3) My personal favorite is the Unpanel which evolved from something we called a Lightening Panel at CloudCamp Indianapolis. The Unpanel is meant to compliment to the Unconference because it draws from the knowledge of the attendees to provide answers to their own questions. I start the Unpanel by saying, "I don't know who the panelists are, and I don't know what the questions are, but lets get started". I usually have everyone's attention after that. Next, I ask a few targeted questions of the audience to find 5 experienced and knowledgeable attendees and invite them to be on the panel. Then I ask the audience to give me the 10 most pressing questions about Cloud Computing which I write down on a white board for all to see. The panelists are instructed to take turns answering questions from the list until all 10 questions are answered. After each answer, I turn to the audience and ask "Are we done with this question, or do we need a session?" This is a great way to identify potential sessions for the Unconference. The Unpanel has been a big hit and has become a permanent part of CloudCamp.
whurley: What would you say is the most significant development that's come out of CloudCamp?
Nielsen: The breadth of the support we are receiving from the grassroots of the Cloud Computing ecosystem: from local startups to large vendors, small businesses to large enterprises, individual consultants to large systems integrators. Even local media and bloggers get involved. We're very lucky to have this kind of support. Even more than our interactive format, the wide range of participants is what makes CloudCamp so special.
whurley: Do you ever see CloudCamp becoming more formalized and helping drive the creation of open cloud standards?
Nielsen: We've thought about standards, but CloudCamp has been apolitical so far, and I don't think anyone wants to see CloudCamp get caught up in standards politics. Besides, there are plenty of standards groups already. Perhaps CloudCamps can be a place where these people can safely discuss their ideas requirements and people interested in standards can get feedback from real customers. That said, it has been important for us to formalize CloudCamp to some degree – if only to make it easier for sponsors to deal with us.