FUDCon coming this summer/fall?

Tom Callaway tcallawa at redhat.com
Tue Apr 16 19:44:38 UTC 2013

On 04/16/2013 12:25 PM, inode0 wrote:
> So there has been a dribbling of information about having one large
> global FUDCon later this year along with one regionial FUDCon that is
> already in the planning stages.
> My question is if there is a planned FUDCon in North America later
> this year when will an open discussion of that begin? Will it be
> organized as FUDCons have been organized over the past several years
> or is there a new process being used for this FUDCon? If a new process
> is being used can we get that process out in the open?

Apologies for being in skunkworks mode. Now is an excellent time to
start talking about this. :) Hopefully this is something that people
will be as excited about as we are. I'll dump all the information I can
think of here, but if you have a question, please ask!

We (Robyn, Ruth and myself) have had a lot of crazy ideas on what we
want to do to try to make a more productive and constructive Fedora
conference event. Some of those ideas have been abandoned, but at the
end of our argument^Wdiscussion, we agreed that we want to do something
that is longer, more development focused, less haphazard, more fun, and
not in a freezing cold place. (No offense to Toronto, you were great,
but BRRRRRRRR.) Red Hat has set aside a large sum of money specifically
for us to do this. This money is not coming from the Ambassador money in
any way.

We're calling this event "Flock". We wanted to call it something besides
FUDCon, because FUDCons are still happening in regions around the world,
and those events tend to be more about users than development of Fedora.

Flock is about bringing together as many Fedora contributors and
developers as possible to discuss ideas on how we can improve and
advance Fedora (and its underlying technologies). We also want to have
some fun and make new friends in the process.

One major change for Flock is that we will not be running it BarCamp
style. We want to try to do it as a traditional scheduled presentation
driven conference. The goal is to have four days of scheduled talks,
with one day in the middle for a social outing. (There will be social
events in the evenings as well.) Specifically, we want to see
presentation submissions in these areas:

- Ambassadors
- Cloud
- Community
- Design
- Desktop
- Fonts
- Games
- Hardware
- Infrastructure
- Marketing
- QA
- Security
- SIG (specify)
- Other (specify)

There will also be a window of time setup for lightning talks.

We have been trying to nail down a venue that can accommodate a large
global Fedora event. We've had a few false starts here, but it looks at
the moment like the College of Charleston (South Carolina, US) may be
able to accommodate us.

Timing wise, we are hopeful that August 9 - 13 (2013) will work for the
main conference, with two days afterwards as optional hack/sprint days.

We are in the process of building a website for registration and talk
submission. More to come on that front real soon now.

We will definitely be trying to get sponsorships from friends of Fedora
to help us cover the costs of such a large scale event. If you think
your company (or group) could help us with that, please let one of us know.

We absolutely want to get as many interested Fedora contributors as
possible to this event, not just Red Hat people. Especially
international folks who traditionally feel left out. But we also want to
be livestreaming all of the presentations with IRC channels taking
questions from the world for those people who can't attend. There will
be some funding available for covering contributor travel costs. How
much will depend on how much sponsorship we get on top of Red Hat's money.

There is a LOT of work we need to do in a very short window of time
here. At the moment:

* Ruth is working on generating the core website content for it and
getting it running with Fedora Infrastructure.
* Luke Macken is building some registration and talk submission apps for
us to use (and reuse), based on the work that Ian started for FUDCon
Lawrence. We need to get these up asap so that we can start taking
registrations and talk submissions (title and abstract).
* All of us are going to be trying to talk to our friends in the
industry to see if they would be willing to sponsor Flock.
* We're still locking down the venue arrangements, as well as lodging
arrangements, event arrangements, and the social day. We have lots of
crazy ideas on the sorts of fun things that we have planned for Flock.
If you've seen something that was fun and interesting at another
conference, please let us know!
* We're going to need volunteers to help us pull this off. When the
registration launches, it will ask you if you want to volunteer. We'll
try to have some fun volunteer perks to offset the less-than-fun work
that needs to happen before, during, and after the event.

A few more FAQ items:

Q. What about GUADEC (Aug 1 - 8, in Brno, CZ)?
A. Yeah. We know about GUADEC, and technically, we don't conflict, but
we didn't have a lot of options in our time window for Flock. If we go
later, the College can't host us (students!). If we go earlier, we run
into all sorts of other conferences (OSCON) and lose planning and
preparation time. We still hope we might be able to pull in some people
with Desktop talk submissions who can either fit us in their schedule or
who are not going to GUADEC.

Q. Will there also be a FUDCon North America this year?
A. No. This will replace that event this year.

Q. Will this event move to other geographical regions in future years?
A. The intent is to run this event again (assuming it happens and is
successful) in Europe in 2014.

Q. Why are you doing this in Charleston, South Carolina (a warm part of
the United States in August)?
A. We have good contacts there, it is cheaper than trying to do it in a
major city, and it is located pretty close to the Atlantic Ocean. There
is plenty of good food and fun stuff to do there, in addition to
affordable lodging. Also, we felt that there weren't enough summer
conferences in places where you might want to bring your family along.

Q. Can I bring my family along?
A. Sure. We'd prefer that you not dump your children in sessions as a
sort of daycare, but we won't be very far from the beach, so your
significant others and spawn can go have fun without you.

Q. Can I help?
A. Sure. I listed some obvious stuff above, but we'll need help to make
materials, stuff bags, be responsible for all sorts of things. Like I
said, we'll ask for volunteers to help us setup, run, and teardown the
event, but if you want to help in a specific area, let us know.

Q. Who can come?
A. Anyone. It will be open to all (as long as we don't exceed capacity).
We especially want people who are contributors to Fedora (or used to be
and want to be again), but if you think you have a great idea for
improving Fedora and have never contributed, feel free to either attend
or submit a talk.

Q. Why no barcamp?
A. We want people to be able to know who is speaking on what in advance.
We also want to cut out a lot of the downtime in a barcamp driven event.

Q. Who decides on the presentation/funding/$DECISION stuff?
Robyn, Ruth, Spot (right now, we're the Flock conference committee!)

Q. Why am I still reading this?
A. You were hoping for a joke entry.

Q. Where is the joke?
A. Schrödinger's cat walks into a bar. And doesn't.


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