FUDCon Live: Status

A while back i posted a call for volunteers for a new concept for FUDCon, which i called FUDCon Live. Not surprisingly, i didn't get an overwhelming number of raised hands, since i think this is a new concept that not many people get. Instead, i think we should restructure the planning just a bit.

There are a couple elements to this idea. The first is having an organized #fudcon-room-* channel for each physical space we have, complete with a meetingbot instance and any other tools people might want to use. Depending on the kind of session, running gobby and other tools will also go along way to helping things along. I'm assuming the people on the ground can help out here because they know what the rooms are. Setting something up like this is pretty low level work.

The second element is the logger. This is someone in each session who is recording the conversation and taking notes via IRC. He's (or a she, but i think FUDCon is still mostly attended by guys) also taking comments from IRC and repeating them to the group. This requires making sure there are enough volunteers. This also means making sure someone is tracking who the volunteers are and are enforcing enough typing breaks. Having done this before, i can tell you it can be stressful to do this for an entire day. Yes, you're a nerd, yes, you type all day, but you don't type at this pace for long stretches. Finally free drinks are involved, anyone who volunteers gets a beer (or other beverage, or well any other reasonable consumable if you don't drink) from me, as a thank you.

The third element is you. To make this worthwhile, you will need to interact with it. If you're at home, use it to follow that session you really wanted to see. Ask questions. If you're at FUDCon, hang out in channels to follow two sessions at once. Find out if there's a session more interesting than yours. Use the extra information to decide where to be. Finally, provide feedback. Let us know how it worked out.

The last element is the organisation. Since i only got a couple of volunteers so far, i want to do things a bit differently. This should solve a few issues all at once. Let's take a page out of Google's playbook. At the Google Summer of Code Mentor Summit, as part of each presentation, the guy running the session was required to ask for a volunteer to log the session. Let's take this route. For everyone giving a session, before you begin, find a volunteer in the room. There's a good chance that someone in the room already has an emotional investment in the session and will be willing to document things. One of the organizers (the original volunteers) will make sure to monitor the channels and update the wiki after each session. This way we know who's been volunteering.


2 flames:

Mel zei

Fantastic - thank you for making this happen, Yaakov! After reading your FAD transcript a few months back, I'm looking forward to seeing the legendary note-taking in action (and helping out with a couple rooms myself).

If instructions on how to do it are posted, I think getting talk-givers to request a logger at the start of their presentation is a great idea (in other words, it's your responsibility to make sure your session gets documented).

This post gives me pretty good idea from this post about what people at FUDCon can do to help - I'm curious about the other side, though. How much do we need to know about remote participants ahead of time, and how much do they need to know? Will there be a central landing spot with instructions on the day-of, or will this all be on individual room IRC channels)?

Finally, one thing to think about over the weekend is what kind of infrastructure we can pull together at a FUDCon FAD that would make it easier to deploy FUDCon Live at future events - if there's something we should make or package or come up with templates for, that's good to know.

Yankee zei

1) I doubt i'll be doing as much note taking this time. I have some sessions to lead. Hopefully i'll do a couple of sessions though too. I'm hoping Bert can help me coordinate things as well.

2) It would be nice to have a safety net, in Google's case, they reminded us constantly that they paid for the trip so we better produce something good. Let's see how this goes.

3) We need a landing page, like you said. If we're lucky, i'll have time to get to it tonight. Things got really busy at work right before i go on vacation. Figures, right?

4) The infrastructure is not much. It's just a matter of having meeting bot in place and documentation. The entire process is supposed to be as low bandwidth as possible.

Anywho, rolling into Utrecht now. We'll talk more later.