[OSGeo-Conf] Analysing the downfall of FOSS4G 2011

Matthew Syphus MSyphus at lhtac.org
Fri Aug 17 13:12:27 PDT 2012


I am a simple community member at large who enjoyed the Denver
conference.  I like your perspective regarding more volunteers as a
result of helping smaller events.  My thought is: can you add some sort
of volunteer requirement as a condition of having OSGeo help with an

In exchange for financially backing up or significantly consulting for a
local or regional event, the group benefiting agrees to provide (X)
volunteers or (Y) number of hours for a future international event
within 1-2 years.  The local organizers are responsible for filling that
commitment from within their group.  Maybe have a sign-up as a part of
their OSGeo-assisted event; follow-up by organizers is necessary.
Fulfilled commitments are reported with the person's name, the date,
work performed, estimated time spent.  (Volunteer work can be
coordinated with the OSGeo Conference Committee beforehand.)

Logo design, wikis, phone calls, or whatever, it seems a reasonably fair
exchange that can benefit both entities and the community at large.  It
- help _ensure_ that more volunteers are generated from the
- avoid a simple pile up of more work for the OSGeo board or conference
- improve events; 
- enhance organizing, volunteering, and collaboration skills; 
- and maybe even defray some costs.  
Some kind of simple reporting could help track, motivate, advertise, and
congratulate the efforts.  

At FOSS4G such volunteers could be mentioned for their efforts and
fulfilling their commitment, with a comment on the local event that was
the catalyst.  E.g. "Local chapter ABC has been a great help for this
year's FOSS4G.  Last year they requested OSGeo help for their ABC
Geospatial event, committing to Y hours for FOSS4G.  They have
enthusiastically worked Y + Z hours and it's clear that both events have
turned out better than expected.  Local chapter DEF also made ...." 

One other thought.  This can be expanded to ask the benefitting group to
complete a checklist that includes things like:
Update your chapter URL, contact, info on community list(s)
Update your event description and URL
After event info: attendees, successes, lessons learned (keeping it
Other information that is simple to update but often ends up neglected
or missing

These statistics can give the community at large and OSGeo in general
some real data to work with, current info, ideas, etc.

Thank you,

PS. Shouldn't the subject read "Analyzing the downfall of FOSS4G 2012"?
FOSS4G 2011 was a great success.

-----Original Message-----
From: conference_dev-bounces at lists.osgeo.org
[mailto:conference_dev-bounces at lists.osgeo.org] On Behalf Of Cameron
Sent: Thursday, August 16, 2012 5:24 PM
To: Frank Warmerdam
Cc: conference_dev at lists.osgeo.org
Subject: Re: [OSGeo-Conf] Analysing the downfall of FOSS4G 2011

On 17/08/2012 8:20 AM, Frank Warmerdam wrote:
> On Thu, Aug 16, 2012 at 3:17 PM, Michael P. Gerlek<mpg at flaxen.com>
>> >BitnerD wrote:
>> >
>>> >>Incidentally, I would really like to see clarification on the role
of the Conference Committee with respect to support of events other than
the main FOSS4G event. I have to say that it was not clear at all (nor
is to this day) what role I should expect the Conference Committee to
play in support or review of the activities that we are working on for
the NA event in 2013.
>> >
>> >Me too. My understanding is that the Conf Comm was only for the
international event -- is that true?
>> >
>> >If not, would it make sense to expand the chart of the Conf Comm to
help out or advise [in some as yet undefined way] with regional confs
and such as well?
> Folks,
> My belief is that the conference committee should play a role in any 
> conference that the formal OSGeo organization is responsible for.  If 
> we assume responsibility for FOSS4G NA then it would be included.
> I'd also love to see the committee play some role in connecting other 
> open source geospatial events but that would be more in the vein of 
> providing advice, and coordination rather than deeper responsibility.

Agreed. People organising OSGeo type events need to meet up somewhere. I
suggest the best place to point them at is the OSGeo conference email

And rather than see the extra conferences as a drain on our volunteer
time, I see expect to see it swell our ranks with more volunteers. 
Especially if people buy in to the moral expectation that if the greater
community has helped you run your conference, then we hope you do the
same for helping others. (Core OS principle)

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

Conference_dev mailing list
Conference_dev at lists.osgeo.org

More information about the Conference_dev mailing list