On Wed, Nov 18, 2015 at 11:21 AM, Paul W. Frields <stickster@gmail.com> wrote:
On Tue, Nov 17, 2015 at 10:29:41AM -0500, Josh Boyer wrote:
> On Tue, Nov 17, 2015 at 10:23 AM, Matthew Miller
> <mattdm@fedoraproject.org> wrote:
> > On Mon, Nov 16, 2015 at 03:39:50PM -0500, Josh Boyer wrote:
> >> Similarly, the conference is created around what the attendees find
> >> interesting.  Even if the synopsis is very accurate and detailed, if
> >
> > I was talking to Dmitri Pal (from FreeIPA) at LISA, and he suggested
> > that rather than having people vote on individual talks, we could have
> > people propose _topics_, and then we'd have a community-wide vote on
> > those - separate from specific speakers or talks. From that, we could
> > have a "skeletal" schedule of tracks and talks in certain areas. Then,
> > we could have interested/knowledgeable people in each selected topic
> > fill that out... maybe provide an ordered list of recommended
> > talks/sessions, which would go to the Flock committee for final
> > selection.
> I'm not understanding how this works.  The community would propose
> things they are interested in hearing about, a vote would be held, and
> the results would show topic areas of interest.  But then what happens
> if we don't have any speakers to provide talks for those?  Or even if
> we do have speakers, the workload on the staff isn't reduced at all.
> The have to vet the topics and results and then vet the talks and
> speakers anyway.
> It sounds confusing.
> >> 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.
> >
> > I'm in support of few talks with higher attendance. The one complaint I
> > got from a couple of people about the last Flock is that they didn't
> > get the audience they expected. I also like "more doing things", but I
> > don't want the proven success of pre-planned sessions from Flock the
> > last couple of years to fall back into the less-productive chaos we
> > were seeing at FUDCon.
> Right, I don't want barcamp.  I want less talks, but still pre-planned
> talks and schedule.

Why not have Remy + Matthew work with the Flock planners and any
additional people[1] from Council, FESCo, and Ambassadors/Marketing to
plan a set of specific talk topics needed for Flock?  In other words,
start with what we're trying to achieve in the next 18+ months, and
let that drive the agenda for Flock.  This seems like a better way to
achieve the following goals:

* Connects Flock content with future development
* Thus increasing the value of the conference, and the justification
  for people to attend (no matter whether it's on their dime or an
* Also sets up for useful workshops/hackfests around that future
  development work
* Helps establish a set of speakers/attendees needed to fund for
  attendance, making budget at least somewhat easier to estimate

I would be willing to try something like this, sure.

My only hesitation would be that we'd put out the priorities, and then not get enough proposals in some of the areas. Self-selection is a big driver for folks who present, and telling folks what they should present on may dissuade some speakers. Admittedly, however, I've haven't been quite so involved in vetting talks at FLOCK (other EDU tracks at conferences yes,) so I'm not familiar with the typical volume for us.

I think that giving the folks answering our CFP more direction in both topic and depth of topic (i.e. like PyCon does with beginner, intermediate, advanced labelling) would be helpful for both speakers and attendees.

Paul W. Frields                                http://paul.frields.org/
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Remy DeCausemaker
Fedora Community Lead & Council