Dave Winer: What is an unconference? First, you take the people who used to be the audience and give them a promotion. They’re now participants. Their job is to participate, not just to listen and at the end to ask questions. Then you ask everyone who was on stage to take a seat in what used to be the audience. Okay, now you have a room full of people, what exactly are they supposed to do? Choose a reporter, someone who knows something about the topic of discussion (yes, there is a topic, it’s not free-form) and knows how to ask questions and knit a story together.
I’m planning an unconference on citizen media during the summer (tentatively at Harvard in early August; the time and location are now being decided), and want to do it this way. With this topic, it’s basically the only plausible way, actually.
If you’re interested in attending/participating, please let us know.