OCTribe Unconference: Not Uncommunity, not at all

On Tuesday, May 21, Mountain View’s Computer History Museum was buzzing with a gathering of the leaders of many tribes.  People who think about online community in all its permutations had gathered to find out what we know and where these specialties are taking us and our communities.

Drawing from the popular emerging format called an “unconference” a group of 150 community management and related practitioners arrived to find themselves continuing a conversation that had last taken place three years ago in the Online Community Summits and Unconferences originally convened by Forum One.  Randy Farmer’s notion of a non-centralized “tribe” arising out of those gatherings was something I’d described at the time, here:  https://gailwilliams.wordpress.com/2009/06/18/are-we-atribe/   But more about the backstory later.

One of the great features of this kind of fluid gathering is the building of an agenda and a spread of small groups to explore whatever matters most to the participants.  Here is just one visual slice from the grand explosion of ideas and questions on the day’s board.  OCTribe2012 Unconference board

Another fabulous Unconference tradition is the distributed taking of notes and the group process that continues as the proceedings are documented on the web, something that is happening now over at the OCTribe site.

Thanks largely to ongoing presence of Susan Tenby’s Online Community Meetup based out of Tech Soup in San Francisco, members of the prior unconferences and prior gatherings of community managers such as Bill Johnston, Mark Williams, Scott Moore, Kaliya Identitywoman and Maria Ogneva were able to reconnect and make the event happen again.  If you may be interested next year, and you are in the area, that O. C. Tribe Meetup  is a good starting place for connecting with a wider community of community-builders.

Oh.  How was it?  It was amazing.  It was a room of brilliant practitioners and familiar faces.  A gathering of tribal leaders.

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