I’m having some mixed feelings about the “unconference” yesterday.
Don’t get me wrong, it wasn’t a bad way to spend the day. I got the chance to reconnect in real space with people who I mostly know from their online personality.
And I always enjoy meeting and hearing from lots of voices that are new to me.
However, I came away with something of an empty feeling.
For an “unconference” this felt more like an actual extension of NECC, at least compared to last year and possibly to my unreasonable expectations.
For one thing, the breakout groups were too large which turned what should have been conversations into something more like panel discussions, several featuring many of the same folks who are already presenting here at NECC.
And while most of the discussions were interesting, they also had a deja vu quality to them.
Didn’t we talk about this stuff last year? And the year before? Not to mention in many places online in the interim?
Ok, so maybe I’m being picky. After reading the notes and watching the videos from others, I may just find that I’m way off base and it was much better than these first reflections.
Off to do tourist stuff!
I think the larger numbers naturally changed things, but we could have done some things differently to still give the event a smaller feel and promote more sharing / community. Personally, I don’t think any of the offered sessions should have been cancelled at all. To me, at an unconference event if someone wants to teach about something and someone else wants to learn from them, then let them! This can take place in the hall or in a big room. The point is to connect people together who want to learn together. Next year I’d propose that we have sufficient spaces so that every session people offer which at least 1 person wants to attend be allowed to take place, and not be cancelled.
We didn’t discuss social networking an PD as much last year as we did this year. I really enjoyed the ideas generated in that session.