Software Freedom Day and engaging on virtual events

So the Software Freedom Day was fun, and even thought we didn’t had enough time to pull it off, it was great to see how we got organized and everything actually went quite well. The virtual talks were NOT on schedule and sometimes we messed up when announcing the events. I think a bit more coordination would have help. However we enjoyed some of the talks and was great to be able to publish it online as well as report it. I think with better practices we can improve much better with the next one.

We started by creating a blogpost which was treated like a Wiki which is probably something to consider in the future, and use a wiki as opposed as static posts with no history. We came to a bit of disagreement between having tables for the roster or just a list. At the end list proved to be much better.  So avoid tables at all cost because they are easier to debug. Another thing which could come great is to inform the speakers about how to drive their presentations beforehand. We did had a ‘practice session’ beforehand so it helped a lot. Actually it was the biggest win.

Technology is not great, and bugs can happened, this is what happened to me during my talk. A small formatting I tried before my talk,I hit a bug where the object (a text box) start experimenting a loop for non-right users to use the text box, however since it was a loop it just kept looping through my attendees list. This made it impossible to use the chat, and some whiteboard switching messed up the presentation, killing us at the demo and Q&A which got cancelled. Just some hours after the presentation I came with a solution which was not that hard to imagine, by just killing the whole whiteboard and re-uploading the presentation would — in theory — got rid of the bug. Pretty bad luck huh?

The rest of the lessons where also to spot and make spokespersons. People with large networks endorsing the event might do a great PR on social networks. So accessing these networks could be easier without us to do all the work. Finding the hispanic Leo Laporte, Dvorak or Scobble could put a huge impact on your marketing. At the end it was a great efforts, and hope that next year we start earlier and make it much better organized.