Unconference blues? How to keep the conversations going

As Dave Briggs once said: “Monday will be the most depressing day of your life”. You spend Saturday chatting, listening and getting all buzzy with too much coffee and cakes. Sunday chewing over all the ideas you heard, reflecting and plotting. Monday will be the day you put it all into action and by next Friday we’ll have changed the world!
But then real life restarts and before you know it you’re back at the next unconference looking around wondering how everyone else ever finds the time to do all this cool stuff and getting inspired afresh.
Still, let’s not be too hard on ourselves. We could be back in the old days, only ever going to conferences where you sit frustrated for a day, listening to people you’ve never heard of saying things you don’t agree with. We could feel compelled to use the word ‘silo’ too often and be forced to watch TV without a backchannel upon which to make snarky comments. Hooray for the internet! Now we can keep talking and supporting each other, wherever we are. The tools and ideas are all around us, it’s all about how we use them.
Here are a few ways to keep talking:
  • The Exchange TAL page: some places where you can ask for help – this page needs updating, please add anything you know about
  • The TAL Unconference email group, which includes current discussions on how hyperlocals and people living in regeneration areas can support each other
  • The #TAL11 hashtagOn this embed you can read over all Saturday’s chatter from the beginning and follow all the links you meant to bookmark, and of course obviously continue to tweet and follow the hashtag – a lot of detailed write-ups will be emerging from the sessions over the next few days
  • Our new Facebook Show and TAL group
  • Keep an eye out on Twitter for other upcoming unconferences, or organise one in your own area. At risk of being accused of digitally stroking Dave Briggs too often for one blog post, his guidance on organising a Govcamp-type event is unbeatable. Often these are organised by geeks for geeks, but they don’t have to be about anything technological at all. If you want to do something smaller, you can take your inspiration and make use of the platforms of such things as MeetupsSocial Media SurgeriesBarcamps and Teacamps. And of course, you’ll only have a year to wait until #TAL12!

As ever, more suggestions are welcome in the comments.

clare white

I work part-time for Talk About Local, mainly trying to develop resources that will help make new bloggers’ journey smoother and widen awareness of the range of free tools at our fingertips and the clever ways people use them. I also help out with unconferences, webinars and workshops. I’m passionate about the communities that are sometimes left voiceless and love discovering the small, the hidden and the new.