An article that Janet Swisher and I wrote for STC Intercom magazine about unconferences, BarCamps, and Book Sprints is available as a PDF file from the stc.org site if you are an STC member. I have permission to post it as well, so click the image for a free download of the PDF file.
Janet and I collaborated on the article by using Google Docs and sharing the editing between us.
Here is an excerpt:
Embracing the Un — When the Community Runs the Event
While Web 2.0 has many definitions, it is fair to say that Web 2.0 involves embracing user-created content and the communities that emerge around that content. One aspect of being a member of a Web 2.0-enabled online community is the real world meetings that can happen at professional conferences or even networking events in your same town or city. User groups or focus groups are one type of real-world meeting, with a single goal in mind.
Unconferences and barcamps are another type of real-world event where people with similar interests and goals can get together to share information. A third type of community event has just emerged and this article highlights aspects this new BookSprint model because of its relevance to technical writing. This article describes the authors’ experiences with participating in these types of events, and in particular the FLOSS Manuals Book Sprint for the One Laptop Per Child (OLPC) project, held in August 2008.