[OSGeo-Conf] Finalisation of RfP-Document for RfP FOSS4G 2020

michael terner ternergeo at gmail.com
Fri Sep 14 10:59:18 PDT 2018

Steven et al:
Thanks for relaying the message on the videoing.

To all:
Indeed, providing the "LOC perspective on videoing" has been a bit of a
personal cause as it was an extremely challenging part of Boston. I have
posted to the Conference Dev on this previously and will continue to do so,
as I believe it is an important and challenging issue that other LOCs are
likely to face. Indeed, both Steven and Til have conveyed the core elements
of the challenge. Here are a few additional points and a rationale for
having OSGeo *directly support *the funding of videoing:

*Full disclosure: *As a member of the Conference Dev Committee and as
Charter Member, I fully support the goal of videoing as much of a FOSS4G
conference as is possible. As a conference chair, the calculus is a bit
more difficult.

   1. Videoing is not easy, nor inexpensive. It is to the Bonn Team's great
   credit, and also to their supplier Kaos Klub's (sic) credit that they *made
   it look easy.* And in the end, they were affordable.
   2. The Boston Team was so impressed with Kaos Klub that we tried
   earnestly to bring them to Boston. Ultimately, they were not able to commit
   to supporting us.
   3. The primary goal of an LOC is to provide the best possible experience
   for *those who attend the event. *Hosting a FOSS4G is first and
foremost *for
   the visitors to your city* and your paying customers and sponsors.
   4. Videoing adds great value to OSGeo in being able to keep the
   presentations in perpetuity and to use them in a marketing and educational
   context. Equally, OSGeo has a broader mandate than an LOC to widen the
   reach of a FOSS4G conference to people who are unable to attend.
   5. Yes, Steven is correct, in cities like Boston, there are limited
   options for videoing. At our venue, the venue *required* we use their
   in-house video for the main, plenary room (3 screens, multiple cameras,
   etc. etc.). The cost of that was in excess of $50,000. The estimated cost
   to video 11 rooms concurrently was also in excess of $50,000 (although we
   were free to pursue other options for those rooms), so the overall budget
   would have exceeded $100,000.
   6. While we knew the budget, we needed to make a decisions on the
   videoing approach 3 months before the conference. That is, at a time when
   we had only 500+ registrants and knew that we needed 800 registrations to
   break even. At that time, we were unable to make a commitment to spend
   $50,000 that we did not have in hand. And so we chose to do-it-yourself
   (DIY), which was estimated to cost $15,000 - $20,000 including buying the
   7. Guido led a team that did incredible work and we successfully
   captured video of 80%+ of the sessions DIY and with volunteers operating
   the equipment. But Guido's team was extremely stressed, almost to the point
   of breaking during the *entire conference.* And then, after the
   conference, we had huge piles of video to edit and merge (i.e., slides +
   speaker video) and upload.
   8. But in the end, we achieved a very healthy surplus. Had we known in
   advance that we would have that surplus, there is no possible way we would
   have chosen DIY. We would have spent the $50,000. (And indeed, we paid for
   processing and uploading the video by using a contractor *after the
   9. From my POV, *requiring videoing* while providing *no* direct
   financial support, and as Til points out, at the same time pushing LOCs
   hard to maintain affordability, is neither fair, nor equitable to the LOC.
   Videoing is in OSGeo's direct interests (far more than the LOC's) and if
   it's very important, than OSGeo should be prepared to pay for it.
   10. The scheme that Steven and I proposed in an earlier draft is a fair
   approach that would have made an enormous difference to Boston. Basically,
   OSGeo loans the LOC the money to pay for videoing (or a large proportion of
   the videoing) and then the first bit of the surplus is used to pay back
   that loan. If there is no surplus, then loan is not repayed, and OSGeo does
   in fact pay for the videoing, *to its own great benefit*.

