[Linux-aus] Proposal: LCA lightning talks be selected in papers selection process

Paul Wayper paulway at mabula.net
Sun Jan 27 17:44:16 AEDT 2019

Hi all,

I've often appreciated learning new things or just hearing someone inspiring
give a lightning talk at LCA and other conferences.  This year, I thought the
curation of the talks was a good improvement on the process: I'd rather the
talks be selected on merit rather than fleetness of foot :-)  I would
therefore like to make an additional suggestion for an improvement to the process.

I'd like to propose that the lightning talks be considered in the same process
as submitting talks for LCA.

My main reason is that it gives people more time to prepare.  I spent a fair
bit of time outside the conference hours getting my talk ready; if I'd known
earlier that it would be rejected I could have used that time differently.  I
appreciate seeing well-planned, well-executed talks at LCA, and IMO lightning
talks should be no different.

Likewise, I would also like to see genuinely new talks - small snippets of
things that would be too short to fit in a regular conference or miniconf slot
(or too padded out if made to fit), but are still interesting.  I would rather
not see people simply edit down a pre-canned 50 minute talk into a five minute
blur of slides and gabbling.  It seems to me that giving people more time to
prepare makes lightning talks more useful and informative.

The selection committee can be different.  The timing of lightning talk
acceptance could be later.  The aims or criteria for talk acceptance could
even be different.  Lightning talk speakers would not have to be treated as
'regular' speakers.  But I don't think having a process which sits outside the
regular LCA talk acceptance process and requires a great rush of preparation
does not give us the best quality lightning talks we could have.

What do people think?

And thanks, once again, to all the organisers of LCA, the LA committee for
providing support for LCA, and all the many people who put time, effort and
sometimes blood, tears and sweat into making the conference go well.  It was a
great time and a great credit to Christchurch's Linux community.

Have fun,


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