[openstack-community] Proposal: remove voting on speaking proposals for Barcelona Summit

Claire Massey claire at openstack.org
Tue May 17 19:40:33 UTC 2016

Hi everyone,

For the past few Summits, we've received mixed feedback about having the community vote on proposed sessions as part of the call for speakers process. Historically, after the call for speakers closes, we publish all submitted sessions for community voting before the track chairs review them. The track chairs then choose how much weight to put on the voting resuls, if any, because they make the ultimate decision about which sessions are selected. More info on Track Chairs can be found at the bottom of this email. 

With the growing number of speaking submissions (we had 1,300 for Austin), some community members have expressed concerns about social media channels and email getting spammed during the week of voting. We also think many community members are unclear as to how much the votes weigh on the final decision. For example, some think that if someone campaigns for votes or asks their colleagues to vote, the session will likely be accepted (which may not be the case).

We would like to propose removing voting from the selection process for the October 2016 Barcelona Summit, but want to get your input before making a final decision. Our thinking is that by removing voting from the process, we will:

- Save valuable time during the overall Summit programming process, which should allow us to publish the final agenda and notify speakers sooner 
- Allow our development teams more time to focus on improving the mobile app and web schedule developed during the last Summit cycle
- Reduce the spam and noise around voting, so we don't cause Twitter fatigue before we're promoting the final agenda and key themes
- Level the playing field for speakers from startups, new community members, etc. who may not have an established network in the community for voting

We initially started the voting process for good reasons and we do think there's value, but we're reaching a point where the costs are starting to outweigh the benefits. We'd like to get your input before we open the call for speakers in early June for the Barcelona Summit.


Track Chair Info
Track Chairs are subject matter experts who review submissions to their particular track, for example "storage" or "cloud applications." There are typically 3-4 chairs per track who review and collaboratively decide which presentations are ultimately accepted for inclusion on the final agenda. The Foundation strives to recruit Track Chairs from a diverse set of companies, regions, roles in the community (i.e., contributing developers, users and business leaders) and areas of expertise. Information on how to nominate yourself or someone else to serve as a track chair for the Barcelona Summit will be published when the call for speakers goes live in early June. For reference, here's information on the Track Chairs from the Austin Summit: https://etherpad.openstack.org/p/Austin_Summit_Track_Chairs <https://etherpad.openstack.org/p/Austin_Summit_Track_Chairs> and https://www.openstack.org/summit/austin-2016/categories/selection-process <https://www.openstack.org/summit/austin-2016/categories/selection-process>.

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