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Re: [Debconf-team] Unmanned video setup/BoF remote participation


On Sun, Jun 21, 2015 at 11:59 AM, martin f krafft <madduck@debconf.org> wrote:
> Don't we have a way to query the BoF organisers whether video is
> wanted, which is information useful to room allocation?

This is currently on-going but the amount of BoFs is so many that more
than half of the proposed BoFs have to decline video in order for us
to have enough room with video coverage.

> In the majority of BoFs I attended in the previous years (and
> especially at DC14, when this was toplicalised), we didn't want to
> have video coverage, and if it was provided, then either the remote
> participants were ignored (false expectations), or (a lot of) time
> was lost with tech and the bi-modal interaction, which essentially
> forces you to pace yourself with the slower medium, at which point
> we might just as well stick with IRC meetings.

The main reason to have video coverage for BoFs is to allow remote
participants.  It is true that we are not as good at this as we could
be.  Having a video conferencing solution where interested people
could engage using camera and mic would be much much better.  I've
pushed for this, but I don't have the time to work on this myself, and
nobody has stepped up to be in charge of that.

So, given that we don't have a video conferencing solution ready to be
used, having video streaming and relaying comments from IRC is what we
have to allow remote participation in BoFs, and it would be nice if we
could provide this to all the BoFs that request video coverage.

> This might also be an argument for why maybe Amsterdam should maybe
> *not* have video coverage (too many people, too hard to synchronise
> it all with IRC, also more people available to carry out the word
> and share information with those not present) and instead we should
> offer video coverage in one or two of the small rooms (statistically
> more likely to host teams with some key people remotely
> participating).

I disagree here. I think that Amsterdam is a room that makes sense to
cover by video because it will allow to cover BoFs with many
interested parties, both on-site and off-site.

> The problem with unmanned video I see is that it'll shave time off
> the meeting while people fiddle with the tech, it might well be
> qualitatively crap, and it still needs to be post-processed anyway
> to be useful, unless we just stream it without archiving. But then
> I think teleconferencing would be the better approach.

Right, it doesn't need post-processing if we only use it for
streaming. And I agree that in order for this to work, participants
should not fiddle with the tech AT ALL. It should be set up so that it
works and then kept that way.

> If the concern is to not exclude remote contributors and create
> resourceful material during these BoFs, then one alternative is
> always for the organiser to ensure someone will write proper minutes
> and share them with the team later on. Those might take a lot longer
> to prepare than switching on a video camera, but they're going to be
> more useful later on (indexing, faster reading than watching, etc.).

Minutes are nice and fine, but they are not the same. Whenever
possible, we should strive to provide live participation.

All in all, BoF organizers are in the process of getting contacted
regarding video, and it might be that enough of them decline that this
is not a problem, but I certainly doubt it. I think it makes sense for
the video team to try to find a solution that works for them as well
as for the coverage DebConf needs.


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