One of the things that is most exciting about THATCamps is the unconference format. If you’ve ever wanted to go to a conference without papers or presentations, then TCSE will knock your socks off. But if we’re going to have a conference without those ordinary conference trappings, we all have to pull our own weight. That means we all have two duties:
- Write a session proposal. What we’ll talk about at THATCamp depends on what you propose. Writing out your session proposals in advance is crucial, because we’ll decide which sessions to hold in the first hour of THATCamp on Saturday. So let’s hear your ideas!
Remember, do not prepare a paper or presentation. Instead, we’re looking for some ideas of what you’d like to work on and talk about at TCSE. In some ways, this isn’t that hard since you already told us your ideas in your application. You can feel free to post those ideas to share with the whole group or to expand. Or you could go in a completely different direction, based on where your focus has been recently. If you need a model, see these early proposals by Sherman and Adelle, as well as this great overview of THATCamp session genres that includes links to many other session proposals. Remember, everyone who goes to a THATCamp proposes a session.
- Read and comment on others’ proposals. Since a THATCamp runs on love (as well as the occasional donation), you’ll want to be aware of what your fellow Campers plan to discuss. Read their session proposals to see what might interest you at THATCamp. If there’s a session that particularly intrigues you, start a discussion on the website. See, for example, the comments that Sherman’s post has already provoked. You can easily find all the session proposals here, and you can also subscribe to the site’s RSS feed so new posts come to you.
If you need help with doing any of this, send an e-mail to thatcamp.southeast [ut] gmail.com, and we’ll be glad to be of service.
The sooner you publish your session proposals and start discussing them online, the better prepared we will all be. And we might just start building a learning community in advance, which is what THATCamp is all about.
(It’s worth acknowledging this post’s indebtedness to Lincoln Mullen’s similar call to arms for THATCamp New England.)