Establishing the Unconference Pattern: Seattle MindCamp 3.0

November 11-12, 2006 12pm-12pm — Seattle MindCamp 3.0— at West Seattle
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  • What is MindCamp?
  • My notes from MindCamp 2.0 and photos from MindCamp 1.0.
  • My friends who plan to attend MindCamp 3.0 (impartial list, no doubt): Bob Rebholz, Brian Hsi, Alex Barnett, Mike Barta
  • Folks I hope to run into at MindCamp 3.0: Scott Berkun (excellent book on project management), Jack William Bell (coffee master), Jeff Barr (with whom I hope to talk bidness)
  • Topics of interest to me: Microformats, Attention, Reputation 2.0 (nay, 4.0), Web Service Platforms (esp., Amazon, YouTube, Flickr, Messenger), visualization tools...

Seattle MindCamp is the quintessential unconference. If you share my interest in planning unconferences, subconferences, small conferences, mini-conferences, conferencettes, and other semi-structured events that bring communities of practice and interest together for a discrete moment in time and place, this piece from Stuart Maxwell, sent out by email to all [MindCamp] dl subscribers, will be of interest:

"For the impatient, here's the quick bottom line:  keep an eye on the blog for the release of the Session Organizer Candidate Form.  You'll want to download that and bring it with you on the 11th, so that you can submit your session for consideration BEFORE opening remarks.  Sessions will be selected by a combination of popular vote and lottery; rooms and times will be assigned by the Planning Committee.
And now, the blow-by-blow:

  • As always, anyone may initiate a session.  The Mind Camp Planning Committee will publish a Session Organizer Candidate Form online prior to the event.  Attendees who want to organize a session will be encouraged to download that form and fill it out prior to arriving at Mind Camp. 
  • (Forms will also be available on site.)  The form will simply provide space to enter a session title, a description, the name of the session organizer, and preference for a room with projectors or other requirements.  (NOTE: Unless indicated otherwise on the Session Organizer Candidate Form, we will assume that sessions may be scheduled at any time.)
  • We'll ask Session Organizer Candidates to arrive a little early so that they can tape up their forms along the length of the main hallway.
  • As attendees arrive, we'll encourage them to peruse the Session Candidate Forms prior to introductions.
  • After introductions, all attendees will be given a number of small stickers equal to the number of time slots we'll have.  They'll file along the hallway placing one dot on each of the sessions they think should be given a time slot.
  • The Mind Camp Planning Committee will take the top vote-getters (up to half as many as the total available time slots) and assign rooms and times based on the popularity of each session.
  • The remaining session candidates will go into a pool.  Candidates will then be drawn at random from the pool and assigned a room and time slot.  If there are leftover candidates at that point, they will be invited to participate in a lightning talk, where they'll have 5-10 minutes to discuss their topic.

Let me reiterate one important point here:  You will be _encouraged_ to fill out your session form in advance, but you will not be required to do so.  You can show up 5 minutes before introductions and fill in your form, if you like.  That will be up to you."