Re: What is GUADEC?

On 9/8/05, Dave Neary <dneary free fr> wrote:
> Hi,
> Tim Ney, GNOME Foundation a écrit :
> > On Wed, 2005-09-07 at 16:05 +0200, Quim Gil wrote:
> >>For some the GUADEC is an opportunity to meet, for others is a way to
> >>get new contributors, for others is a way to get some money for the
> >>Foundation, for others is a way to enhance a common vision of GNOME, for
> >>others....
> >
> > That's a fair summary of what the board has discussed, as recently as
> > June.  Jonathan Blandford once termed GUADEC as GNOME's mothership, an
> > annual place to meet and recharge batteries.  It has played at least
> > four important roles for GNOME and the foundation over the last six
> > years:
> >
> > *Technical
> > *Outreach
> > *Community (Social)
> > *Fundraising
> >
> > Press announcements about the event state:
> >
> > About GUADEC
> > The GNOME User and Developer Europe Conference (GUADEC) is an annual
> > gathering of GNOME developers, enthusiasts and individual, business,
> > education and government users worldwide. It provides a forum for
> > members of the GNOME project to showcase their work and to discuss the
> > future of GNOME development. Housed in a different European country each
> > year, GUADEC is a catalyst for the future development and direction of
> > GNOME.
> The point is, Tim, that is is huge. It's wide open. And aiming too wide
> is at the root of the problems that there have been with GUADEC over the
> past two years, where a large portion of the attendees were either
> completely uninterested in the first two days, or completely
> uninterested in the 3rd.


> Aiming a conference at "developers, enthusiasts and individual,
> business, education and government users worldwide" is madness. We might
> as well say "everybody", and be done with it.


> If it's outreach, who are we reaching out to?

> There is no argument on at least 2 of the points - everyone who goes
> sees GUADEC as a technical, social conference. No-one disagrees with
> having outreach either - but I would prefer to see us reaching out to
> people just off our radar - converting GNOME users into advocates,
> converting local free software developers into GNOME developers, and
> converting local hobbyists into free software and GNOME users.
> The ROI for the enterprise & government outreach has been small, and I'm
> not sure we should continue it.


For 1/2 the cost, we could run summit-style (low-cost, high-fun)
events on every continent (including a big one in Europe as the
'mother ship'), and for 1/4 the cost, we could send a handful of GNOME
community leaders to every major free software conference to hold a
'linux desktop day' for local government and business leaders, having
a much better impact on them than we do at GUADEC currently*- imagine
the impact of Miguel in a room with 30 business and government leaders
in a room designed for 30 leaders, instead of a 9/10ths empty room for
300; imagine (since we only rented a room for 30) being able to afford
to do that in Canada, and Germany, and India, and Australia- all of
which have major free software conferences who would be more than
happy to help us set up such a day. And with the 1/4 left over we
could do all kinds of interesting outreach things- hacker days at very
tech-oriented free software conferences to bring in new blood;
interesting marketing materials for small local conferences to spread
the word about things like FOG and gnome-love; liveCDs sent to every
major technology news outlet; training days for businesses and
deployers at things like LWE- the list is very long.

Anyway... I'm glad this discussion has come out into the open. I've
been saying some of these things at board meetings for some time now
and it has not impacted the organization of the past two GUADECs;
maybe this time something will change.

Luis (who was thrown off guadec-planning@, probably by accident, but
thinks that maybe staying off of it will lengthen his lifespan)

* not to mention get better funding, as we'd be waving the flag of our
sponsors all over the world, not just in one nation once a year.

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