Comments: Thoughts on Conferences

Very interesting Adrian: would be good to see more of these ideas as you think about them/share them. Long conference is a very cool term!

Posted by Nathan at November 14, 2010 10:23 PM

Good post Adrianand yes I do think you have something here.

As you know at be2camp we try and move away from trad conferences towards a barcamp concept, but having to be careful to stay within the comfort zone of attendees we usually end up with a standard powerpoint delivery format. We do however ensure that all the presentations, videos, twitter channels and blogs are captured for future viewing in an attempt to keep discussions going.

I do think we could make more use of twitter + hashtags to enable the pre event discussions, shape agenda themes and allow the discussions to continue post event.

I would be up for attending or indeed helping to organise a long conference event (a be2camplongconf perhaps?)

Posted by matin at November 14, 2010 11:36 PM

Really like the ideas here & the chance to prepare in advance sounds like a good plan, however I'd rather not be the fact that you have to have blogged a out it - personally I don't blog, don't like writing long posts, find it confusing & just don't want a blog! However the fact that I don't have a blog meaning I can't ho the conference doesn't seem fair! :-( How about Twitter hashtags & perhaps a forum instead - still with a similar proviso - that u have to be activly interacting?

Posted by at November 15, 2010 01:29 AM

I would echo what Martin said about Be2camp. He and I have both been concerned that the original 'unconference' idea seems to have been diluted (some people still want a formal event they attend and just listen), and have tried to develop ways to share information before, during and after an event.

But even if you do, for example, get people to post blogs in advance of the event, there's no guarantee that people will read them (at least until it becomes expected or normal practice). I did an event recently where the organiser had asked people to write about their subject beforehand. I did, but when I asked attendees if they had read what I had written, less than one-in-10 had done so.

Twitter hashtags have worked well at several events I have attended, and I have also contributed remotely to event-related Twitter conversations, but (again), particularly in the conservative industries in which I mainly work, that conversation is mainly with a small minority of Web 2.0-savvy people.

Posted by Paul Wilkinson at November 15, 2010 08:34 AM

This is serious food for thought as we start preparations for #PodCampUK in Liverpool next year. As you know, Adrian, we'd be honoured to have you among our number as we get things together.

Let's talk over your concept. It's certainly novel, and I'd be more than happy to weave much of it into the model under debate for the PodCamp event.

Great work. Fabulous, in fact!

Posted by Dave Thackeray at November 15, 2010 09:53 AM

Thanks everyone for the comments so far, and apologies to anyone whose comment has been eaten by Movable Type. I'm not sure why some aren't getting through, so it might be best to save a copy of the comment somewhere just before you click "Post" - at least until I get to the bottom of the problem. Or stick the response up on your own blog - it'd be good practice for the #longconf ;-)

Martin, Paul, I think Be2camp does a good job of encouraging a community around, and between, the events. I guess I'm looking for depth of engagement rather than breadth - it's answering a slightly different question than a traditional conference in some ways, so people who just want to consume can do so from the comfort of their own web browser ;-)

I don't think it's vital that everyone has read all the blog posts beforehand - it's the *writing* of a blog post that's important. That's what means you've started to process the ideas and ruminate on them.

Anon, I can see what you mean, but I think a forum would make it hard to weave in blog responses. Plus there'd then be the need to curate a forum, which for some reason seem more likely to veer off into the youtube or comment-is-free territory. We could maybe host blog posts on the #longconf website, which is a bit of a half-way house?

Dave, thanks. Will see what I can do to help out with #PodcampUK, though how much time I'll have for it if I'm organising #longconf... That'll teach me to pipe up... :-)

Posted by Adrian at November 15, 2010 11:13 AM


I made the point that using something like a defect tracker as an issue manager might be a useful manifestation of your vision. Each topic is raised like a defect report, and then it can be added to, discussed, but more importantly promoted and demoted and triaged.

I imagine the meeting to discuss, say, the top ten issues, being a larger than normal but still disciplined triage session, and god knows you know I know all about those.

I just thought that such a thing would be a neat implementation of your idea. What say you?


Posted by redpola at November 17, 2010 01:55 PM
Post a comment

Remember personal info?

Note: I'm running the MT-Keystrokes plugin to filter out spam comments, which unfortunately means you have to have Javascript turned on to be able to comment.