Dear Conference Organizers: Improving The Speaker Experience

Juggling several speaking engagements coming up, I’m reminded of how hard the job of conference organizers is.  Having helped to run ApacheCon as part of a volunteer team for years, I know how difficult it is to select talks, wrangle speaker acceptances (and rejections), and ensure your final conference schedule is appealing.  Updating the clunky CFP system and keeping the finicky schedule website updated are two problems that software hasn’t solved yet.

Equally important is how the conference acceptance & organization process works from the speaker’s side.  Remember?  Those people who make all the content your conference relies on?  All those people who you love and appreciate – not that you pay them anything – and who you’ll do anything to fix last-minute problems for?  While we can’t prevent all the last minute problems, there are a few simple steps to improve the speaker communication process to help prevent problems.

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So, I gave this talk at OSCON

So, it was short, but an important message that I don’t think many open source project participants are really thinking through yet. So, it was all about how BRAND > CODE, and I’m looking for feedback on how to expand this, so, into a much bigger and better talk.

OSCON Ignite 2014: BRAND > CODE, by Shane Curcuru

So, you have to understand: yes, watching the video is so painful. I’m not usually that so-so. It was a combination of nerves (bigger stage than expected), jetlag, E_NOTENOUGH_PREPTIME, and the fact that my cell phone had just taken a dip in the water a few hours earlier.

OSCON was awesome, by the way. Next year looking forward to making sure my travel plans include the Community Leadership Summit!

I use Slideshare, and I speak at ApacheCon on managing community brands and making profits while respecting brands.

OSCON presentation: Managing Community Open Source Brands

I recently presented a session in the Business track this year at OSCON 2012 about Managing Community Open Source Brands. My slides are posted here.

Looking back on the slides now, I’m finding that my original CFP submission did a far better job than I hoped at the time at covering the key points I’ll have time to cover. The hardest thing about writing this talk has been scaling it down to fit – there are far more issues about efficient project governance, basic trademark law concepts, and potential enforcement strategies than could possibly fit in a single session.

Hmmm. Maybe I’ll improve on this next year so I have an excuse to come to OSCON 2013…

Thanks to all who attended – the talk went very nicely, and I’m looking forward to some feedback. Brand management for community-led projects is a conversation that we’re just really starting – one that is an obvious follow-on to the licensing models and community strategies that folks at places like OSCON have been perfecting in the past decade.

Apache is at at OSCON!

For those of you lucky enough to be attending OSCON this week in Portland, there will be a number of well-know Apache folk there, as well as some talks about Apache projects. Plus, the ASF has an official exhibitor’s booth, #812 at the expo.

Sadly, I won’t be attending, but I did pick out a handful of cool Apache-related OSCON sessions you should check out. Be sure to stop by the ASF booth and say hi to Sally, Justin, and all the Apache volunteers who will be there to answer your open source questions, Apache Way style.

While OSCON is about everything open source, Apache both as a Foundation and a community of projects is about a specific kind of open source. The power of “Community Over Code” which epitomizes much of The Apache Way that Apache projects follow is brought to light by a great blog posting by Noah Slater of his CouchDB Retrospective. Thanks Noah for a great essay on your journey to a true community led project!

Have fun at OSCON – wish I were there!