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On 11/16/2015 04:49 PM, 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> wrote:
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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 think.
> 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
Well, this can be a double-edged sword. I know from conversations with
Red Hatters and non-Red Hatters alike that it's far easier to get
financial assistance (either from the conference budget or their
$DAYJOB) to attend Flock if they are going to be speaking rather than
if they are going to be simply attendees. (Many of the non-speaker
attendees I have talked to have been spending vacation time on coming
to the conference, which is inspiring but should really not be
required of people if we can help avoid it).
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