I arrived late to the event and unfortunately I couldn’t stay for more than an hour or so…. but here are some very brief overall impressions from the event:
Informal, but focused
I’m impressed by the organizers way of combining enthusiasm and spontaneity with a professional focus. And i’ts all free! When you arrive you get a friendly greeting, a programme, a badge with your name on it and the title “enthusiast” – all within a tag cloud of course :-).
WiFi for all
And of course they provide you with a free wireless internet connection (which is not normally the case in mainstream conferences!). As you could expect there were a lot of people with laptops in the audience, and the majority of them were – of course – Mac users 🙂
The mobile phone as a social networking tool
The presenter that was talking when I arrived mentioned how adding buddies to our social networks (such as Facebook, Myspace etc) will be done in the future (the “future” nowadays means just 3-4 years ahead ;-). We’ll simply add our new online buddies through bluetooth on our mobile phones. As simple as that. Actually this very conference, or rather un-conference, is in it self a look into the future when it comes to interaction and commenting. The organizers invite all participants to share their thoughts and comments online by means of different back-channels.
Backchanneling is the word
Nex to the presentation screen on stage there was a smaller screen projecting the ongoing backchanneling stream via Jaiku. This is one of the nicest features in this kind of conference event, this is social media in action, it’s a step further towards democratization of the word, it’s exciting and it’s fun!
But… “hubbub” actually means loud confused noise from many sources. Well this is more or less central to this event: people shouting comments from everywhere… Just minutes after I had joined the Hubbub Jaiku channel om my mobile phone new messages kept arriving at an accelerating speed. A tsunami of messages flooded my phone, I just didn’t have to time to check them all. After the event I counted to about 250 new unread text messages which I immediately deleted, it’s just to time consuming to try and read them all on the mobile phone. Whenever I feel like going back to the conversation feed I’ll just look for them on the web, that’s much more convenient I think. I do think that back-channeling through the mobile phone is a super idea, but I look forward to a better solution to manage all the incoming messages (I suppose Nokia has a more beautiful solution for that). I want the hubbub to be exciting and somehow possible to manage, not just a noise that’s annoying you. Because the hubbubing, un-conferencing concept can really be something innovative and a great inspiration for every each of us involved in conference planning in organizations that are somehow… eh… tired and not very energetic 😉