Blogebrity and Vin Crosbie wonder why, even with sponsors, the American Press Institute, Media Center, and the AP had to charge $695 for a confab on the future of journalism and all that. I was signed on to join a panel (before I knew the economics) but finked out so I can go to Web 2.0 (which is even more expensive, though I’m on panels there). I’ll let them explain the costs, because I don’t fully understand them, especially since the content — the panelists — are not paid. Besides, the people in the room are usually at least as smart and experirenced as the people on the panels.
I do think that someone (read: Dave Winer) will come along and blow up the economics of confabs (though even Dave had to charge for the first Bloggercon to cover costs). With the internet as a means to bring people together for discussion and debate, I have to think there is a new way to get them together in person. Should we hold a meeting in New York’s Bryant Park, with its free wi-fi, byob (bring your own bagel)?