[Date Prev][Date Next] [Thread Prev][Thread Next] [Date Index] [Thread Index]

[Debconf-team] Talk selection: session chairs


I attended several conferences recently, and looking at them through a
DebConf lens, I saw a (pretty common overall) idea which I think could
benefit DebConf.  The IRC people I bounced it off of somewhat liked
it, so I'm sending it here.

These conferences had various "sessions" of 3-4 talks.  Each session
had a "session chair" which was in charge of introducing the speaker,
providing an intro and some helping to bind them together, and in some
cases finding the speakers for that session.

So my rough idea was:

- regular talk submission process goes on - anyone can submit talks
  right to us still.

- Add to that a way to group things together.  Seek out members of
  teams that have lots of talks, and invite one of them to be the
  "session chair" for this topic.

The session chair can do this (doesn't have to be all):

- Automatically approve talks on their selected topic (and of course,
  ask/pressure people to give talks if they think it would be

- Look at the list of submitted talks and see if any would be good to
  have in their session.  If the speaker wants to join up, they could
  adopt the talk.

- Be given blocks of time in which to have all of their talks
  grouped.  They can choose an order within this block for their
  talks, or choose to have multiple blocks, whatever is best.

- Serve as the moderator for their session: provide an intro,
  introduce speakers, provide transitions, ...  Or get someone else
  to, or do none of this if they want...

- Serve as a go-between for the talk organization/scheduling committee
  and their speakers for simple things.

- Make sure that their team has a really good program at DebConf.

This implies that "session" is sort of a concept here, with one (or
multiple) blocks of time.  This has some advantages (having Python
talks scheduled as a group makes it easier for them to not overlap,
people can more easily go to all of the talks, stay together, ...) but
this togetherness could also be seen as a disadvantage.  Blocks could
be distributed early/late in the week as desired by the session
chair.  And, of course, if a session chair chose to not schedule in
blocks, that's fine too.

If teams don't like this idea, then no one steps up to be a session
chair and it doesn't affect them.  If speakers don't want to be in a
session, they just don't.  So I don't think there's much disadvantage
to giving people a change to order things some (and slightly reduce
the number of people the main talk organizers have to work with).

Thoughts?  It's really up to the talk organizers...

- Richard

| Richard Darst  -  rkd@          -  boltzmann: up 181 days, 19:33
|            http://rkd.zgib.net  -  pgp 0xBD356740
| "Ye shall know the truth and -- the truth shall make you free"

Reply to: