Cooperation, participation, selection
Iâ€™m looking forward to a lot of great sessions in Prague from our amazing community (you!) and from outside it. To get those, weâ€™ll need high-quality proposals, a bit of promotion for those proposals, and constructive feedback. These elements will make it possible for the track chairs to give you the sessions that will make DrupalCon what you out there in the Drupal trenches want to see and learn in Prague.
The local track chairs have been working for months with the global track chairs, the DrupalCon content lead (me), and the Drupal Association to get the exact flavor we all want for this European DrupalCon. Weâ€™ve laid down what each track is looking for in the track descriptions and we have speaker resources available (more coming soon) for session submitters. Weâ€™re looking for submissions that take into account the DrupalCon Prague theme of â€śOne to Manyâ€ť, Drupal 8, and the needs of the specific tracks.
Change, test, improve, iterate...
Last year, the DrupalCon Munich committee had lengthy discussions about the session selection process, and especially about voting. After going over problems, advantages, risks, systems (up/down, 5-star, points, etc.) of this community feedback mechanism, we decided to drop it altogether. Extremely positive overall feedback from the Drupal community made it clear to us that we were on the right track (whew!). DrupalCon Prague is coming up soon and weâ€™ve tweaked the session selection process a little more based on your feedback (comments on session proposals are no longer considered â€śvotesâ€ť, instead they are for collaborating to improve session quality), and added a new, optional element to it: videos.
Submit and promote your session
The new, optional element in the session submission and selection process is personal videos. We are not looking for high-production, time-consuming, or fancy videos. In two minutes, the track chairs want to see and hear who you are, what you want to talk about at DrupalCon, and why it is important and interesting. Turn on your webcam, pull out your smartphone, record a Google hangout â€“ whatever works quickly and easily for you â€“ upload it to the video hosting platform of your choice and pass the link to your track chair via the â€śSpeaker Experienceâ€ť field on the submission form.
Submitting a video is *completely optional*, but hereâ€™s how it can help you: Track chairs may not know you personally and probably donâ€™t have time for extensive research. A video is a good way to make a "high bandwidth", positive impression.
Another thing to include in your submission â€“ with or without a video â€“ especially if you are relatively new to the Drupal world, would be links to previous public speaking youâ€™ve done. Weâ€™d also be especially excited to know what special knowledge you bring to the table that would enrich Drupal. Do you know Symfony inside and out? How about twig, html5, MySQL, business funding, or legal issues related to open source and copyright? Drupal has become more and more interdisciplinary in recent years and you can, to quote Larry Garfield (Crell) help us get off our island.
As this will be the last DrupalCon before Drupal 8's release, I particularly encourage you to a submit a session if you have in-depth experience and knowledge about Drupal 8.
Make DrupalCon yours: support and shape sessions
In addition to encouraging rich submissions, we want to build on the success that commenting was the last time around. If you are interested in a particular track, speaker, or theme; you can follow along as session proposals come in in the coming weeks and provide constructive feedback and support.
Hereâ€™s the important part: Your feedback is for the session submitters, not the track chairs. Good feedback is feedback that helps submitters shape and improve their proposals and sessions for DrupalCon. Working together to improve session quality is what this is about; itâ€™s not really part of the selection process directly.
This is open source: Making the effort to share knowledge with others is what makes our open source community great. Those who take the time to prepare and submit sessions deserve thanks and a chance to improve their contribution. Giving them your feedback and ideas, is not only in the spirit of open source, it is a great way for you to contribute to the project, too!
Submit, comment, come to Prague!
Get your session proposals in, start commenting on the sessions that are there, buy your Con ticket and come to Prague to a DrupalCon that youâ€™ve helped put together!
Do not delay - the call for content ends this Friday, the 12. July at 23:59 CEST.
See you there!
DrupalCon Content Manager
Image courtesy: Michael Schmid, taken at DrupalCon Portland