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

Adam Lawson alawson at aqorn.com
Wed May 18 15:45:33 UTC 2016

> You submit a talk, you have a say in the overall program. Simple as
> that. Kind of like you submit patches, you have a say in the direction
> your project is taking.

The challenge there my friend is it incentivizes the community to submit
talks solely for the purpose of gaining influence within the selection
process. Kind of like submitting patches for spelling/punctuation in the
OpenStack documentation solely for the purpose gaining voting rights during
TC elections and ATC status -- hence free Summit pass.

No easy answers for sure. I'm not opinionated strongly either way but would
support testing the idea of eliminating voting in Barcelona to see how it
goes. I'm guessing that if it does not go well or have unexpected social
consequence, the Foundation will have ample opportunity to course-correct.


*Adam Lawson*

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On Wed, May 18, 2016 at 8:25 AM, Florian Haas <florian at hastexo.com> wrote:

> On Wed, May 18, 2016 at 2:56 PM, Dave Neary <dneary at redhat.com> wrote:
> > Hi,
> >
> > Personally, I have always found voting to be exclusionary in its nature
> > - it is a popularity contest where those with the broadest reach get
> > more and better votes - and tacky ("vote for my talk!", or worse, "vote
> > for my employer's talk proposals!" tweets are uncouth at best, actively
> > damaging to community identity at worst).
> >
> > Certainly, voting can help eliminate some options - out of laziness, we
> > have considered only the top 30 talks out of 60 proposals for 8 talk
> > slots in a past conference, and 5 of the talks were voted in the top 8.
> > But in general, I do not see a lot of alignment between what makes the
> > best content and what gets the most/best votes. Also, as a presenter, I
> > have never felt comfortable in the "pimp my talk" zone - and I'm pretty
> > extroverted. I can only imagine that having to "sell" your proposal to
> > the community is even more uncomfortable for others - especially those
> > new to our community - so, as I say above, I see the practice as
> > exclusionary and intimidating.
> I don't disagree, but I do maintain that if we move this to a peer
> ranking scheme, where only those how submit talks get to review other
> submissions, the exclusion/intimidation aspect would likely vanish. If
> people are no longer offered the whole slew of talks, but only a small
> random subset thereof, we get better review coverage and the task is a
> lot less daunting than it is now.
> In fact, with a randomized subset peer-review scheme like that, we
> could even drop track chairs, which would completely remove any
> popularity contest effect from track chair selection as well, and
> would completely nix the risk of track chair lobbying.
> You submit a talk, you have a say in the overall program. Simple as
> that. Kind of like you submit patches, you have a say in the direction
> your project is taking.
> Cheers,
> Florian
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