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

Doug Hellmann doug at doughellmann.com
Thu May 19 14:11:25 UTC 2016

> On May 19, 2016, at 10:06 AM, Roland Chan <roland at aptira.com> wrote:
> This attendees-only idea isn't entirely without merit, but the audience isn't just people who attend. That is, unless the travel support program decides to go webscale. One can't exclude voters because they can't afford to spend a few thousand dollars to fly to Austin for a week. Some may say such a proposition would be be racist in effect if not intent, but I couldn't possibly comment. :P
That's a good point. On the other hand, anyone in the world, whether they’re normally part of the community or not, can watch the videos. So optimizing to allow every potential viewer to have input into the program, over the people who do attend in person, doesn’t really have any guarantee of giving us a good outcome either.

That said, I threw out the piece of information as a data point. I still think having track chairs empowered to build the best program they can will give better results than any amount of crowd-sourcing.

> There are two fundamental choices: democracy or not (which includes curation, oligarchy and dictatorship).
> If we want to have a reduced franchise we may as well exclude everyone that is affiliated to a submitter (perhaps outside of the marketing talks, and who goes to them?). That would certainly solve the inherent bias issues whilst also minimising dross.
> Roland
> On 19 May 2016 11:32 pm, "Doug Hellmann" <doug at doughellmann.com <mailto:doug at doughellmann.com>> wrote:
> Excerpts from Florian Haas's message of 2016-05-19 10:00:25 +0200:
> > Hi Lana!
> >
> > On Thu, May 19, 2016 at 3:23 AM, Lana Brindley
> > <openstack at lanabrindley.com <mailto:openstack at lanabrindley.com>> wrote:
> > > I'm actually really starting to like Florian's proposed method, with one exception: I don't like the idea of limiting it to talk submitters. The reason I say this is that, before I was a PTL, I submitted talks to every summit. That stopped when I became a PTL because, quite simply, I spend most of my time running sessions in the Design Summit, only popping over to the main conference for the talks I absolutely don't want to miss. I think by limiting the voting to only people submitting talks, you will miss the voice of people who deliberately *don't* submit a talk, because they're massively invested in other aspects of the conference, especially those on the more technical side of the house.
> > >
> > > Perhaps, instead of limiting it to talk submitters, maybe make it available to a different subset: people who have attended previously, maybe?
> >
> > Hmmm. Well I'm afraid limiting talk votes to talk submitters is
> > exactly what makes the proposed approach meaningful. :)
> >
> > If you have a minute, please consider reviewing Prof. Merrifield's
> > remarks in the video when Brady asks his question starting with "call
> > me a cynic", about https://youtu.be/7c0CoXFApnM?t=6m25s <https://youtu.be/7c0CoXFApnM?t=6m25s> — this is
> > exactly the part that makes this system self-policing, and it goes out
> > the window if your own proposal isn't at stake.
> >
> > Side note, if your assessment badly disagrees with what everyone else
> > has been thinking about a proposal, then this is not necessarily
> > because you're naughty and you want to game the system — you may just
> > be a shoddy reviewer who went over their reviewed proposals in a rush
> > whereas everyone else gave them more time. That, too, is something
> > that the system *should* penalize, because it ensures the quality of
> > the review process.
> >
> > There is one other criticism to this, which is the opposite: what if
> > I'm being *extremely* diligent and I detect an issue that no-one else
> > detects? This is addressed here: https://youtu.be/bplncn4xC74?t=1m48s <https://youtu.be/bplncn4xC74?t=1m48s>
> > (tl;dw: have public, anonymized free-form comments available to all
> > reviewers).
> >
> > At any rate though, I can't think of a way to do this that does *not*
> > make the group of reviewers identical with the group of submitters.
> > And quite frankly, I quite like it as it is, considering the fact that
> > the proposed system forces everyone not only to think "how would I
> > rank this", but also "how would *others* rank this", which is exactly
> > what you want for the benefit of the much greater group of conference
> > attendees (as opposed to speakers).
> >
> > What are your thoughts on that?
> >
> > Cheers,
> > Florian
> >
> I feel like this system assumes bad faith on the part of the
> contributor (speaker, reviewer, and voter), and tries to enforce
> good behavior through rules and technology. I would rather we have
> a more public way of selecting track chairs and then have faith in
> them to evaluate talks objectively for relevance and quality, sharing
> guidance and feedback as part of the process.
> Doug
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