Re: Desktop Summit Planning

Hi Dave,

On Wed, Dec 14, 2011 at 12:12 PM, Dave Neary <dneary gnome org> wrote:
> Hi Brian,
> On 12/14/2011 04:42 AM, Brian Cameron wrote:
>> At the October 26th IRC meeting, Jon McCann spoke about his concerns
>> about the Desktop Summit.[2] At the November 23rd meeting, Dave Neary
>> (who was also very involved in making the past Desktop Summit happen),
>> highlighted that there are real benefits to sharing facilities and that
>> concerns can be fixed.[3] Dave pointed out that it would be best if a
>> decision could be made sooner than later, since it is hard to start
>> putting together bids for 2014 if the scope of the event is not clear.
> It's useful to go back to what GUADEC is for, I think - and work from there
> to see whether a Desktop Summit supports or works against that. If we don't
> agree on why we have a GUADEC, we're not going to agree on the rest.
> Back in 2005, the last time we had this discussion (at the time, it was over
> maintaining User Day, or rather integrating end-user related content and
> inviting people from outside the GNOME community to participate in GUADEC)
> the goals we came up with, which are still documented in
> were:
> Primary Goals:
> 1. To have fun meeting friends
> 2. To allow developers and contributors to have high-bandwidth discussions.
> 3. To highlight new ideas and cutting edge developments.
> 4. To get new contributors and involve current contributors in a higher
> level.
> 5. To set the direction of the project for the coming year
> Secondary Goals:
> 1. To create media awareness out of the usual circles
> 2. To involve corporate partners and facilitate an approach to the community
> 3. To spread free software to the surrounding region

Those goals miss out some of the most important things about GUADEC, imo.

One of the most important functions of GUADEC is to promote GNOME as a
community. It is a chance for GNOME contributors to get to know each
other and to meet other contributors who they might not have
encountered before. It is the only time in the year when we all get
together in the same place, sit in the same room, and go for beers

GUADEC should be the moment when people most feel like they belong to
our project. When you attend, you should feel like you are a part of
the project and that you are sharing an experience with other project

A desktop summit is not as effective at promoting GNOME as a
community. It means that attendees do not share a common focus and are
not able to identify with the project through their experiences at the
event. You don't feel that you are a part of GNOME when you are at a
Desktop Summit.

GUADEC is also a major opportunity for us to promote GNOME within our
wider community, as well as to wider audiences. We really suck at this
right now, but GUADEC should be one of the biggest marketing events in
the GNOME calendar. We should be making the most of it, doing build up
work, publicising the event live as it happens, streaming talks,
involving the press more. The conference is an opportunity to show off
our achievements and spread the word about our mission and vision.

A Desktop Summit does not help us to promote GNOME from a marketing
point of view. All the messaging you put out for a Desktop Summit
operates under the idea that the event is about collaboration in the
desktop space. That makes it difficult to use the event to do
promotional work that is specific to GNOME. Stories about the
exciting, ground-breaking things that the GNOME project has been doing
don't really work as a part of a Desktop Summit.

Furthermore, though 'desktop collaboration' is a positive message, it
isn't exciting and it doesn't draw you in. It's a 'GNOME is nice'
message, rather than a 'GNOME is energetic, awesome, inspiring,
interesting' message. I don't think we should settle for 'GNOME is
nice' as the primary message for our main annual conference.

IRC:  aday on

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