Is it a coincidence that the adoption and popularity of barcamps, unconferences has coincided with the emergence of Web 2.0? Are there any parallels and similarities between the underlying principles of Web2.0 & barcamps, unconferences? After all both web2.0 & unconferences are about user generated content, architecture of participation etc.. etc..
I have tried to map the web 2.0 principles from the seminal article on Web 2.0; Oreilly: The Web 2.0 Design Patterns and tried to map them to the underlying principles of unconferences — and I see a striking similarity between both.
So; are unconeferences as the Web 2.0 equivalent of conferences? I bet they are..
Web 2.0 Principles
|architecture of participation||The basic premise behind the unconference philosophy. Every one participates. The (un)structure of barcamps, unconferences is such that it makes it easy for everyone to participate – in the manner they want.|
|self organized||The participants themselves are the organizers. There is no ‘official organizer’. Every participant is welcome to volunteer and organize some aspect of the barcamps, unconference.|
|Emergent||The agenda, content and even schedule is not pre decided. Everything emerges at run time and from the participants themselves as the barcamp, unconference unfolds|
|Perpetual beta||Some unconference sessions can be washouts. It is taken in stride and no body minds that aspect. In fact participants just walk over to some other session|
|Gets better as more people use it||The more the merrier. You can break away into smaller groups and start your own sessions|
|Informal & light weight||No keynotes, welcome address, 5 star ambiance etc. no frills, no flashy brochures, no marketing, just to the point|
|Harnessing collective intelligence||Every one is a participant. There is no distinction between the speaker & the audience. Everyone contributes|
|Rich user experiences||Extreme socialization & interaction between participants. Here it goes beyond exchanging business cards and networking. You exchange thoughts ideas. You can even enter into a dialogue, debate and even make some of your best friends here.|
|Users add value||“The audience is smarter than the speaker”… A fundamental aspect of the unconference. It is the users, the participants who make the unconference successful & add value – as opposed to formal conferences, where it’s the speakers who are perceived as adding value.|
|Cooperate, not control||Nobody controls the unconference. It is delivered not by control but by the cooperation of participants, volunteers.|