FUDCon London 2005: Analysis

Sam Hiser shiser at cloud9.net
Mon Oct 17 19:44:17 UTC 2005


I would suggest that alongside micro issues internal to any single
FUDCon you consider the macro environment for Open Source & Free
Software communities and products.

While cons of all sorts were of a type during the early-to-mid growth,
they would be of a different type to succeed as the word gets out to the
general populations on FLOSS. Very different types of people and very
different types of information.

My own problem with committing time and resources to even LinuxWorld
these days is that we are still within a little black box all talking to
eachother when the necessary communication needs to go outward to the
folks outside the black box.  Now that they have pricked their ears
(Massachusetts, Australian Nat'l Archive, Munich et al) what do we have
for them? 

Just some thoughts...
-Sam Hiser    

On Mon, 2005-10-17 at 15:30 -0400, Greg DeKoenigsberg wrote:
> Nice FUDCon.  Well prepared and well executed.  Decent walk up traffic.  
> Good names and good presentations.  And yet... not really that remarkable.
> So after it was all done, and I was stuck in London for a couple of days,
> feeling a nasty cold coming on, I sat at the hotel bar drinking gin and
> tonics (healthful, don't you know).  I sat and thought about why the first
> two FUDCons had an energy that this FUDCon seemed to lack.
> After writing some notes and chatting with some other folks, I boiled my 
> discomfort down to five points that, imho, should guide our policy for 
> holding events in the future.  
> I'm anxious to hear your feedback.  Hit me with both barrels.
> ---
> 1. PAY FOR PEOPLE, NOT FOR PLACES.  We need to get good community
> contributors to FUDCons, by hook or by crook.  We spent a pretty sizable
> chunk of change to buy space at LWCE London.  It was the majority of our
> budget, and left very little for travel stipends.  At FUDCons 1 and 2, we
> had community representatives present, with Red Hat paying the tab.  At
> FUDCon London, we did not.  The difference was very clear.  Therefore,
> paying for space should be something we do as a last resort, and we should
> pay as little as possible.  If we hold the event under tents in a parking
> lot, and have the right people there, it'll be a success.
> 2. READ-WRITE, NOT READ-ONLY.  This relates to 1.  One of the reasons it 
> wasn't more read-write was because we didn't have enough community 
> contributors present.  It was great to see Stuart Ellis of the docs 
> project, but aside from him and some Redhatters, the pickings were pretty 
> slim -- and not only that, but there were no chances for attendees to 
> *participate* in any real way.  I believe that we need to have a hackfest 
> of some kind at the next FUDCon; I think it's imperative.  We're ready to 
> go to the next level.
> 3. ONE FUDCON PER YEAR PER GEO.  I think that having two FUDCons so close 
> to one another -- Germany in June, England in October -- sapped the energy 
> of the London show.  I think that a lot of people probably opted out 
> because they'd already been to the show at LinuxTag, and saw no need to go 
> again.  One show in North America, one in Europe, one in Asia/Australia.  
> I think that's a good plan.
> 4. GEEKS, NOT SUITS.  FUDCon 1 was held *near* LWCE Boston in February, 
> but the real show happened at BU, and got a lot of geeks.  FUDCon 2 at 
> Karlsuhe was in the middle of LinuxTag, which is very much a geek show.  
> FUDCon London 2005 happened in the middle of a show for suits.  The 
> difference in the vibe was tangible.
> 5. ONE PERSON AT EVERY SHOW.  If there's one real goal that we should set
> for the CMC program, it would be to have a Fedora CMC at every important
> Linux show in the world.  If we can manage that, we will be able to claim
> success.  What do we need to do to accomplish that goal?  We need:
>   + A schedule of all important events with .org pavilions.
>   + A way for volunteers to sign up.
>   + Funds to help pay people's way, if necessary.
>   + Materials in the hands of every volunteer, well in advance: DVDs,
>     marketing materials, etc., etc.
> We should probably be using the weekly marketing meeting (and when is 
> that, again?) to be getting an update on the status of this effort.  It 
> may be the most important thing we can be doing as a group right now.
> ---
> So that's my take.  I'd love to hear your thoughts.  
> --g
> _____________________  ____________________________________________
>   Greg DeKoenigsberg ] [ the future masters of technology will have
>  Community Relations ] [ to be lighthearted and intelligent.  the
>              Red Hat ] [ machine easily masters the grim and the 
>                      ] [ dumb.  --mcluhan
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