31Dec Hello,Beijing Open Party!

Beijing Open Party

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Open Space And Unconference is popular now:

Unconferences are gaining popularity in the high-tech community as self-organizing forums for idea sharing, networking, learning, speaking, demonstrating, and generally interacting with other geeks. The unconference format is based on the premise that in any professional gathering, the people in the audience—not just those selected to speak on stage—have interesting thoughts, insights, and expertise to share. Everyone who attends an unconference, such as those put together by organizations like BarCamp or BrainJams, is required to participate in some way: to present, to speak on a panel, to show off a project, or just to ask a lot of questions. As an event, the character of the unconference falls somewhere between that of a bazaar and that of an intellectual salon. It is, to borrow a phrase, a free “marketplace of ideas.” There are no themes or tracks to guide you, as in a typical conference; the whole event is centered on what might be called the discussion group. The ad hoc nature and the low cost of this forum (they’re usually free, compared to the hundreds of dollars needed to attend some industry gatherings) make the unconference accessible to many.

Unconference Thoughts:

Unconferences may not have a set agenda, but they still possess a defined structure that provides attendees with a set of tools for navigating the event. The guiding tenets of the unconference are directly influenced by the work of consultant and author Harrison Owen, who describes a method of organizing group interaction, called Open Space Technology.

Owen, in his piece Opening Space for Emerging Order, explains the Four Principles of Open Space:
1) Whoever comes is the right people;
2) Whatever happens is the only thing that could have;
3) Whenever it starts is the right time;
4) When it’s over, it’s over.

The accompanying Law of Two Feet states, “If at any time you find yourself in any situation where you are neither learning nor contributing—use your two feet and move to some place more to your liking.”

Prior to the event, the unconference will be organized online via a wiki, where attendees could register, tell a little about themselves, and float ideas for sessions. As the date for the unconference neared, the registrations on the wiki page increased—the final count would be more than 30 people. The wiki is extremely useful, in that it provided a sense of community and interaction, in addition to useful information, before the event began.

The hub of this unconference—the place where people make decisions about the types of sessions to offer and attend—is a large cafeteria at the venue’s offices. We open with a meet-and-greet period, where participant could sign-in, mingle, and drink coffee. People uses this time to test the waters and discover the backgrounds of the other attendees. The atmosphere will be collegial and friendly: Everyone seems genuinely interested in learning about other people’s projects and proposed sessions. Present at the event are designers and developers of every stripe, not to mention bloggers, podcasters, venture capitalists, project managers, HR recruiters, and a host of entrepreneurs. There are a huge range of ages and experience levels, from kids fresh out of college to gray-haired computer gurus.

The coffee time is an excellent warm up for the next event—the Party kick-off—during which participants pass a microphone around the room, introduced themselves, and give brief synopses of their proposed talks. This rapid-fire group interaction enable attendees to find like-minded participants and make further connections. While people are introducing themselves on the microphone, other attendees are posting the titles of their presentations and general descriptions of their topics—on oversized bright yellow sticky notes—to an eight-by-twelve-foot brown paper schedule grid. Attendees chose the locations (large room or small), durations (usually a half hour), and formats (panel, discussion, demo) for their talks. To gauge interest in a particular session, other participants are encouraged to make a tick mark on the sticky note if they plann to attend. People crowd around the board, frantically writing down in laptops, PDAs, and even paper notebooks the names of talks they want to attend. As the sessions solidified and the overall schedule became clear, a helpful volunteer posts the order of events and their locations to the wiki. While the activity would last less than forty-five minutes, it enable everyone present to get a feel for the overall group, the topics in which other people are interested, and the schedule for the day.

Session topics at Our Party included: Startup 2.0: The New Landscape, Podcasting, Open Source, User Interface Workshop, and various demonstrations of beta and pre-beta software and web projects,etc. Some useful sessions might be a group discussion of recommended “cool tools” for everything from content management to database administration to mapping local area restaurants using GPS software. About half the people in the room present their favorite cool tools and explain their benefits, sometimes hooking up their laptops to the room’s projector and directing the audience to online resources. A group of facilitators help organize the session, sending participants to the front of the room when it was their turn to speak, and moving the discussion along when it got bogged down.

