FUDCon London 2005: Analysis

Greg DeKoenigsberg gdk at redhat.com
Mon Oct 17 19:47:18 UTC 2005

On Mon, 17 Oct 2005, Sam Hiser wrote:

> 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? 

Excellent point.

We've got to go where there are people, and there are people at shows.  
Big bang for the buck.

Now, maybe it's a mistake to assume that the right shows are "Linux 
shows".  We should probably be looking to put well-informed individuals in 
all kinds of shows -- about security, government, music, voting, 
healthcare, poverty.  Anyplace where the open source message could 
resonate and have an effect.

Of course, without the proper materials and messaging, there's not a lot 
of point in sending people.  We don't want to say, "Fedora is cool."  We 
want to be able to say, "Fedora is a great way for you to experience the 
power of open source.  Open source is important to what *you* do because 
of x, y and z."

Figuring out x, y and z is, of course, the hard part.  :)


_____________________  ____________________________________________
  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

> 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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