On 11/17/2015 07:49 AM, Paul W. Frields wrote:
On Mon, Nov 16, 2015 at 03:39:50PM -0500, Josh Boyer wrote:
> On Mon, Nov 16, 2015 at 3:17 PM, Stephen Gallagher <sgallagh(a)redhat.com>
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>> I just wanted to reopen this topic from ages past.
>> Since Flock began, talks have been voted on anonymously, with only the
>> conference organizers knowing who has proposed this talk. The
>> intention of course was to ensure that we don't end up only with talks
>> from long-time contributors getting voted in. Unfortunately, this has
>> occasionally resulted in situations where someone who does not have
>> sufficient expertise talking about things (and those who do have had
>> their talk excluded because they didn't write as interesting a synopsis).
> The latter case is intended and actually showing the process working.
> Why would you vote for someone that has a boring sounding talk and
> cannot take the time and effort to write a decent synopsis?
> Similarly, the conference is created around what the attendees find
> interesting. Even if the synopsis is very accurate and detailed, if
> it isn't interesting to the majority then it isn't going to get votes.
> And while this has happened, it has been very very limited. We simply
> do not get enough talk submissions to cut as many as people would
> As for "sufficient expertise", yes we had that issue. We've learned
> from it and take expertise into account when creating the schedule.
> Remember, the votes are a heavy part of the creation but they are not
> the final say at all. I do not believe the last Flock had this issue.
> If you know of cases where someone without sufficient expertise
> presented a talk, please email the flock staff privately.
Highlighting this: votes are an input but not the final say on
schedule. I think that's a good way to ensure some sanity in the
content from perspectives like importance to the project, coherence
with the list of travel subsidies, and so on. Voting does not
automatically yield great content.
>> So this year, I'd like to suggest that we consider including the
>> speaker's identity in the voting. If we're still concerned about it
>> becoming a "good-old-boys' club", then perhaps we could provide a
>> specific track or other reserved space specifically for relative
>> newcomers (scheduled carefully so that these are not ignored).
> I'm opposed to setting aside space for newcomers. I'm skeptical about
> allowing speaker identity in the votes, but not strictly opposed.
> Frankly, I'd like to see a major reduction in _talks_ overall.
> Perhaps one day of them, with the remainder of Flock being focused on
> _doing_ things. If that happens, then competition for talk slots is
> going to be higher.
Some of these talks are easy to figure out authorship anyway. But I
also agree -- putting a little more emphasis on hacking, and maybe
building content around it, could yield better results. Not that
Flock has been bad, just that the amount of talk content seems really
high to me for the size of the conference itself... like 1/3 or so of
people are speakers? I'm just guessing at numbers though.
The single track setup of LGM was (in my experience) works well for a
conference of this size. The way they do it is to have one large room
for the single track, then the end of each day have a 2 hour slot for
workshops. I found myself sitting in the main room, and gleaning info
from talks i probably wouldn't have attended in a multi-track setup.
Also, spreading out the workshops / talks is a good idea generally too.
I find having a 3 full days of formal talks and then two full days of
workshops is kind of monotonous. Talks in the morning, a workshop in the
afternoon might mitigate this.
I am also thinking if there is a way to try to organize the
hallways/hackings track better. I know that the point is that these
things are spontaneous, but encouraging attendees to somehow announce /
share what they are currently hacking on might help others to drop past
and join in.
just a few thoughts...