Web 2.1: Taking Back the Revolution from Big Money
It seems that big money and corporate interests are trying to seize stewardship of the overall concept of Web 2.0 - though the current Wikipedia article credits the folks at Web 2.0 Conference with coining the phrase, I understand it came from an authentic human being who will remain nameless until I get further validation on this. So perhaps I should not be too shocked at this.
But I was really shocked when I went to register for the Web 2.0 Conference and found that it cost $2,800 to attend. This means that most of the real movers and shakers of this movement are not going to be there - which might be fine considering it is geared at a different audience and has a different purpose than a Gnomedex or BarCamp event. As a friend mentioned the other day, the leaders who will be there are either going because they are speaking, they received a comp pass from John or Tim because they are FooCamp worthy or because they are backed by VC's who are ponying up the cash (of course traditional multinational corps will also be willing to pay up).
As an unfunded Web 2.0 startup, without the juice to merit a comp pass, I wont be there
So I have been thinking about trying to organize a BarCamp styled BrainJam for the rest of us who are in the trenches of this next wave. It is time for us to seize the reins of the evolution ourselves - it is time for us to let those big money interests have the Web 2.0 - it is time we launched Web 2.1
I can't imagine a better way to seize it back than to organize a BrainJam that focuses on how we can put the consumer back into the center of consumer generated content and restructure this movement. Let's look at and define some of the goals we all want to see happen - let's empower each other with the knowledge necessary to make it happen - let's bring technology people together with business people and have a meeting of the minds to set the true north on our compass. This is not exclusionary in any regards - there is even room for traditional media as a participant, but they are just networks of individual citizen journalists/writer/editors rather than the gate keepers of truth and knowledge and passion. As I have often said, an idea, a focused question, some minimal structure and some bright minds can result in massive and positive change.
I propose we put together a Web2point1 Conference for next Friday October 7, 2005 somewhere here in San Francisco. We can charge $2.80 for people to attend - providing 1000x the take away value for 1/1000th of the cost - a factor of a million times better than Web 2.0. While Barry Diller won't be attending our BrainJam, the next Barry Diller just might be... The minimal structure will focus on the question "What do we need to do with the technology to get to the future in which we want to live? What does that future really look like?" Separate working sessions could address certain aspects of the problem. This structure is merely a suggested starting point for pre-BrainJam discussion - ultimately the focus will be decided upon by the participants.
I can't do this alone, so I need your help. We need a space with open WiFi, organizers and bodies - we need to mobilize as soon as possible. We also need some sponsors to pony up some green to cover basic expenses, any profit will be donated to the Internet Archive (though I would not expect profitability from something like this, it would be nice to think in that direction at least). Perhaps the folks at TechCrunch might be interested in helping to organize this?
Is anyone else out there interested in making this real???