The Open Source CMS UnconferenceOctober 10, 2018
Have you heard of unconferences? No set speakers. No set topics. Organic discussion. Attendees as speakers and group-sourced topics, and also, and quite importantly, fun, free-flowing and non-judgemental interaction.
It is a genuine attempt to bring together open source CMS groups to find common ground and collaborate and communicate. Their enthusiasm for the idea is quite infectious. This is what they have to say about it:
Please explain the "unconference" format for those of us who are unfamiliar with the concept
An unconference is a conference where the agenda is totally driven by who shows up on the day of the event. There is no prepared schedule in advance, instead participants are invited to suggest and facilitate topics on the day of the event. We lay out a grid of timeslots and locations and anyone can put their idea on the board and then facilitate a discussion with whomever shows up.
One way to think about an unconference is to envision an entire conference built around the kinds of conversations that you often have in the hallway at more structured conferences.
Do you have a mission for this event?
Tim: For us, this is about encouraging and facilitating cross community collaboration and lesson sharing. We are trying to build connections across open source communities. We would like to see ongoing communication and collaboration between open source communities or meetup groups.
Wilbur: We know all the people in the Drupal community, but we know there are other people in other communities that are dealing with the same things and this is a chance for us to learn together.
Do you have any advice for attendees on how to prepare for an unconference?
Wilbur: They could take a little time to read about unconferences in advance, but this is probably not necessary because we’ll cover most of the essentials at the start of the event. What would be more valuable is to figure out what you want to know from developers using other CMS's. How does what you are doing compare to what they are doing? What do you struggle with? Let’s share.
Tim: I agree, the most important thing to do is to decide what your burning questions are. At an unconference it’s your responsibility to come prepared with ideas about what you want to talk about and add to the agenda.
Are there any plans for future events or is it a one-off?
Tim: I would like to see future events. One outcome of the conference I would like to see is to know what people from all the communities would like to do in the future events. One possibility could be an “Open Web" monthly meetup that is not specific to any CMS. That seems really interesting to me.
Wilbur: I’m hoping this will be the cornerstone event that will create a brand identity which surpasses all CMS groups in the region, and fund my early retirement! But, seriously, I'd like to get through this event and see how things develop. Based on our experience I think we will continue to have more unconference events in the future because it’s a format that makes events successful and interesting. Perhaps we can learn and tweak.
Best of luck for your event, and here's the EventBrite invitation again for anyone who wants to join https://www.eventbrite.com/e/twin-cities-open-source-cms-unconference-t…
We hope to see you there, and stop back here for an addendum to this post that will give a short update on how the event went.