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Re: My trip to FOSDEM 2005

On Sun, Mar 06, 2005 at 03:53:01PM +0100, Magni Onsoien wrote:
> On 2005-03-06 04:19:46 -0500, Erinn Clark said:
> > I do notice a commonality among a lot of people, though, which is that,
> > regardless of sex, they think they have nothing to talk about. This is
> > certainly true in some cases, but even within Debian, there is *tons* of
> > stuff to talk about -- some of the more 'interesting' stuff (to other
> > Debian people) requires a fair amount of specialized knowledge in some
> > sub-field of Debian, but for conferences where you'll be presenting to a
> > more general free software audience, there is plenty of stuff to cover. 
> Everybody have been beginners at one (or more) stages in their life. So
> also for Debian people. I guess there should be room for some general
> talks even at Debian events; not everybody are interested in or have
> knowledge enough to get the most out of a very specialized talk (even if
> a lot of people find them very interesting as well).

I noticed in my local lug that the most experienced people do not
tend to volunteer to give talks, the intermediate people (and
sometimes the newly-intermediate people) are the ones who do.  I
think the experienced/qualified people are either busy or they
don't want to brag/show off, or both.  The intermediate people
want to become known to the community and this is their chance.
They become known as "experts" even though they were just learning
that topic at the time.

Interesting dynamics and something to keep in mind when making
assumptions about speakers.  Of course, local lug dynamics and
international conference dynamics are probably at least a little
different.  Or are they?

One way to make it less scary to give a talk is to think to yourself:
"I'm going to talk on this topic I just learned.  There will be
some experts in the audience, and I can learn those last few
elusive details from them."  Next time you're at a talk, observe
how/whether the speaker has a give-and-take with the experts in the
audience, or whether they present themself as knowing everything and
does not have a response for unexpected information.  It is very
useful to know this stuff.


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