I heard about this while listening to the audio version of a new book, Mavericks at Work. Around the "fringe" of a traditional drama festival, all kinds of informal performances started to take place, which are now collectively called "The Fringe." It has become a huge event, even dwarfing the original festival.
Like an "unconference," and unlike the formal festival it surrounds, nobody decides who can or can't participate--anyone who wants to can find a venue and advertise, trying to draw a crowd. There is an coordinating/advertising organization for "The Fringe," but they are very clear about the fact that will do nothing to determine who performs.
Last year's Fringe encompassed 28,014 performances of 1867 different shows in 261 venues, with ticket sales of 1.5 million. Very famous actors and actresses participate, as well as complete unknowns.
Not trying to think to grandly about EduBloggerCon, but what an idea: an ed tech conference that is run by the participants. Wouldn't that be an interesting twist on the traditional...
Note to Stephen Downes (smile): you might really find this book interesting. Not only does it draw some great links between the Free and Open Source Software movements and good business practices, it showcases many companies that are doing good things by being purpose-driven (not profit-driven) commercial enterprises.
Like the quote from Tom Peters on the cover, I'm "devouring" it.