An unconference is a conference where the content of the sessions is driven and created by the participants, generally day-by-day during the course of the event, rather than by a single organizer, or small group of organizers, in advance. To date, the term is primarily in use in the geek community (“Unconference” on Wikipedia, 2007).
My first encounter with an unconference was when I first heard of BarCamp. However, I could never attend one since I was situated in the quiet city of Buffalo, NY. Being in Singapore, I recently had a chance to experience what it would be like, thanks to the folks at Entrepreneur 27 (SG) and their relevant sponsors, such as SMU Ventures (what a beautiful university!).
The first thing that hit me was how everyone there was so talkative. Seriously. More so than any other conference I’ve ever gone to. I guess this was the point of the event, though I was overwhelmed at first.
“Yak yak yak… I read your blog… how do you know him… what do you do… I’m XYZ, do you remember?”
It took me a while before I could catch up with everything that was going on, so apologies if I appeared lost in thought (especially to EducateWandie from Yahoo!). The crowd consisted of developers, educators, entrepreneurs, students and fellow bloggers (such as Preetam Rai, Coleman Yee, Ben Koe, Michael Cho), and the local topics flew from PR 2.0 to Politics 2.0 to Porn 2.0, basically Everything 2.0.
I went for the first track in this three track conference, which seemed more academic and creative to me, since the other ones were all about startups and economics. Track one consisted of discussions on virtual worlds, complex systems in social networks, PR 2.0, and finally Web 2.0 in the Asian region.
In the upcoming blog posts, I’ll share videos of particular sessions as well as my thoughts on them…