[OSGeo-Conf] Analysing the downfall of FOSS4G 2011

Paul Ramsey pramsey at opengeo.org
Thu Aug 16 06:51:22 PDT 2012

You don't think things could have gotten worse? Imagine cancellation
happening now.

One possible recourse would have been re-siting, if things were
decided early enough that would have been possible.


On Thu, Aug 16, 2012 at 5:42 AM, Cameron Shorter
<cameron.shorter at gmail.com> wrote:
> On 15/08/2012 4:57 AM, Paul Ramsey wrote:
>> On Tue, Aug 14, 2012 at 11:46 AM, Frank Warmerdam <warmerdam at pobox.com>
>> wrote:
>>> I agree with Jachym that it is still desirable to give the local
>>> organizers quite a bit of freedom and that we should accept that
>>> occasional failure is not a disaster.
>> On the contrary, I'd say that random failures are a disaster and will
>> actually contribute to more failures. As Cameron noted in his
>> document, the success of a conference is tied to the perceived
>> expectations. Throwing a conference is like throwing a party. Do you
>> want to go to a lame party? No, you want to go to a rocking party. If
>> PartyPete throws awesome parties every Thursday, you'll clear your
>> schedule as next Thursday rolls around. If LameLou throws passable
>> parties sometimes, and sometimes cancels them, you'll start going to
>> PartyPete's instead. Consistency is very important.
>> The same thing will go double for sponsors: are you going to commit to
>> early sponsorship and send a cheque to an event that was cancelled
>> last year? Or will you hold on to your cheque until the last minute
>> just in case? The uncertainty effect is going to make the financial
>> situation of future conferences more precarious as sponsors and
>> registrants hedge their bets until later in the calendar. This will
>> only get worse if we embrace failure as an occasionally acceptable
>> mode.
> Paul, as I consider your quote, as I cut it into the wiki, I wonder what
> recourse OSGeo has to prevent a FOSS4G conference from failing?
> * The board can block progress, eg: by not approving a budget until it is
> acceptable. But if the LOC still doesn't perform, what then? I think the
> board's only recourse is to cancel the conference. Yes, we could have
> cancelled the FOSS4G 2011 conference earlier. But I would argue that an
> early cancellation is still a failure.
> --
> Cameron Shorter
> Geospatial Solutions Manager
> Tel: +61 (0)2 8570 5050
> Mob: +61 (0)419 142 254
> Think Globally, Fix Locally
> Geospatial Solutions enhanced with Open Standards and Open Source
> http://www.lisasoft.com
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