[Linux-aus] Two conf's

Tim Bowden bowden at iinet.net.au
Sat Feb 8 00:58:01 UTC 2003

On Thu, 2003-02-06 at 22:55, David Lloyd wrote:
> Why be so negative? Let me respin that last sentence to "....is only
> going to highlight the need for a user-oriented conference in
> Australia".
If there is such a strong need for a user oriented conf (by this I don't
mean beginners.  I'm more thinking small time system/ network admins,
power users who like to tweak their box beyond recognition and the like
but aren't developers) then I can see six options (in no particular

*Option 1*  As Leon suggested, hold separate conf's at the same time, in
venues close to each other.
- Branding can be done separately so the focus of each conf can best
reflect the needs of developers and users alike.  

- Each conf could become as big/ small as needed without impacting on
the focus of the other.

- Possible to take part in some of each conf, if organizers allow it.

- There would be considerable overlap for some people. Some people would
miss parts of each conf because of the overlap.  This was bad enough
with only three streams at lca03.  Imagine how bad it would be with 5 or
6 streams between the two confs.

- Delegate confusion.  Which conf was I booked in for?  Help, I'm at the
wrong venue, how do I get to ...  Sure to happen to at least a few

- Media attention may get divided.  Neither conf would get the media
coverage it deserves.

- How to find enough venues of appropriate size within spitting distance
of each other.

- Needs two sets of competent organizers at the same time; Double the
workload on the local lug.

*Option 2*  Hold one conf with power user streams at same/ nearby venue,
but keep the official advertising focused on the developer nature of the

- No need to create a new 'branding'.

- Numbers attending user streams gives a good indication of the need for
a possible separate user conf in future years.

- Media attention can still be focused on the developer nature of the
conf (so long as the non developer numbers are not disproportionately

- User streams may come to overshadow the developer nature of lca if
they prove to be very popular.  Could end is a situation where the user
streams overshadow the developer streams and change the focus of lca
away from the developers. Perhaps we would end up with lca being like
'linuxworld' in NY where the developers are no longer interested in

- Two many streams causing too many conflicts for delegates. With three
streams there is already enough conflict.

- Some sessions could go in either stream, ie, Rasmus' PHP stuff would
fit well into both.  If the venues are separated then no matter which
stream it is put in it will be much more difficult for a potentially
large number of people to attend that session.

*Option 3*  Hold two conf's  sequentially.

- Reduces number of concurrent streams.  Easier to manage, less
conflicts between sessions.

- Interstate/ International delegates are already in town and so may
have the possibility of attending both confs.

- Separate branding/ focus as per option 1 (separate simultaneous

- Not many would be able to take the time off for both conf's. 
Attendance at one or both might suffer.

- More difficult to find venues available for the entire time.

- Needs two sets of competent organizers at the same time.

*Option 4* Hold two separate conf's 6 months apart.

- Separate branding/ focus.

- Don't need to take as much time off in one hit as option 3 if you want
to go to both conf's.
- Spreads the load on organizers.

- Two conf's don't have to be in the same state.  Why wait for at least
six or seven years for a conf to be local and then have two in the same

- Two lugs at a time need to get their act together but this shouldn't
be too hard.

- Interstate/ International visitors & speakers would probably only go
to one conf in a year.

*Option 5*  Each lug that wants a user conf holds its own each year.

- Users have a local conf every year.

- Not many lugs are going to be prepared to hold a conf every year.
After all, it's a lot of work.

- No significant number of interstate/ international visitors or

- Increased difficulty finding sponsorship dollars.

*Option 6*  Do nothing about a user conf.

Pros:  No extra work to do.

- Missed opportunity to raise the profile of Linux as a solution for a
wide variety of situations, ie desktop system, games platform, so/ho
(whatever that much maligned term means nowadays)...

- Ignoring a need in the wider Linux community to share experiences,
problems & solutions in the same way as happens with the developers

- Missed opportunity to send a message to hardware vendors about the
popularity of linux in the non-developer community.


Personally I like option 4 for the long term.

Tim Bowden

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