With the upcoming BarCampHelsinki IV this was more on my mind, possibly due to the many recent conversations where i would be explaining about barcamps.
My view is that what happens at unconferences, is more about people communicating as peers together, even when it is a more classic presentation style, rather than the traditional conference format where it is more a single person at the front attempting to distribute their wisdom.
But the killer difference for me is that at BarCamps there are intermediate level people teaching beginners or learning from one another.
At a traditional conference the “guru” will often attempt to please both types of audience (beginner & intermediate), and thus often fail to please both . I find that by teaching people who know less than you, you will often find the gaps in your knowledge & understanding, and thus progress towards mastery faster.
But the reason I keep coming back to these type of events is the sheare randomness of what happens at them.
The core principales of BarCamp type events Seems to cause people with a commaon characteristic of having a willingness and desire to share to come togeather. This in turn, leads to oppertunites to be exposed to new things. Emma Persky touched upon this in a recent post where she points out that not everything happening at a BarCamp is about technology, in fact the most memorable/remarkable sessions are often the ones no-one expects.
Posted by Wordmobi