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Re: [Debconf-team] volunteering for the debconf by non-locals - queries.

In-line :-

On 27/04/2016, Bernelle Verster <bernellev@gmail.com> wrote:
> Hi shirish

Hi Bernelle/indiebio,

Dunno which name you prefer hence using both :) This would be a
longish mail so please bear.

> Thank you for your interest in DebConf16.
> If there are members who contacted you from the three team groupings
> you mentioned, this would take priority. The video team always needs
> help, but this is more during the event itself.
> We have also made the volunteers procedure an agenda item for our
> meeting tonight on IRC, which you are also welcome to join, to improve
> how we interact with potential volunteers [1].

I decided to give the IRC way a miss for number of reasons :-

a. In my experience, IRC is distractive and it takes fair amount of time.
b. I am/was unsure that there was something I could contribute on IRC
which I couldn't via e-mail.
c. India has been going through an unprecedented heat-wave, almost 30%
of the population having severe drought. While I'm privileged, the
general heat also affects how much time I can sit on front of a
desktop or a laptop before I start to feel weak, it is just so humid.

> I am involved with the Open Weekend [2], and could use help in two areas:
> 1. Information Art Exhibition - using Debian to make art, in any way
> (posters, graphics, knitting, 3D printing, anything!)

Do you have somebody who is dedicated to interviewing people, asking
their motivations why they chose to do whatever art installation they
did and from where they got the inspiration. If I am there, I would be
interested to document it either via my blog or document it on a
debconf blog after somebody proof-reads it as I'm not an native
english speaker/writer.

> 2. The ShowMeBox initiative [3]
> These are still rather open-ended and could use input from people with
> experience mixing Debian work and play.

While I haven't used SBC's for anything more than running Debian off
it, I do know quite a few people who use foss libraries to interpret
and share interesting data points related to different opendata
initiatives by the Indian government. While the quality of stats vary,
people have been able to get some interesting data from them. I would
be meeting some of them this very week-end so could ask that then. If
things turn out well, I would use one of their presentations sharing
their contact details at the end, and I would just be a sort of
in-between person for the purpose of showing that data/visualization.
If that is ok, would pursue that.

> Generally, we can always use marketing, tell EVERYONE! :D
> Our brochure:
> http://media.debconf.org/dc16/fundraising/debconf16_sponsorship_brochure.pdf
> Our flyer:
> http://media.debconf.org/dc16/fundraising/debconf16_sponsorship_flyer.pdf
> Let me know if any of these interest you and if you'd like more info.
> best regards
> Bernelle (indiebio)
> [1] - https://wiki.debconf.org/wiki/DebConf16
> [2] - https://wiki.debconf.org/wiki/DebConf16/DebianDay
> [3] - https://wiki.debian.org/ShowMeBox

Some thoughts on the videoteam -

For the videoteam form whatever mail archives I was able to read,
there seem to be 3 rooms in which there would be cameras. Now I do not
know how many cameras you have but as have viewed many videos of
debconfs of number of years have enjoyed the most those which had 2
cameras, one focused on the speaker and the other which had slides, so
the best would be to have 6 cameras and 3-4 people recording it. The
one which would be on the speaker would need some sort of mount/lever
especially during the Q&A to cover 180 degrees between the speaker and
the audience. This would need good reflexes as well as smooth
transitions, somebody who knows the camera intimately (not me), while
the other camera needs to be looked once in a while to see it has not
shifted from the slide place. Any sudden jerks/vibrations/nudges near
the camera could off-set it but it wouldn't need to be constantly
looked through as the one put on the speaker.

Now there are 3 parts as I understand to how the video shoot will happen :-

a1. Maybe 2-3 days before the debconf people would be seeing how the
cameras are functioning and training interns or volunteers as to how
to shoot as well as tips of what not to do.

a2. Doing all the wiring and testing that both audio and video works,
live streams at least to the adjoining halls/rooms if and when the
rooms are full, fixing what doesn't work or hiring stuff locally if
needed. I did read that some audio gear would need to be hired/sourced

b1. During the conference just seeing that the locally as well on the
web the chanels are working properly and if something breaks down
either to fix it or to pass the message to whoever can fix it.

b2. Making sure everything is recorded onto tape or whatever media is
being used and checking once in a while that it is going good. I am
sure there are tools/scripts which already do this sort of things,

c1. Editing and post-processing - This would be probably be the
hardest of all. Somebody would have to do the unenviable job of
editing, polishing so all the important interactions are recorded
while cutting away which is unnecessary while maintaining small sizes
for the final output.

c2. If there are two cameras in the main conference room, then making
sure those video streams are synced properly along with the audio

c3. Upload it the archive site.

Now I'm guessing you would be looking for full-time interns/volunteers
for a. and b. while c. would take the month, month and a half it
usually takes for viewers like me to enjoy.

Now, if I'm selected for the travel and accommodation brusary without
conditions , as a first-time attendee I wouldn't want to be there
full-time on the video team. I could dedicate sometime  say 2-3 hours
but somebody would need to train me as I have no clue about video
cameras.  I don't know if that works for the video team or not. In
your shoes, you would probably be looking for full-time interns or
volunteers and I would probably be a bad choice.  So it would be good
if you clarify if you are looking for full-time volunteers only or
part-timers will do ? In fact this should be clarified at the very
beginning by all the three teams who are on that page. This is not
told/known anywhere.

There is another thing if some sort of volunteer training program is
put up would be helpful to not just people who are volunteering now,
but also people who would volunteer or try to record mini-debconfs in
their own country after going back to their country. If somebody from
the subtitling team would be there, s/he could guide those who want to
help put up subtitles. This could be named as "Video recording,
streaming and subtitling 101" or something similar.


I was looking at the Transport part,
https://wiki.debconf.org/wiki/DebConf16/Directions , there is talk of
the  'Jammie' shuttle service, what is not clear if that service is
supposed to be within the university campus only or would it extend to
getting people from the airport. That point needs to be clarified.

Lastly, on the Logistics part , it would be nice to have a bit more
information about money. There is almost no information about ATM's ,
International Debit Cards or any other alternative means which are
safe and secure which could be turned to liquid money should the need
arise urgently. The only part given in FAQ is the currency exchange


Are there any tips when exchanging local currency to South African
Rand, what multiple is good so that it's useful but doesn't raise any
unnecessary eye-brows ?  This isn't meant to offend or hurt anybody
just being practical for the self.

Look forward to having more information on the above.
          Shirish Agarwal  शिरीष अग्रवाल
  My quotes in this email licensed under CC 3.0
EB80 462B 08E1 A0DE A73A  2C2F 9F3D C7A4 E1C4 D2D8

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