Liquid Unconference

David Bovill david at
Thu Aug 19 09:09:31 EDT 2010

The idea of a *Liquid Unconference*, is that it is fundamentally scalable.
It is possible to self-organise an event at any venue - yourself. You can
take part at home, in a cafe, a bar, or a local community centre. It can be
with 2 people, a group of friends, or you can even take part alone online.
You can take part live or drop into the conversations later.

On the other hand this vision of the ease of participation, does not
preclude large scale highly produced events, which we may associate more
commonly with conferences of theatre performances. Several hundred people
can be accommodated into a live Unconference, which takes place over one day
or more. Speakers and performers can be involved in which they contribute
provocations, or ideas to the debate. A parallel fictional narrative can be
involved along the lines of those discussed / hinted at on this list earlier
(Forests / Gnomes - more on this later).

*Liquid Unconference as Game*
In particular I think we can develop some of the ideas proposed, in terms of
user interface and community engagement, by superimposing the notion of play
on these events - the events, and participation in them are part of the
creation of an online and real-space game, of which all players are members
and owners.

In this context LD - is a fundamental part of the game-play, and the design
of the game, the visual metaphors, the "script", the 3D spaces, and all the
small practical details that are involved in taking the project forwards -
these details are the game play. It is only this through this bold step that
we can make the real space activity of taking part, the online decisions and
the activity of designing the software and interfaces - concrete. The
Unconferences debate and decide, LD is used as formal game-play-logic, the
players own and decide on the development of the game.

*Boot Strapping and the power of Live*
LD systems show their true value with larger, and distributed communities.
Getting a few fragmented users here and there - makes it difficult to
realise the real benefit of debate, consequently those attracted are
advocates, passionate - democracy nerds. This tends to steer the project
into dangerous territory - and it is through the use of "live" debate, and
the extension of the project into real-space and more creative and playful
arenas that we will be able to build compelling democratic interfaces, that
can involve a wide range of talents right from the word go.

In this way the power of story, the ability to picture how LD can and should
be used, the vision of future, the richness of human face-to-face
interaction of local community, the emotional and structural distinctiveness
of LD can all be told, and fed back into the design process - but we dont
have to wait for the interfaces first. We can bootstrap and time the
development of the narrative and game play, with the technical development
of the software so that both complement each other.

-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
URL: <>

More information about the Votorola mailing list