Conference Propsoal: Portland Summit

Talking to various others, it seemed obvious to me that we are missing a presence on the west coast.  With some encouragement, I've decided to make a proposal.

Time frame: Spring 2011 - May for 3 days.  I'm flexible on the dates.  I pick spring because I have more flexibility with cheaper venues.

Venue: May-June after school is out I have several cheap possibilities.  Thanks to Open Source Bridge and Linux Plumbers Conference, I have all kinds of venues I can approach.

Sponsorships/money:  I have some encouragement from my employer, Intel.  Dirk Hohndel seemed willing to talk about sponsorship dollars (he brought it up, not me!) .  I will ask Mozilla foundation, Google, and Linux Foundation for funding.  Thanks to prior work on Plumbers conference, I know who to talk to for most of these people.  Most people know I'm a social butterfly, I'll figure it out. :-)  Money depends whether I've talked to people before the next budget cycle of course.  I will need to prepare approximate costs including venue cost, travel budget for speakers and of course finally I need to sell it to the non-Intel folks.

About Portland:
Portland is the other open source town on the west coast as Boston is known for the east coast.  We have of course a number of open source organizations and boasts two open source conferences a year - OSCON and Open Source Bridge.  We were the original host of Linux Plumbers Conference, two years running (I was on the planning committee) Our past two mayors are big open source advocates, as is our state government.  Former Mayor Tom Potter ran KDE and current Mayor Sam Adams shows up to most conferences and has pushed several initiatives in regards to open government.  You will not find a more open source friendly atmosphere than Portland.

Companies and foundations that have a presence here - Mozilla Foundation, OSDL, Intel, Red Hat, Puppet Labs, Oracle and various other start ups.  A diversified combination of kernel hackers, application, web, and X hackers exist and are active here in Portland.  Meego is developed by Intel here in Hillsboro as well which shares technology with GNOME.

Being on the west coast, means that it is a cheap train ride from Seattle, Vancouver B.C., and the Bay area.  It is also attractive to Latin America as well.  There are people who cannot make Boston but might find Portland to be a lot more accessible.

Open questions:
Resources: - I am one person, I can probably try to get others to help around here.  But a lot of them might still be burnt out doing Linux Plumbers Conference for two years in a row.  I can probably do leg work and maybe some help with finances and other bits.  But I will need someone to help with getting talks accepted I think.  That said I have access to people who know how to run a conference as well our own people in GNOME Foundation.

Currently, I perceive our conference schedule looking something like this:

June                   July/August              October
GNOME.Asia -> Desktop Summit -> Boston Summit

We have an entire 9-10 months before the next large conference, with hackfests in between.  Coinciding another summit around the same time frame of a release of GNOME might help us in planning each cycle.  Portland Summit could also help develop a rapport with application developers. Portland can also be a perfect half way for those living in Latin countries as Boston is for European countries.  The GNOME asia conference would be difficult for lot of U.S. based developers to show up for.

If we want to do this, then I need to start talking to various folks before their yearly fiscal budgets starts.


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