Adapted from the BloggerCon IV Format by David Winer.
This will be an unusual conference. We generally won’t have speakers, panels or an audience. We will have discussions and sessions, and each session will have a discussion leader.
The discussion leader
Think of the discussion leader as a reporter who is creating a story with quotes from the people in the room. So, instead of having a panel and an audience we just have contributors. We feel this more accurately reflects what’s going on. It’s not uncommon for the audience at a conference to have more expertise collectively than the people who are speaking.
The discussion leader is also the editor, so if he or she feels that a point has been made they must move on to the next point quickly. No droning, no filibusters, no repeating an idea over and over.
The discussion leader can also call on people.
Think of it as a weblog
Think of the conference as if it were a weblog. At the beginning of each session, the leader talks between five and fifteen minutes. He or she will introduce the idea and some of the people in the room.
Then he or she will facilitate the discussion among all the contributors in the room, inviting others to comment and asking questions of others. It is hoped that everyone who would like to contribute to the discussion will be able to do so in the allotted time.
We have a limited amount of time, and a group of participants whose time is valuable. The leader’s job is to make sure the show stays interesting, even captivating. If it gets boring people will leave the
room and schmooze, or read their email, or whatever. So the leader’s job is to keep it moving. Sometimes this may mean cutting people off.
Looks really cool.