Overlap – the conversation

I was just talking to Steve Portigal today about The Overlap. It’s an ‘unconference’ – the latest way to label what would essentially be a great conversation. At least that’s my perspective.

The Overlap was conceived in November last year, and while the progenitors are Victor Lombardi and Jess McMullin, who clearly took the lead in making it happen, there are many of us ‘organizers’ 🙂 Unlike the DCamp – read Steve’s great coverage of this ‘unevent’ – we have an agenda and some invited speakers. But after this afternoon’s conversation with Steve, I started thinking about how I percieved the Overlap.

To me it’s not a conference, event or workshop. I’d put it closer to a retreat, but it isn’t that at all, the only ‘retreatish’ feeling is our location, the Asilomar Resort. Finally, I found that if I call the Overlap one big conversation, instead of conference, I think I’d be closer to the mark. All of us who are convening there during Memorial Day Weekend at the end of this month are folks interested in the dual aspects of business and design. And here is this opportunity to talk about it.

Just talk about it. For the last one year, there’s been increasing interest in this particular intersection of where two fields of thought meet, and for all the thinkers on the topic to get a chance to meet and greet each other in person, rather than just reading their blogs or articles, is the biggest attraction of the event.  Sort of like my small corner of the blogosphere becoming real for a weekend, rather than virtual 🙂

Niblettes says the big difference is that it’s FREE. That’s another trend showing up in events in the real world nowadays that is directly derived from what’s happening online. Witness the surge of ‘freebies’ on the web 2.0 (or whatever you want to call it) and then note the similar increase in events.

Makes me think that the days of the 2500 dollar fancy name conference maybe over, and this is just the tip of the iceberg of a new style of ‘meeting up’ in person. After all, before the advent of blogs, that was one of the ways to network with people interested in your field. Now, I already read more or less everyone who has been writing about business and design, or at least I know of them. Regardless of where they may be in the world today. So in that context, Overlap becomes the opportunity to talk to the people whose thinking you are already familiar with, and to meet them in person, putting a face to a name. Quite the reverse of the standard conference agenda where you go to meet others whom you have not heard about before. I’m digressing from the point of my post, but I think that this trend against big expensive conferences is only going to get bigger.

I wonder how in other ways the changes online – the blogosphere, web 2.0, social networking etc are flowing into the ‘real world’ and making changes there. I read about someone’s observation on this recently, let’s see if I find it for a link.

What do you think?

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One Response to Overlap – the conversation

  1. AiAlone.com says:

    Unable to Swallow “Unconference”

    OK, I know that I am a blogger, and that I should probably be drinking the Kool-Aid.nbsp; But there are a couple of things that I just can’t wrap my head around.nbsp; One of those things is some of the terminology:i.e. UnconferenceIt sounds l…

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