Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Web 2.0 conferences must be virtual


I was visiting the Mesh website to double-check some things, when I came across this post.

The unconference idea doesn't sit well with me. I guess I'm a stickler for things being "just so."

However, in this day and age, I really can't understand how any conference on web 2.0 strategies is using such an antiquated approach to host an event.

Organizing conference rooms, having panels, scheduling keynotes, organizing a launch or after-party are the things your local CUPE Local does for their AGM, not individuals using emerging technologies.

I'm glad that Mesh is happening and even happier that the chaps organizing this event (see Matthew, Mark and Stuart's take) are open to talking about, "Why do this at all?"

And, Toronto needs its own version of a hip and less formal, but kind of formal, conference on web 2.0. No talking heads, no broadcasters begging the CRTC to protect them from the bad, bad mobile content dressed like a wolf. Instead, just average folks using cool technology to get their message across.

So hence, conferences on web strategies, new media, podcasting, blogging, etc. should use its own technology to showcase how awesome it is to hold an event without dragging all the chairs and tables into a huge auditorium.

I attended the International Podcasting Expo as a speaker over the weekend. And while there were a few technical bumps when we first got started, the Expo ended off with a bang. People from all across the world attended, including Australia, New Zealand, England and of course, Canada & the United States.

The only thing I complained about was having to show up a specific day and time to deliver my speech. I mean, I'm a podcaster and if I have something to say, I say it. There's no clock telling me to say what I want to say, so being told a time and place to appear in order to talk is a bit weird from a podcasters point of view.

But I digress.

My advice? If your conference is about emerging technology or some web 2.0 thing, do it virtually. It makes darn good sense for a conference on...well...emerging technology to use...well...emerging technology.

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