It struck me this morning that the shift toward user-generated media and away from main stream media as the primary or only information/entertainment driver–the shift away from newspapers toward YouTube, for example–is now well-paralled in the conference world, where what I’d have to call user-generated conferences–and unconferences–are taking hold.
The two events on my brain right now are
–the upcoming BarCamp Block, which Tara Hunt, Chris Messina, Ross Mayfield and others are arranging for this week
She’s Geeky, an unconference with a demo/workshop half-day which Kaliya Hamlin, Mary Hodder, and about four other folks, including myself, are planning for October, and which is a conference for women who self-identify as geeks.
These are both conferences (like the ongoing Meshwalk series)that come very much out of both the passion of the organizers and the Open Space/unconference format.
But then there’s also the enthusiast conferences–conferences started by someone in a sector who’s embedded in the category– Blogher, YPulse Mashups and Gnomedex all come to mind–these are all quite different than the big, expensive conferences that have been such profitable moneymakers for their organizers (and so challenging to market).
The point here would be that conferences–just like media companies–are being nibbled at by the grassroots, the user base, the audience–and alot of what’s going on is much ore interesting that what the old school is doing.
Update: As I add the links for these conferences to this post, I am asking myself if these UGC conferences also have a higher percentage of female organizers–and speakers–and the answer is definitely yes. Interesting but not surprising, huh?

It struck me this morning that the shift toward user-generated media and away from main stream media as the primary or only information/entertainment driver–the shift away from newspapers toward YouTube, for example–is now well-paralled in the conference world, where what I’d have to call user-generated conferences–and unconferences–are taking hold.
The two events on my brain right now are
–the upcoming BarCamp Block, which Tara Hunt, Chris Messina, Ross Mayfield and others are arranging for this week
She’s Geeky, an unconference with a demo/workshop half-day which Kaliya Hamlin, Mary Hodder, and about four other folks, including myself, are planning for October, and which is a conference for women who self-identify as geeks.
These are both conferences (like the ongoing Meshwalk series)that come very much out of both the passion of the organizers and the Open Space/unconference format.
But then there’s also the enthusiast conferences–conferences started by someone in a sector who’s embedded in the category– Blogher, YPulse Mashups and Gnomedex all come to mind–these are all quite different than the big, expensive conferences that have been such profitable moneymakers for their organizers (and so challenging to market).
The point here would be that conferences–just like media companies–are being nibbled at by the grassroots, the user base, the audience–and alot of what’s going on is much ore interesting that what the old school is doing.
Update: As I add the links for these conferences to this post, I am asking myself if these UGC conferences also have a higher percentage of female organizers–and speakers–and the answer is definitely yes. Interesting but not surprising, huh?