FTBCON Starts Today! You Bunch of Haters!

The FTBCON starts today and first of all, although I most likely won’t be “attending”, I sincerely wish them success.

It’s an interesting experiment, in my view, to have a free conference so that people from around the world can participate in without having to get out of their pajamas. Maybe this will become the future of conferences for the atheist/skeptical world.
I was looking over at the FTB site to get a schedule for the conference to see what was going to be discussed and on Ms. Christina’s blog  this caught my eye as she was describing what the conference is going to be about: “…and will focus on social justice, technology, and the future of the freethought movement.”
There’s now a freethought movement?
Another item caught my eye and you can go read the post yourself that I linked above and tell me what you think. They are asking people to RSVP at the Facebook page they’ve created. Why is this, I wonder? Okay, so that they can have an idea about the number of attendees. Yeah, that makes sense.
This is not a conference like other conferences though. First of all, it’s virtual, so the conference sponsors don’t have to worry about seating or available hotel rooms, like other conferences. Next, it’s free. So why do I need to RSVP? I read that as “register”.
What could possibly be the reason, other than the first one I gave? I’ll let you make your own determination there.
So, here’s the page where the speakers announced and sessions are described. Note that as of this writing, they have 110 speakers/presenters. Pretty good, I’d say. But again, none of these people have to get out of their PJ’s to attend, or modify their schedules much, so this is really not that surprising. It’s like putting together a Google Hangout with a few friends and seeing 10 to 15 people show up. It’s easy. Also on this page are the list of people that have currently RSVP’d for this conference. As of the time I’m writing this (0900 PDT, 19 July), there are 113 people. So, 110 “speakers” (that’s how it’s defined on the page) and 113 attendees. Now, I do expect this number to go up some, it’s just surprising that with all the attention FTB having been giving this “conference”, especially this week, I would have expected to see more “registered” attendees by now.
I encourage you to go look at the page and view the list of speakers plus the sessions. The conference starts at 5pm CDT, with a David Silverman welcome (Wow!, I guess he’ll do anything to deflect the current problems over at American Atheists).
Oh, wait, before I go. I was looking at the pictures of the “attendees” at the bottom of the page. It appears the most of the “attendees” are presenters.
So, maybe it’s not required that people register and I guess we’ll have to wait for some stats from Google to discover how many people actually attended over the weekend. One final item; All of these hangouts will be posted on YouTube in case you don’t have the time or inclination to attend the live presentations.

2 thoughts on “FTBCON Starts Today! You Bunch of Haters!

  1. Update: There are now 115 “speakers” and a 20 others(“registered”). Still want to see what the stats will be after this is over.

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