April 25, 2005

Panels are Dead

For me that is.

I'm sitting here at a conference that I flew all the way to Paris for.. for two days, and damned if it isn't full of panels, broadcast mode all the way, telling the audience how it is. And well.. it's so freaking undynamic. Because it's not a discussion. These are bloggers. They know a lot. They know what it is. These 300 people make media every day on their blogs and yet, panels are here giving us time to email the office, our cats or the mailman about a critical lost postcard.

This audience is creative, bright, thoughtful and our brains are being numbed to death by one-way talk about how blogs are about losing legacy control and we're all taking it back. Somewhere there is a tragi-comedy in here. It's time for a revolt. Please, please, please can we do all conferences from now on differently? For the love of transparency, aliveness, I hope we can.


1. Ditch the panels.
2. One leader per room.. moderating an active discussion by everyone in the room by, asking questions and interacting.
3. IF we do panels, any time there are more people lined up at the mic, than are on the panel, the panel and the people at the mic have to switch places.

Please note, I do appreciate all the work that goes in to making a conference like this, and thank the people who put it on. But they are doing a format we all have done for a long time. And we need a change. This doesn't work, and it needs to stop.

Posted by Mary Hodder at April 25, 2005 08:37 AM | TrackBack