#VirtualGovCamp FAQ

I’ve started putting an FAQ together for #VirtualGovCamp. Here’s the first effort.

Any more questions? Ask in the comments…

What is VirtualGovCamp?

VirtualGovCamp is an event which will take place online for people with an interest in improving public services.

What makes it a GovCamp?

GovCamp is an unconference – which means an open space event with no set agenda and no keynotes, where delegates can talk to one another about the topics they are interested in, not those of an organising committee.

What makes it virtual?

VirtualGovCamp will take place online, on this website (or rather, at this domain). People will interact on “sessions” which will basically be pages with comments where a discussion can take place.

Does that mean webinars?

No. VirtualGovCamp will live or die by its asynchronicity – which means people can interact when they want to and won’t need to be online at a specific time.

People organising sessions can make a time limited webinar or webchat part of what they are doing, but afterwards they will have to provide a means for ongoing discussion – such as embedding a video of the webinar session and allowing comments on that.

So no face to face stuff at all?

Not organised by me, no. But… if you want to run a local VirtualGovCamp party where people get together to enjoy sessions and talk about them together, then go for it!

So what does a session look like?

This still needs properly working out, but I reckon something like this: the person who pitched the session gets to create a page of content about the topic. It might be a video of them talking about it, or maybe someone else talking about it. It could be some text and links, or a Slideshare or Prezi. Maybe even a Storify.

They then facilitate a conversation in the comments to that page about the topic, encouraging people to get involved, share their views and ask and answer questions.

My current thinking is that a session will last a week. That doesn’t mean the comments will necessarily be closed, just that the active facilitation will cease.

Who can attend VirtualGovCamp?

Anyone with an interest in improving public services. It doesn’t matter what sector you are in, you are welcome to take part.

How do I pitch a session?

We will have a dedicated site for pitching and voting on sessions, which will be running on FutureGov’s Simpl platform, which they have donated for free.

Session pitching will begin in January 2015.

Can I sponsor VirtualGovCamp?

Probably yes, in two ways. One is in kind, by donating some technology or something else useful, like FutureGov are with Simpl.

I will also be accepting cash sponsorships, which I want to use to pay some people to do some online community management and other bits of support which are probably beyond what I can ask people to do as a volunteer.

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