Tempest in a time shifted tea pot?

August 16, 2006

This post is based on a few premises.

  • PodCamp is an UnConference.
  • UnConferences are conferences which break the mold of a traditional, linear, inflexible conference.
  • UnConferences are at their core about sharing and learning, discussing and growing.
  • UnConferences reserve the right to keep what works from regular conferences and toss what doesn’t.
  • UnConferences – and their presenters – are free to experiment and fail badly.

If you agree with these basic assumptions, then what I’m about to suggest will make sense. If you don’t agree, then it’s not going to make sense at all. The sessions I’m planning to present at the conference – guerrilla marketing for new media, Garageband things that Apple didn’t bother to explain, corporate podcasting for fun and profit, etc. – are all presentations. Meaning I stand in front of the room and let my lips flap in the breeze for 15 – 20 minutes and then open the floor up.

Here’s where I get crazy. What if instead of 10 – 15 minutes of open discussion, we had the full 30? What if everyone already saw the “classroom lecture” ahead of the session and came ready to discuss, argue, present, refute, and share? Look, podcasting is entirely about on-demand content – where you want it, when you want it. Vlogging is to a lesser degree (mainly because it’s really dangerous to watch vlogs and drive at the same time).

What if I recorded the “classroom” portion and published it ahead of the UnConference, and used the time slot to discuss what I’d presented, answer questions, etc.? Would that be a better, more powerful use of the time? Or would you rather have the traditional presentation followed by open floor/Q&A?

Let me know what you think.

Christopher Penn, PodCamp Organizer


  1. I think that’s a great idea. Not sure if it’ll actually work, but it’s worth a try, in my opinion.
    It’s so easy to forget, or wait until the last minute to do any “pre-work” as we call it in the instructional design biz.

    Plus, it’ll put a big burden on you, as well. I’m sure you’re busy and don’t have a lot of free time for extra work.

    But I like the idea, and I’m planning to attend the session on Corporate podcasting, so let me know if there’s anything I can do to help.

  2. sounds good- might be a good idea to do for all the conference tracks. i don’t know if you need to do the whole “lesson” in advance tho- maybe just post an outline and get a jump on where the interest lies, get the conversation started. if you do this you ought to make it clear to all participants that the blog is where the pre-podcamp action is happening. make it obvious on the front page or do a mailing or something.

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