I've long felt that we need to be able to convene conferences that are timely, when news is happening and change is imminent. So many conferences are stuffy affairs with well-rehearsed positions, they're not as interesting as conferences on topics that are fresh, where the events have just happened or are still happening. When things are coming to a head, it's a good time to have a flash conference.
It's the kind of thing a university can do well. We did these sometimes when I was at Berkman Center a little over ten years ago. You're starting to see permanent installations around convention centers, evolving toward what I called HyperCamp, a 365-day-a-year conference for bloggers and press people, and people who make news. That's also a context where flash conferences make sense.
You get a sense that things are about to change in a big way because finally the web advertising business has gone too far, users are doing something about it, as is tech.
When Facebook says we need Instant Articles because mobile latency is such a huge impediment to flow, that's only half the story. The other half is omitted because it's such an uncomfortable topic -- web ads are making the web unusable.
It would be great to have a 1/2 day series of discussions with people who have been thinking and writing about this stuff. I'd like to see Doc Searls moderate a panel with editorial people from sites with ridiculous advertising. How many editorial people run ad blockers on their own sites? Have you ever been interrupted by a video that starts playing in a tab you opened an hour ago? Did it interfere with something you were doing?
Is the purpose of the web to pay your salary or does it have some greater mission? (The question should be asked with a certain amount of sarcasm.)