We have been thinking about it for a long time, but it is time to start doing the work and make this real. So this Sunday we are hosting a planning party over at our house with some beers and pizza and unconference strategy to figure out how we can blow the roof off the joint. Please RSVP for the party over on Upcoming if you plan to attend so we can make appropriate plans for beverages and food.
Given that we pulled off Web2point1 last year in less than a week, having 2 months of planning feels like a true luxury – we should all take advantage of the extra time to create a truly extraordinary event. Now that the conference for “that-phase-of-the-web-that-shall-happen-before-web-3.0 (no more, no less etc etc)” is now sold out, you have more reason than ever to join your colleagues for a bit of low cost, high value learning, networking and collaborating – unconference style.
Some of the details we have already worked out:
- We have the dates! Thursday November 9 and Friday November 10
- We have a venue! Much thanks to Nima Dilmaghani who has secured the Microsoft Conference Center at One Market in San Francisco (the same location as BarCamp San Francisco back in June)
- We have a registration fee! $3.29usd – with all fees and other participant donations going to Creative Commons.
- We have some sponsors already! Microsoft, Joyent and my friends at Fleishman Hillard have already offered up their support, even though we have not finalized the sponsorship packages yet (that will be done on Sunday)
- We are thinking about organizing the day in 2 main tracks (because there are 2 main rooms at the conference center and we want to offer an opportunity for newcomers to learn and for old-hands to dig deeper) – but this is why we want to have a party to talk about it some more – Open Space is fine and dandy, but I am thinking of this more along the lines of facilitated conversations and a few World Cafe‘s
So why are we doing this? Because hippy-crites like Tim O’Reilly who talk the big talk on open source, but hold all of these expensive, exclusive, invite only events need to see that there is another way. Now, I have never had a problem with expensive and exclusive events really – if there is a market that is willing to pay for something that is fine, if you want to have a certain experience at your party, invite the people you think will create that sort of atmosphere. But if the whole point of what you are doing is about being open and including more people, you need to find another way to do it. Dave Winer spoke more eloquently about the problem O’Reilly is facing and it made me realize – I don’t need to and I don’t want to work with people who are so closed minded that anyone with a differing opinion is not allowed into the party. I am an adult and I don’t need to sit at the cool kid’s table any more – I can sit with the good kid’s instead and I want to work with people who can disagree with one another’s ideas without being disagreeable.
You see, I didn’t realize that there was really a NOO list (Not-friends Of O’Reilly) until reading Dave’s post and talking to some other people who are in the know. So I have not really spoken out about this because I thought there might still be some opportunities to work together with O’Reilly. But seeing that there is probably no chance of this happening, I might as well write about why.
So last year, the night before Web 2point1, I was heading to the colors of Web 2.0 party with Will Pate when we hooked up with Chris Messina and some other folks for dinner. It turned out that the other folkls were the people in charge of the Web 2.0 Conference. We mentioned what we were doing the next day and before we could even order dinner, both of those people took off – suddenly remembering somewhere else they had to be. Chris has been talking to them about running some BarCamps around OSCON or something, but I don’t know what if anything actually happened with that – I dont think anything really came of it since Chris did not get an invite to FOO Camp this year, but his other half Tara Hunt did (that is really pretty rude FOO folks). Of course, that in and of itself says nothing and I may be wrongly assuming a connection there, but it just seemed odd.
So after the event I was reading this great Wired article on O’Reilly and I decided to write him an email to see if we might be able to talk – perhaps there was a way that we could work together since we shared so many things in common (other than me being cash poor and him having tons of it). It seemed from the article that he was my sort of guy. After all, I had met him and spoken with him on several occasions over the years and there are few people I don’t get along with. In fact, at the Creative Commons launch during Etech a few years back, we had a long conversation about Open Source’s impact on the rest of society and its potential to influence collaboration in other industry’s.
Of course, he never responded. So I wrote again. He never responded. These were personal emails along the lines you would expect from me with all that flowery, spiritually aware goodness.
So I just figured he was busy and wrote it off. I held out hope that we might be able to have a conversation some day and he could see that what we were doing with Web 2point1 and BrainJams was not anything against him or his companies, but instead it was FOR something. FOR finding another way of bringing people together to connect, learn and collaborate. Reading Dave Winer’s post though, I got the sense that it really did not matter and that I was just on the NOO list and would be relegated to it for life if that is really the way he thinks.
So let’s all of us on the NOO list, and everyone else who cares about the opportunity of this era come together and show them that it isnt all about the money – the point is still people!