Mailinglist Archive: opensuse-project (502 mails)

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Re: [opensuse-project] oSConference: Theme & Program Planning
On Fri, 2011-04-08 at 22:53 +0200, Klaas Freitag wrote:
<snipping most because my response is to different posts within the
thread>

So far, everyone's giving some very good points of focus. In terms of
format, I'm seeing three different sets here:

- read/only sessions
- roundtable/open discussions (or as Pascal likes to say read/write
sessions)
- hackfests

It would be awesome if we could do all three, but logistically, I wonder
if it is workable? If we have too many things, will we be "thinning the
herd" so to speak? In other words, would there be spreading us too thin
across the board? I think it's worth at least examining this idea to
see if it is workable. Theoretically, we've been having hackfests all
along, unofficially in the lobby/reception area where people just sit
down and "just do it."

One other thing, I had a huge pet-peeve in the last conference. I'm
personally not a fan of read-only sessions and was pleased there was a
mix of read-only and BoF's scheduled throughout the day. But much to my
disappointment, some of those BoFs turned out to be read-only sessions
as well. I think we need to make clear to anyone who is organizing a
BoF what exactly it is supposed to be about. I.e., NOT sitting in a
room listening to one person talk and give slides until time is over.
That, to me, was a colossal waste of my time when I was looking forward
to actually discussing a particular topic.

As Helen and Pascal both quickly point out, there needs to be time
within the conference to focus on ourselves. Klaas rightly asks the
question if whether this will appeal to the general public, but I think
he answered his own question by pointing out that our community is
growing. As such, with a growing community, there's more people who
have been newcomers over the past year who *want* to understand the
Project more in order to better promote it when they return home.

So, I think we shouldn't be too concerned with "drawing people in" at a
marketing-type level but rather just focus on making sure there's a good
smorgasbord of Project-related topics that everyone can look at and roll
up their sleeves and jump in and discuss. This is important because we
want people to leave the conference armed with the knowledge and skills
to further promote and grow the community.

And another thing I want to point out. The word "Conference" The first
part of that word is "confer." People sometimes seem to forget that
important part of "Conference". Confer means to have conversations.
So, a high focus on read-only is in direct contradiction to the word
"conference."

In terms of areas of focus:

- Broad topics that are not specific to openSUSE but are of interest to
openSUSE
- Targeted topics that are of specific interest to openSUSE
- Blended focus of specific interest to openSUSE yet have interest by
non-openSUSE projects.

Really, again Pascal and Helen provided a good plethora of topics that
can be discussed from an internal perspective, but also I believe has
room for collaboration.and inviting others outside the project to join
us. The blended focus approach seems to work best with that goal.

As for the rwxrwxrwx, VERY geeky thing, but I love it just the same.
And if people don't understand it, so what? They'll ask! And as soon
as they ask and get an explanation, the first thing they'll think is
"Hmm, I just learned something. I wonder what else I can learn when I
go to the conference?" And rwxrwxrwx very much promotes that openSUSE
Project is here to benefit the world, not just ourselves. I see good
things from this concept.

I'd like to go ahead and ask the artwork team if they can turn this into
a workable piece of art that we can use.

In general, if we want to continue with the concept of "Collaboration
across borders" then we need to do more to make the conference itself
more collaborative. In 2009, I would argue that we had a more
collaborative environment than 2010, but the difference in 2009 is that
we did not really know yet what we needed or wanted to talk about
(except the governance talks). This time, I believe we have a much
clearer (if not perfect) idea of what we are and want to do as a Project
and thus I think the collaborative aspect that we saw in 2009 would fit
in much better this year of 2011.

So... we've got some good discussions going on here. I'm sure there
will be a few more good idea injections along this thread and looking
forward to hearing more good ideas. But as I said in the first post, we
do need to move quickly and not turn this into an endless discussion.

That means we need to move quickly from "talking" to "doing". So far, I
see myself, Alan Clark and Jos Poortvliet signed up to join this Program
Committee. Pascal, Klaas, Bruno, JDD, Helen? Will you join up and
let's get to organizing and clarifying our program so we can send out a
really good Call for Papers by April 27?

http://en.opensuse.org/openSUSE:Conference_Planning_2011#Teams

Bryen

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