Party Founder & Organizer:

Matrix.org.cn:China traditional Java community,it has been live for 5 years,and has 150,000 registed members.

more details:

1.topics preparation

In the unconference,everyone can submit his topic’s subject on topics wall,and then the host can arrange them for time and room.Their topics must in develope or opensource cultural theme.We can make some new beta product or application demonstrations.

2.feel free to join topics

Topics submitter dramaticly show his session for attendees in room.Attendee can freely change his room anyway.In the topics,everyone can give his suggestion or view on topics,or startup another new topics based on previous topics,we call it as “evolution”.

3.Share resource

After activity,the topics leaders should post their material or files,and attendees could post their feeling and feedback or thought on wiki or blog(must tag with special activity-name).for example,in barcamp,someone post his ppt with “barcamp” tag in blog,so that other people can search and get it.

4.Sponsor’s gain point

What for it?Take it easy,it will take a little money,and sponsor will gain more:free advister,new beta product demonstration,technology feedback,more inspirations,more partner,more users and community members,it’s just good for opensource project.In another hand,it can getting more business trace and contact information for your business.Everyone can get your product link and info from google.

5.partners

BJUG:Beijing Java User Group is one of them,it have a lot of registed member who is java developers and evanglistes,tech-speakers.
BLUG:Beijing Linux User Group.It’s made up with all kids of Linux distro users(ubuntu/redhat/fedora/Mandriva/opensolaris)and developers.
BPUG:Beijing Python User Group.
Agile China:Agile China Group is another one,it is good at agile research and practices,and made up by project managers who decide technology direction.
Matrix.org.cn:China traditional Java community,it has been live for 5 years,and has 150,000 registed members.
InfoQ.cn :China new web technology media site.Rich media material is Its advantance:video,interview,article,report,news,etc.

Sure,We’re happy to get more partner!

6.particitants

high-tech creative workers and companies.Such as opensource developers&designers,Java users,linux and opensolaris users,entrepreneurs,articles,photographers,etc.

7.venue

in Beijing/Shanghai/Guangzhou,most of China’s big cities.Art place is good place,’cause It give people more inspiration.There are a lot of such place in Beijing.It’s easy to get it.It is possible that Thoughtworks@Beijing will be host,they provider some beautiful offices and rooms.

8.occurrence time

twice or once activities/every month.We will give date on web site.Date’s initially given at saturday noon.

9.duration

Every time,we hold 20~30 participators and 3-4 hours session.

10.activity model

we communite with facebook’s group and activity offical wiki.Manager is a organizer and runner,he has sending-note responsibility,manage room and collect/arrange topics.Matrix has 150,000 registed members,so it’s no problem about inviting guys.Speaking of speaker,I think BJUG,BLUG and Agile China are enough to get it.

11.budget

It’s from sponsors.It will be taken for place rent,drinks and foods,gifts,white board,etc.But showing devices(such as computer/laptop/projector) are taken by organizers.Every sponsor can pay in easy way:Giving 2000RMB(about 260$) sponsor money/times,average 80RMB/participator.This is at a lot lower cost then traditional conferences usually 5-15x lower.In sponsor’s time.Sponsor should send speaker show new product and technology in topics.After topics,sponsor will recieve topics’s pics,video,inspiration and user’s feedback or suggestions.

conclusion&future:

The nature of work is changing: Creative occupations require longer hours, but also feature perks such as flexible schedules and increased mobility. This means that we require and demand a different set of support systems and activities from our communities. Strong-tie organizations such as churches and community clubs have traditionally defined our social interactions. Those ties, however, are loosening. Our weak-tie relationships (colleagues and acquaintances) may be a more effective avenue for interaction.

The unconference seems an obvious step in that direction. Because they do not require the infrastructure and organization of a full-blown industry gathering, unconferences can happen more frequently. Because the cost to attend is minimal (or non-existent), anyone who wishes to can come. And because everyone at the unconference participates in some fashion, interaction, networking, and the exchange of ideas is a given. It is possible then, that the unconference is not only a unique alternative to traditional professional gatherings, but also a method for the high-tech creative workers to construct a new weak-tie community.

Let’s join!Contact Party Organizer,Now!

chris@matrix.org.cn

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