On 01/09/2017 07:07 PM, Brian Exelbierd wrote:
Warning: This email is long. I don't know how to avoid that.
debated making this a wiki, but I think we need more discussion that
just editing. There is no tl;dr. If you want a tl;dr perhaps you
should wait a while and participate near the end of the conversation.
Warning: The opening text is the same for both Part I and Part II.
During 2016 I had the privilege of helping to plan and execute Flock
and attended both FUDCon LATAM (Puno) and FUDCon APAC (Phnom Penh).
Talking to people has led to me to believe that these events may not be
meeting all of our goals. Specifically we are spending a lot of time
and money on them and may not be getting our full value. I also heard
a lot of comments about how the events are not equal from people who
thought they should be and not well distributed across the world from
people who thought they should be. This led me to believe that there
is a lot of confusion about why we do these events and what we want out
In the spirit of it is easier to edit than to create, I am going to
propose some ideas. My goal is less to present this as a polished
proposal ready for a vote and more to allow us to have a discussion
around the finer points of the events strategy. It would be nice to see
this discussion come to an end by the end of March so that it can have
impact this year. The planning for Flock will begin soon (see my
another of my emails today) but the FUDCon processes are not heavily
started, as far as I can tell.
Additionally, while history is important, I think it is equally
important that we consider what we want to accomplish today and in the
next few years, not just what we tried to accomplish in the past.
Therefore, I've written this without too much reference to what is being
changed and instead as an idea of what we should be doing. I look
forward to folks bringing forward suggestions for continuing activities
from the past or better incorporating lessons learned that I may have
I look forward to your feedback and input.
As mentioned above, I attended both FUDCons in 2016. These are the only
two FUDCons that I have ever attended. I was told by attendees at both
events that while every event is different, these two were fairly
typical in the areas I was concerned with.
FUDCons have been described to me as being for Fedora Users and
Developers (hence the name). What is never clear from the people I've
talked to is what kind of users they think are targeted and whether the
developers are "developers who use Fedora" or "people who develop
(contribute to) Fedora." Both events this year were held in partnership
with Universities. Both had large attendances on the first day,
typically when students were incentivized to show up by their faculty
and poor attendance on the non-incentive days. It was unclear that many
people took a lot away from the conference or that there would be
significant follow up activity. These comments are not to single out
the organizers for these FUDCons. They all worked very hard and pulled
off very good events. I just didn't get a feeling that the events had a
lot of impact and changed much in the short or long term.
I believe that for our investment of time, energy, and money in FUDCons
to be successful, the goals of these events must be clarified.
I believe we need to remove some of the restrictions we place on these
events, chiefly on where and how often they can be held. Therefore, I
believe we should simply state that FUDCons can be held anywhere in the
world and any number of times that is appropriate. This means that we
can have FUDCons in places like EMEA and NA (which helps to relieve
pressure on Flock).
IIRC, formerly we have FUDCons all over the four region. Sometime around
2014 FUDCon NA and FUDCon EMEA switched to FLOCK while FUDCon APAC and
FUDCon LATAM remain still. So if you really mean add FUDCon back to EMEA
and NA, that is clearly an additional of event. With the current budget
status, I wonder if it will make some current events hard.
Additionally, while FUDCons are inherently regional events, I believe
that the Fedora Council should nominally "own" them. This means that
the budget allocation should work like most FADs and be approved by the
budget. I don't think this is a change from current practice.
While I hope that Ambassadors will take the lead in organizing and
running these events, I believe that any contributor should be able to
make a proposal.
Finally, I believe these events do not need to be standalone. I think
they can have greater impact when collocated with other conferences or
run as "+1 days" to other events. While this shouldn't be a
requirement, I think it is a good practice to encourage.
In my experience in China, running events one after another together
(let's say, event A is Feb 1st to Feb 2nd, then event B is Feb 3rd )
usually makes the audiences feeling tired, also the
organizers/volunteers if they are involving in both. So n+1 day way may
not work well.
Another challenge for FUDCons that we should remove is to make it
to organize them. Once a FUDCon is approved, we need to ensure that we
have enough people and resources engaged to make the event a success.
In the case of Flock we see several core organizers working with the
local organizer to make things happen. FUDCons should be able to rely
on more support from the FCAIC and possibly others to help with
organizational details. We should also see FUDCons being proposed with
robust organizing committees that are appropriate to the size of the
It is hard to write a single set of goals for a varied set of events.
Instead, I think that we should consider these in a way that I hope is
similar to how the Ambassadors consider events they attend.
Specifically, I believe that we should be asking the following
* Who specifically is this event targeting and why? How does this group
align with the target audiences for Fedora?
* What are the specific desired outcomes of this event? How can we see
evidence of achieving these goals? Evidence doesn't need to be
quantitative, it can be qualitative, but you need to have thought
through how you know you were a success.
* Why should we hold a FUDCon in this specific city?
* How will you ensure you attract the right audience and that they are
engaged? What preparatory activities need to happen? How will those
happen? What follow up activities are needed? How will those happen?
* If this FUDCon is collocated, why is this conference or event the
right one to collocate with? If this FUDCon is not collocated, why is
an independent event better?
Programming for FUDCons is extremely important. In 2016 one event was
run as a Bar Camp and the other was run as a programmed event at a Bar
Camp. While Bar Camp voting should result in the conference that people
want to attend, that also means that the speakers need to be talking
about topics that matter to the audience. In the case of a programmed
event, this is also critical.
Therefore programming at FUDCons should be based on the goals and target
audience, not just based on which Fedora contributors want to attend.
Ideally the proposal should include the kinds of topics that will be
presented and even a provisional list of speakers who will be
## Funded Attendance and Costs
To increase the number of activities, we should cleanly divorce FUDCons
from Regional FADs. FUDCons are necessarily a reason to fly in
contributors from all over a region or the world. Let's keep them
locally focused. Depending on the goals and target audience all of the
speakers do not even need to be Fedora contributors. For example, a
non-Fedora contributor speaking about Eclipse (on Fedora) at a developer
focused FUDCon may make a lot of sense.
Therefore I believe that budgets should trend toward the smaller side
with an emphasis on impact being directly related to budget size. To
give some (highly contrived) examples, a +1 day event for FOSDEM may
have a large budget because the event needs good publicity to draw the
huge attendance opportunity from those attending FOSDEM. A +1 day event
for DevConf.cz may have a small budget because we have a friendly
environment for advertising and a ton of local contributors to help with
programming. A +1 day event for FISL may need a medium size budget
because of the need to fly in Spanish speaking presenters for some
sessions. (These are just examples, don't read into them.)
I think this really
differs case by case. For some areas like Beijing of
China, venue are costly, usually a big main hall costs at least USD 1000
per day. For FUDCon APAC 2014 (Beijing) we luckily find some complex
workaround to reduce the costs of venue. And by holding together with
GNOME in parallel the venue costs is shared, which results in a better
condition. If we make it +1 day style, we may not afford the main hall
in this specific case.
Just my cents. HTH.
Ziqian SUN (Zamir)
GPG : 1D86 6D4A 49CE 4BBD 72CF FCF5 D856 6E11 F2A0 525E
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