Maybe there oughta be a CampCamp?

Will there be controversy over the upcoming Minneapolis-based “CampCamp” this May?

CampCamp is an ad-hoc, un-conference born from the desire for people to go to a camp since it appears that they’re really, really cool.

CampCamp will be an intense event with discussions, demos, and interaction from attendees, as well as wiki’s, free deodorant and on-the-spot blogging about how cool it is. Though CampCamp unconference organizers have yet to pick a topic nor have invited anyone to date, this is shaping up to be one of the best camp unconferences ever.

Of course, free Wifi and power strips will be available. Dress code is open, long sleeve shirts over t-shirts with jeans. In addition, all A-list bloggers (e.g., Doc Searls, Robert Scoble, Dave Winer) will be invited in order to maximize CampCamp’s exposure on techmemorandum, as well as inappropriate begging to ensure CampCamp is covered on TechCrunch and Valleywag.”

OK, OK…I’ll be serious. Matthew Ingram has quite a post about a controversy over all the “camps” (Foocamp, Barcamp, MashupCamp, Moosecamp) that have been occurring. I won’t re-create Matthews post here, but suffice it to say the concept of an unconference is OUTSTANDING and there needs to many, many more of them. Paying thousands of dollars to attend traditional conferences — plus travel and expenses — limits the number of people who can attend and contribute.

I believe that there are no experts. Someone might be more knowledgable at some point in time, but the collective consciousness knows more than any single individual. I know that the reason I love conferences like Web 2.0, ETech and others is not the speakers…it’s the attendees. The side conversations. The connections. Ideas that spark new thoughts and, in turn, new ideas.

The most important thing we can all do to create new value, innovate and solve problems we have or are yet to come, is to collaborate. If we align around a topic or as an affinity group, magic happens. An unconference of *any* kind can invite in the maximum number of people that can bring with them new ways of thinking, different points of view, and energy that traditional, expensive conferences cannot. Unconferences are the open source of the conference world.

UPDATE: Dave Winer has an essay on the subject of unconferences that you’ll want to read.

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About Steve Borsch

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