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Re: [Linux-aus] Nominations and their spiels for the LA election
James Purser wrote:
> Instead of one huge fosstival, we have nine smaller ones. Instead of
> trying to turn linux.conf.au into this be all things to all people type
> event, we run one or two day FOSStivals in each capital city. Run them
> say six months before linux.conf.au.
The problem (to me) is basically one of appeal. One of the reasons that
LCA appeals to me is that I (as a hobbyist, I should add) can pick and
choose which sessions I'll go to - there's almost always something I
want to see. If a smaller conference had just one or two streams on
similarly diverse topics to LCA, I'd have much less chance of seeing
topics that appeal to my interests. OTOH, if the smaller conference was
focussed on a single (broad) topic then I might still not go - even if
it was a topic I was interested in, would all the talks be interesting
to me? This was the problem I had when looking at Ruxcon, for example -
even though I'm interested in security, an entire conference on it would
find me wanting to hear about other cool non-security-related stuff.
I personally think that LCA can grow a little - half a dozen or more
streams starts allowing people to specialise in what they're learning
about, while still allowing them to keep up with other interesting stuff
on the periphery. But I agree that a conference double LCA's size would
be unwieldy, excessively demanding on the organisation team and their
volunteers, and would make me (as an attendee) frustrated that I wasn't
able to go to every cool talk I wanted to. Keeping it around its
current size, give or take 15%, seems to me to be right.
So overall I agree with James's idea of having smaller conferences,
especially as a way to get new organisers 'trained up' and considering
the possibility of running a full LCA.
As an aside, I've always been in favour of having a conference in
Broome, for instance, even though it's always put forward as just a joke
- it's a bit like a bar camp, and I'm sure that the technical challenges
of providing 'adequate bandwidth' (which IMO is less than people want).
Having conferences just bounce between Sydney and Melbourne (as the two
largest usergroup bases) would be boring.
Another aside is to observe what happened with the National Folk
Festival (http://folkfestival.asn.au). For a long time it travelled
around to different states, but this took a lot of extra work as each
new organising crew had to learn the job almost from scratch. Finally
it settled in Canberra, having a reasonable balance of good facilities,
cheap nearby accommodation and interstate and international
accessibility, and it's been getting better ever since. While I'd
personally hate to see this happen to LCA, even if it was in Canberra
(where I live), because I like seeing new places and giving different
groups the chance to be involved. I think the essential thing to have
in this regard is a good set of documentation about what has to be done
when to organise LCA, which I'm sure LA has by now.
Just some more thoughts,