intervention, I’ll be honest. I still like the good old conference model. I like going to conferences to hear presentations from other people. I like sitting back, being presented information, and spending some time thinking. Actually, this is why I don’t try to live blog conferences anymore. It messed with my ability to think cause I was trying to be a reporter/note taker.
Anyway, I’m a fired discussion leader (seriously) so I probably shouldn’t be the one consulted on what an unconference is good for.
I will say that generally I hate panel discussions (although as a speaker they are a lot easier to prepare for than a full-blown session where I’m expected to say something the audience hasn’t heard yet).
One other thing? My favorite sessions have been where the speaker has some structure, and a point to make, and then goes into the audience Oprah style to get the audience involved.
Maybe the best conference is 50% old style conference mixed with 50% unconference?