NECC 2008 – If we don’t like NECC Unplugged, we can change it

Jeff Utecht said:

I’m worried these type of get out the tools and play sessions where we are all learning and teaching will be forced out of the Blogger’s Cafe. They are unplanned, unscripted, great discussions around tools, ideas, and just plain old good fun.

Vinnie Vrotny said:

I believe that there is a place for NECC Unplugged and people being able to have quick shares. Bur I do believe that the scheduled nature of this venture, while being created for all of the right reasons, is keeping those who may be late to the party, the ability to share.

I guess I am advocating for a rallying call to arms, a reclaiming of the Blogger’s cafe space. Like Travis, Crockett, and Bowie, and the other Texans, many whose statues are in the hallway right outside of the Blogger’s Cafe,  I am willing to defend the turf from the invasion and instrusion in order to allow for those, who like me, just want a place for informal learning and reflection. Anyone want to join?

My thoughts

  1. Many of us enjoyed the conversations on Saturday, even with the boom mikes and camera crews.
  2. I’m glad that Jeff and others ‘voted with their feet’ and found spaces and times where their conference needs could be met. I know that I’ve had a blast interacting with Jeff, Vinnie, and others in our informal settings.
  3. I thought the Blogger’s Cafe today was fabulous. I don’t know what NECC Unplugged is going to do that atmosphere, but we can always decide as a group to dump it or move it if need be. I liked your [Jeff’s] note that we could’ve taken better control of Edubloggercon but didn’t. If we need it, we have a second chance on Monday and/or Tuesday! [left as a comment on Jeff’s blog]

In other words, if NECC Unplugged isn’t working for us, we don’t have to see it to its conclusion. We can adapt on the fly. Isn’t that one of our strengths as a group?

One final note: A lot of people in the Blogger’s Cafe today weren’t interacting with anyone. They were typing away or simply resting and watching. I’m guessing that many weren’t even bloggers but were simply conference attendees who found an open seat. We have to be cognizant of this too. Although Vinnie and Jeff don’t fall into this camp, there may be folks who prefer the more structured approach of NECC Unplugged instead of a more free-for-all conversation.

One Response to “NECC 2008 – If we don’t like NECC Unplugged, we can change it”

  1. “A lot of people in the Blogger’s Cafe today weren’t interacting with anyone. They were typing away or simply resting and watching. I’m guessing that many weren’t even bloggers but were simply conference attendees who found an open seat”

    This is something some of us have commented about the difference between last year and this year. Last year the Blogger’s Cafe was out of the way, you had to make an effort to go there for the conversation. This year the area, although the same size seems to be a “rest your feet” area for many. Not that I can blame them, but it does take away from the ‘feeling’ of conversational space.

    I do think we need two different spaces. They are two different formats of learning. Neither one is better then the other….just different. What we need is another Cafe style area that is more traditional in nature. The Blogger’s Cafe is too crowded, too much a foot highway, and too noise to do anything even semi formal. The best session I’ve seen in the Blogger’s Cafe today was when Bud Hunt grades the computer and projector and took a bunch of us on a tour of Plurk. Informal, unscripted learning. My own session there was not good, people doing there own thing and others walking buy chatting made it confusing at best. There needs to be a happy medium…can we find it in time?

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