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The Online Unconference of Niche Interests

If you’re looking for a fun and educational thing to do this weekend, you might consider attending the second quarterly(??) Online Unconference of Niche Interests (“OUNI” for short), scheduled to run from 2pm until a bit after 5pm Eastern Standard Time, this Sunday, November 29. We have a set of volunteer presenters who will each talk for up to 15 minutes about a niche topic they’re into. Sign up here if you’re interested in this or future OUNIs, and we’ll send you a link to the Zoom session, the talk schedule, and the Discord chat space.* You are welcome to drop in and out of the Zoom, if there are only a few talks that interest you; of course, you’re also invited/encouraged to stay the whole time!

Our list of topics for this Sunday:

  • Knitting but Scary
  • Making Herbal Salves
  • Fanfiction: the Sometimes Sensational World of Transformative Fiction
  • Magnificent Moose: Animal, Culture and Representation
  • All the Fair Dice
  • Glass Sponges: Delicate Aliens
  • Post Office Trivia You Will Enjoy, and a plug for writing letters and postcards

The schedule, with full session descriptions, is here.

I know, I didn’t ever actually blog about the First Online Unconference of Niche Interests, sorry. The recordings we have permission to share are on this playlist, though. (Yes, the one about owls was me. :)) Topics not in the playlist included adaptive clothing, birdwatching, capture the flag (security games), octagon houses, and approval voting.

I mention the previous list of topics in the hopes that they give you ideas. :) We do already have 2-3 talks pre-proposed for the next OUNI, which is very exciting! The form for talk submissions is open now, and we’ll schedule the third OUNI around the availability of presenters. If we get more talks than will fit in a nice 3-4 hour block (with breaks!), we’ll do community voting to decide which ones run. Or we’ll schedule multiple weekends in a row? Whatever, this whole thing is designed to be flexible and fun, and if we’re going to err, I’d really prefer to err on the side of including more people, not fewer.

* We promise not to share your email address or to use it for anything except OUNI announcements. (“We” is my spouse and me. I don’t foresee other volunteers needing email address access, but if this thing grows, I promise we’ll continue to be cautious and opt-in with everything.)

Note: the featured image on this post appears to have made its first appearance online at (which is currently throwing a security error, so I won’t link it); it appears unattributed in many other places, though.
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