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Re: Fedora Board Recap 2009-01-13

On Thu, Jan 15, 2009 at 06:34:59PM -0500, Jeremy Katz wrote:
> On Thursday, January 15 2009, John Poelstra said:
> [snip]
> > === Observations and Possible Changes ===
> > * Some barcamp sessions were not presented or organized very well
> > * What if we required a slide deck prepared a week before FUDCon?
> As soon as you start requiring prepared presentations, you start
> diverging quite a bit from the barcamp nature and into traditional
> "conference presentation" land...

It might be possible to do a tracked FUDCon event, with part of the
venue devoted to BarCamp and part devoted to formal talks.  My guess
is we'd want to lean toward BarCamp in terms of volume.

> [snip]
> > ** Lots of presentations which resulted in 45 total sessions
> > ** Resulted in too many conflicts
> While this makes it hard to get to everything you want, I think that
> it's a huge success to get a lot of people wanting to talk about what
> they are passionate about.  Maybe an answer is to have more barcamp
> time as opposed to hackfest time?  Especially as there ends up being
> plenty of random hacking that just occurs in the hallway.  Just trying
> to sort of brainstorm out loud here.

This comment echoes some things said in the Board meeting as well.
Some possibilities:

* Software-based conflict resolution would speed up the process, so we
  could start the day sooner with a more complete schedule.

* We could simply add a dinner break and more hours afterward.  Push
  any night event later in the evening or shorten it as required.
  "Narrow" the schedule grid, assuming the locations are on the
  horizontal axis, making it easier to get to more talks.


> > * Some sessions were the "same old people" where the information being  
> > presented was already known by a majority of the audience
> If people were going to the talks, then it wasn't the same old.  If you
> know it, get up and leave.  That's what the barcamp format is all about.

Or request that the speaker talk about something else.  It's a
participatory format, not a lecture format.  If I'm at a talk where
I'm learning new material, I'll settle into a reception-only mode, but
if the material is at least partially familiar, I try to participate. 

I happened to give a talk where the vast majority of attendees knew
*much* more about the topic than I.  That was a win for me and for the
few attendees who really were beginners, the audience for whom the
talk was intended.  Interestingly, some of the experts learned from
each other too, showing (I believe) that the open mind can always find
value in collaboration.  I gave fair warning at the start of the
session, so if anyone felt slighted I could cheerfully refund them
double what they paid, no questions asked. ;-)

> > * By the third day a lot of people seem tired and less engaged
> This is just the nature of "deep" days like we had -- and it would have
> been the fourth day for some people given the Day0 stuff

Also the last day of hackfest followed FUDPub -- although by all
accounts FUDPub was free of profligacy.  If we arranged the days
starting with a BarCamp on Saturday (and FUDPub that night), and then
hackfest on Sunday and Monday, both days starting slightly later, we
might avoid that slump.  Most attendees are also scheduled to travel
on the last day/evening, lending to a feeling that things are winding
down gradually all day.  Short of doing a week-long event, which is
probably financially infeasible, I'm not sure how we can combat this

Paul W. Frields                                http://paul.frields.org/
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