The answer may be a flipped conference, by analogy to a flipped classroom.... | by Balaji



about 1 month ago

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The answer may be a flipped conference, by analogy to a flipped classroom. In a normal classroom, you attend lectures as a group and do homework by yourself. But in a flipped classroom, you watch lecture videos by yourself and discuss homework in a group.

Similarly, in a normal conference you attend the talks in person & get people’s contact info to talk to them afterwards. But now that all talks are recorded, you can flip the conference. All talks are posted online and watched at your leisure, while in-person is for discussion.

Public is online, private is encrypted. That is, if you give a public talk, you should probably do the effort to post it online. Largest possible audience, and people can consume it at their leisure. Conversely, if you are speaking privately, better be end-to-end encrypted.

One more observation: in-person is both proof-of-work AND adverse selection. It’s difficult to get people to travel in the remote economy. So in-person shows commitment. However, execs often can’t make that commitment. So there’s a degree of adverse selection. VR may fix…

Also, if all talks are designed from the beginning to be posted online, you can have them each be limited to 140 seconds. Post them individually and as a collection. Anyone can then catch up on 10 talks in about 20 minutes. And they may buy a ticket to come in person next year…

Btw — it’s hard to build things! I want to make clear that I’m not beating up on any particular conference — just thinking about the broader problem and how this venue (and other conferences) might address it next year.

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