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Re: [Debconf-team] DC14: setup team, sponsorship, and volunteers: how to decide?

On Sun, May 18, 2014 at 10:56:50PM -0700, Benjamin Kerensa wrote:
> > No I would not, but I would probably identify the important ones for
> > each team, as you and Gunnar suggest, and I would also take it up
> > with the other volunteers and get a feel for how reliable their
> > "promise to volunteer" is. We don't want people willing to
> > volunteer, we need people with self-initiative who can drive things,
> > right?

We do, and there are several volunteers who have been "around the block" so
to speak with DebConf year after year, who make running the conference much
smoother because they don't have to reinvent the wheel every year.

I know I can come up with a few off the top of my head, and if I had a
chance to brainstorm with a couple of them, could probably fill out at least
the "leads" of the volunteer teams. Would it help if I did this within the
next couple of days to help Bursaries get a leg up on how to prioritize any
sponsorship requests from them? (There are a couple on my list I consider
essential for the smooth conference.)

> Well FWIW the self starters are likely already involved. My experience with
> conferences and promises to volunteer is that it is hard to measure promises
> unless you know the person.

It is, and we've experienced that ourselves with DebConf. Every year we talk
about how we need to evaluate the "value" of the volunteers in question, and
how to ensure they actually fulfill promises they made for us to help bring
them to the conference proper. Unfortunately, each year, we are unable to
get anything implemented in time to make a difference. But, for each team,
there is a core group of volunteers who pretty much have an idea of who has
helped in the past, and who hasn't. I don't think it'd be amiss for the
bursaries team to approach those core volunteers (myself included) for more

> I suggest using current contributions and total cost of request as the heavy
> measurement and minimal consideration to any offer to volunteer.

I must respectfully disagree. When it comes to the core group of volunteers,
many of them might not be actively contributing to Debian outside of
DebConf, and the contributions they make to DebConf are just as valuable.
These efforts have a tendency to be very invisible, but extremely essential.
And, as I discussed above, some of the volunteer efforts are *necessary* for
a smooth-running conference.

Like I said, if it helps bursaries to get a list of essential volunteers
together, I can easily have that within the next few days.



Patty Langasek


At times, you may end up far away from home; you may not be 
sure of where you belong, anymore. But home is always 
there... because home is not a place. It's wherever your 
passion takes you.
                                --- J. Michael Straczynski

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