Why is #virtualgovcamp a good idea?

Quick update – there’s now a placeholder site for #virtualgovcamp live at http://virtualgovcamp.org/ (it currently forwards to a wordpress.com blog) and a Twitter account @virtualgovcamp. At some point I will get all the content from the blog posts here replicated on the VGC site.

So why do I think #virtualgovcamp is a good idea?

  1. Scale – we can get the message to a lot more people by not having to fit them all in a room on a particular day
  2. Scale – we can have a lot more discussions and a lot more varied discussions by not being limited by the size of a grid and the number of breakout rooms available
  3. Diversity – we ought to be able to attract a much more varied bunch of people by running the event online
  4. Travel – no need for people to travel longish distances to the event – they can access it from wherever they are. That might even mean people not in the UK! Wowza!
  5. Time – we won’t be asking people to give up a whole day, whether in the week or the weekend. They can dip in and out as they please
  6. Serendipity – the law of two feet exists, but not many exercise it. Much easier online, and the existence of search means people will be able to find something else to get involved in much more easily. Or they could just do some work instead.
  7. Anonymity – still not sure where I am on this one, but being online means that there is the potential for people to be involved anonymously, which they may be more comfortable with

Do these things mean that the traditional GovCamp model is dead? No! Its just different. Both are needed.

It’s just that this one means I don’t have to get out of bed.