If OSGeo is not willing to pay for the videoing, how is it fair to have the
LOC (or rather, the paying attendees) pay for it? Indeed, in Dar es Salaam,
the DLOC made the intentional choice of only videoing the plenary sessions
and saving money. Money that was used to broaden attendance *at the
conference* through discount tickets for local people. Part of that
decision was informed by looking at the Boston video viewing stats. Indeed,
our keynotes had many hundreds of views, but a typical session had 20 - 30
viewings over the past year. That is non-trivial, but "how much" is that
worth? I believe the DLOC made the right call in erring on bringing *more
people to Dar.*

I recognize and respect that this issue is not resolved. And the best
possible solution (which Astrid described to Steven and myself) would be
some kind of "video team" (or other resources) that could be deployed to
FOSS4G conferences (where ever they may be held) and that could provide the
videoing services at an affordable cost. I certainly hope that is what
happens at Bucharest. But if such a solution is not possible, then I
believe it is fair and appropriate that OSGeo invest in the videoing that
it believes is important enough to state as a requirement in the RfP. Since
it does not appear that OSGeo is yet comfortable making that commitment,
then I would concur with Steven that video should not be made a "hard
requirements" and should rather be listed as a "strong preference."

I am confident we will find a good long term approach for this challenge.
But the challenge is real and needs some action from OSGeo.

Most sincerely, and over & out from the Dar es Salaam airport on my way
back to Boston...


On Fri, Sep 14, 2018 at 7:19 AM Till Adams <till.adams at fossgis.de> wrote:

> Hi Steven,
> thanks for finishing the document!
> I totally agree in the fact, that on the one hand we can't increase our
> requirements more and more, on the other hand we want to keep the price as
> low as possible. Somewhere there has to be a balance and this is lived by
> the LOCs.
> As long as the bidders clearly describe how they deal with the individual
> things, the final decision lies with the selection of the proposal and with
> that, it is still in the hands of OSGeo.
> So I would leave the video section(s) as they are and finish the document
> *now*
> Till
> Am 14.09.2018 um 11:09 schrieb Steven Feldman:
> I have cleared the last few comments and hopefully have resolved the AGM
> and the member meeting in a way that will acceptable to the board. I think
> we are making clear to bidders that they need to provide space for these
> events *within* the programme.
> When we award the event to a LOC I think we should draft a formal letter
> of award that includes a list of conditions which could include approval of
> the scheduling of the OSGeo AGM etc.
> The funding of video recording is going to have to be left unresolved. At
> the moment all that we are saying is that we want recording and that OSGeo
> “may” provide a loan. The provision of recording is quite contentious
> amongst recent chairs:
>    - Prior to Bonn there was no large scale video recording to my
>    knowledge. At Nottingham we had Audio recording
>    - Bonn set a very high standard thanks to the team of external
>    specialist volunteers who took on the task
>    - Boston did an incredible job using home built systems but it was an
>    enormous strain on the LOC and the volunteers to get this done. An external
>    team would have cost close on $100k I believe (MT?) and that would have
>    added $80+ to the ticket price or eliminated most of the surplus returned
>    to OSGeo
>    - Dar only recorded the keynotes and some sessions in the main hall, I
>    believe that this was due to a combination of cost and organisation (MI?)
> People outside of the LOC are always keen that the proceedings are
> recorded and made available to a wider audience, I understand why. The LOC
> may well be concerned at the cost of hiring in a professional team to
> record up to 9 streams of content or the administrative burden of trying to
> record using an in-house team of volunteers.
> I’d prefer to leave recording as a strongly desired but not mandatory
> requirement (also seek clarity on whether all sessions will  be recorded)
> and remove the section on an OSGeo loan as that will make matters more
> complex. Others will have a different view. We need to make a decision and
> get the RfP out. I can edit the video sections of the RfP once there is a
> decision.
> ______
> Steven
> On 14 Sep 2018, at 08:49, Till Adams <till.adams at fossgis.de> wrote:
> Dear all,
> I tried to resolve all the comments in
> https://docs.google.com/document/d/14ltOnAoiFSTl7ERdlFKUvx-Jh9eDpVQgEn4AoCIp4SE/edit?ts=5b9a347f#
> and ended up with 2 remaining.
> One is a discussion between Steven and Maria regarding length and
> scheduling for AGM, the other one is a comment of Cameron regarding the
> potential funding of the video recording.
> Can the people I named please resolve these comments? After that we can
> export the document and ask somebody who knows how to to load it into
> the SVN and send the link. Afterwards I will kick the call out.
> Many thanks to all contributions!
> Till
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Michael Terner
ternergeo at gmail.com
(M) 978-631-6602
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