From Tom Morris
I've got this great idea for a conference
First, it'd have a session called “Pop Culture and Democracy” which would discuss whether the Internet culture's of remixing popular culture helps in democratic participation and related areas. Just over an hour long. Then I'd have a panel of tech people talking about microformats, spam, Creative Commons and anything else that seems interesting or relevant. After that a short discussion from a researcher talking about the Semantic Web. Next, a half hour session or so on Python programming. Then just under fifty minutes of Cory Doctorow doing all the usual Cory things – copyright, DRM, evil Microsoft etc. A discussion of the role of developers, then an hour on the One Laptop Per Child project. Sound like a cool conference? That's good. It's a list of the podcasts I'm going to listen to. Podcasts are what conferences have become.
Point taken about the podcasts but I would say a BarCamp (unconference) is pretty close to what your getting at. However there is certainly something between a unconference and conference which could be reached. I'm looking forward to seeing what happens with d.construct and barcampbrighton in September. Conference+UnConference in one weekend, should be great.