It’s also a little bit about how much wasted effort there is in our field, tremendously talented people consistently trying to reinvent the wheel because they don’t know about other colleagues, conferences, and consortia.
We all got excited about unconferences a few years ago (/unconference.net/). But unconferences interfere with the whole ‘let’s meet in the bar after sessions’ scenario that is so important for greasing the skids in our world.
Holly, what unconferences have you been to? The events I produce have a lot of great ‘at the bar after sessions’ time. In fact they tend to be better and richer because people are energized from their day rather then drained from being talked ‘at’ all day. I invite you to come to one of my events and enjoy the bar after sessions. In fact the topic that would be the one discussed after at the BAR can become a session in open space.
Jennifer Trant asked me to speak at the closing of Museums and the Web about identity. and like most talking heads events the topics were interesting, the format was boring (granted I was at this one for a day and they did slightly more interactive things on the other days). This is the kind of event it would be great to ‘unconference’… You can still do all the juried papers and have them “published.” Folks who want to present their papers are free to do so in the open space format…and you can talk about lots of other stuff directly related to the work at hand too. The wisdom of discerning what is relevant to be talked about in the hands the attendees not the committee that has to decide who is in and who is out.