I’m writing up my notes incredibly late for this event, primarily because I ended up with a free evening and some thoughts on the gathering. One thing that is obvious after going to multiple events organized by Forum One is the nature of the ongoing community around these small conferences. Any successful run of conferences tends to create a community of regulars, and in this case they are regulars who know and care about how online community works. I’ve been fortunate to be on quite a run of attending Forum one events. The chicken and the egg of course is that I really enjoy the people who come back, as well as the new voices and thinkers who turn up.
I had thought I might be out of town this summer for another in the series, but last minute changes made it possible to sign up for the next one, the Online Community Unconference, next week. Last year’s unconf was terrific, and I can’t wait for this one. An unconference has the advantage of being almost utterly flexible, allowing all kinds of formats. Visionary presentations given to a handful or a crowd of other event-goers. Open round-robin discussions or brainstorms of any size addressing specific issues. Little breakout conversations that are the conference, and that others may wander into. An unconference will not be terribly interesting if there is not a lot of experience, enthusiasm and intelligence in the room at the start, and that’s why the community that has formed around all the Forum One conferences (including the more formal and the informal unconferences) leads to such satisfying events. It’s all about all the interesting and interested people there. So what did we talk about?
There was a lot to enjoy at OCBF Santa Fe, aside from the gorgeous exotic desert quality of the place itself:
The presentations were full of fascinating examples of the commerce side of providing homes to people to play, learn and otherwise congregate. Here, for a flavor, is one slide about virtual gifts:
Scott Moore and I co-led a session that started by asking for problems from community practitioners, then called for various answers from the group. This was the kind of session that could continue for hours, and the knowledge and questions in the room were truly remarkable. Do I have good notes of what came up? No, but I was soaking it all in. And it’s just what I’m looking forward to at the Unconference. If you’ll be there let me know.