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Re: [Debconf-team] [DRAFT] Call for Help: DebConf14 travel sponsorship team

On Thu, May 08, 2014 at 12:44:39AM -0700, Felipe Augusto van de Wiel (faw) wrote:
> I just want to sync-up and get some feedback before sending the
> message to debian-devel-announce on the weekend, this email is
> based on 
>   https://lists.debian.org/debian-devel-announce/2013/05/msg00009.html

> - ---- 8< ----- 8< ----- 8< ----- 8< ----- 8< -----
> To: debian-devel-announce@lists.debian.org
> Subject: Call for Help: DebConf14 travel sponsorship team

I would suggest just calling this the "DebConf14 bursaries team".  I assume
that, like last year, we want the team to handle both food/accom sponsorship
and travel sponsorship.  (And if we repeat the name often enough, maybe
people will stop giving us funny looks when we say "bursaries". :)

> What is this "Travel Sponsorship Team" all about?

> A very important part of the DebConf organization is the rating of
> travel sponsorship requests -- always a hard problem to work out,
> that involves people and social interaction. And although we have
> come up with some alternative ideas, we seem to have consensus on
> staying with the previous years' scheme: Have a team go through
> the requests, rate them, and assign the money we have for that.
> This team, the Team of a Thousand Names, is usually referred to
> within the general DebConf organizing team as "Travel Sponsorship
> Team", "Travel Bursaries Team" or simply "Herb".

Or instead of a thousand names, we could just call it "Bursaries" ;)

Proposed alternate paragraph:

  The bursaries team has a very important role in DebConf:  they are
  responsible for evaluating requests for sponsorship, both for food and
  accommodation and for travel.  Funds for sponsorship are limited, so this
  team has the difficult task of ranking sponsorship requests to ensure that
  these funds are put to the best use for Debian.

> The deadline for requesting sponsorship is on Sunday 2014-05-15,
> and we are aiming at producing the results by June 1st, 2014, a
> Sunday.

While we've communicated "beginning of June" to those requesting
sponsorship, if possible I would ask that the bursaries team target May 23
for their decisions, to improve the chances of sponsorees getting good plane
ticket prices.  I know that's a tight timeline, so if it doesn't work out
that's not the end of the world - but it surely won't happen if we don't try
for it.

> Second, an extra bit of time and patience.  Once the list is
> mostly-done, we usually have an IRC meeting to make sure the
> produced list looks sane, and to find any hiccups before they
> explode.  And if they explode, believe me, it can be ugly. But
> they don't have to explode at all, as we are nice and careful ;-)

FWIW I believe last year we omitted the IRC meeting in favor of handling it
all asynchronously by mail and this worked out very well.  (Much better than
trying to schedule an IRC meeting across N timezones).

> We are aiming to have a group of ~15 people to be large enough,
> but not too large.

I don't remember ever having the team that large in the past.  Maybe we want
a more realistic, lower target?  I think if you *did* manage to get that
large of a group, the problem would be getting them to finish their ratings
within the required timeframe... much easier to do this if you don't have as
many people to chase.

Steve Langasek                   Give me a lever long enough and a Free OS
Debian Developer                   to set it on, and I can move the world.
Ubuntu Developer                                    http://www.debian.org/
slangasek@ubuntu.com                                     vorlon@debian.org

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