We love our TAL unconferences, it’s great to get so many enthusiastic people together to chat about their passion. We get rave feedback from participants and it’s been flattering to have so many people asking about this year’s event – before we had even got to the end of January.
For a nanosecond, we did ponder whether the warm, guest-led and slightly cuddly unconference would be the right thing to do this year. Or whether a more hard edged conference with speakers, printed name badges, powerpoint and stuff would serve the community best. Maybe focussing on hard commercial issues with highly priced tickets, or local TV or something wonk-led on the theory.
But the great thing is that there’s loads of that going on in all sorts of different perms:
the Cardiff Community Journalism conference and covered off a formal conference for grown ups with a Minister speaking (a political not a religious one).
the Hyperlocal Alliance/Addiply event on sales in Birmingham last year covered the commercial front for hyperlocals, commendably without very expensive tickets.
And there’s even a free to attend think tank event run by Res Publica and Carnegie UK Trust
And and (yes there is more) Westminster Media Forum are organising a ‘Keynote Seminar’ on ‘The future for local media – TV, print, radio and the web‘ in May which will cover hyperlocal media amongst other stuff.
And and and there are attempts to get an hyperlocal unconference going in Dublin.
So a highly scientific gap analysis suggests that a #TAL13 UK unconference should be just the ticket, if that is what the community want where people can do their thing in an unstructured friendly way. And network together. And have unawards, the not glittering, slightly shabby alternative to the Oscars.
We just need to nail down a time and place which is in part determined by me (rather my wife) having our second baby hopefully in early March. So we are thinking late April/May or maybe June.
As ever we welcome suggestions as to where and when – we always find that people are generous in suggesting their home town as a venue, especially if they live on an Island (you know who you are…). Past venues include TAL09 in Stoke-on-Trent, TAL10 in Leeds, TAL11 in Cardiff and TAL12 in the mighty Birmingham. And of course offers of sponsorship are always welcome. When we get date and venue sorted we’ll either use the UK Hyperlocal G+ thingy or a forum to poll ideas for topics etc.
Let us know what you think in the comments or over on the Facebook page.
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