While drooling over the O’Reilly Where 2.0 conference schedule a week or so ago I noticed that except for a few keynotes, panels, and lightning talks, every talk at the conference is exactly 15 minutes long. At first I thought that O’Reilly was off their rocker, but if I had to play the odds, I’d have to bet that they’re on to something.
So almost all presentations are 15 minutes long. That means that there’s a good chance that I can figure out what each person is going to talk about by reading their blurb and possibly googling their name or (more often than not) heading over to their blog.
That’s the motivation for me to attend if I can pretty accurately guess what each person is going to talk about? Actually, I’m not. Don’t get me wrong, I’d love to go (and I’d give my left kidney to attend the Google Geo developer day), but I just can’t justify $1500 plus travel and lodging. To be fair it would have been $400 less if I had hopped on the early bird special but it still would have cost more than I can afford to blow on a conference.
Per usual, this conference will have an insanely high concentration of really smart geo geeks, so there’s lots of hanging out to be done between conference sessions. I also really like the idea of having lots of 15 minute presentations in a single place rather than “tracking” sessions in several locations. Invariably I miss something really cool at a conference because there’s something else I want to catch at the same time.
I’m not sure how proven this conference format is, but I hope that it works. Except for the price tag, Where 2.0 almost has an “unconference” feel to it.