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gnat (29)

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Journal of gnat (29)

Wednesday April 02, 2003
04:37 PM

Friday at OSCON

[ #11409 ]
As those who have attended previous OSCONs know, Friday afternoons have always seen a dropoff in attendance. Some people book midday Friday or Friday afternoon flights, so everything after lunch tends to have only half the number of attendees of the rest of the week.

Rather than pretend it doesn't happen, which I've done in years past, I've confronted the problem head-on this year. I've scheduled no talks for Friday afternoon. Instead we're planning some loosely structured networking.

This is inspired by the digital identity world conference I went to last year. The day before the conference started, they had a golf day for networking. You'd turn up, form a foursome (a golf foursome, you foul-minded perverts), and get to know them and their business (and learn what's working for them and what's not working) as you played a round (which is different from "playing around").

But rather than play golf, which assumes a certain taste for ugly clothing, and carries overtones of white men in their clubhouse (c.f. Caddyshack et al.), we should do something that Portland has to offer. So we're heading off to the zoo after lunch on Friday, rendezvousing at an hour to be determined and then networking our way around the zoo.

I also have high hopes for an evening event for those folks staying in town. Rael tells me there's a classic gaming arcade (original Space Invaders, etc.) next door to a brewpub. For the sum of several hundred dollars, a group can rent out the arcade and bring in beer and food from the brewpub. Now that sounds fun .... That, however, requires a sponsor, and I'm not sure we have anyone lined up to do it yet. If sponsorship doesn't work out, it may still be something that people staying in town want to do.


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  • You wouldn't happen to be talking about Ground Kontrol [] would you?

    I'll challenge anyone to a game of Pole Position. :-)

  • I for one, will be in town at that time, but I sure as hell don't want to go to the zoo [] (scroll down to "Como Zoo video").
    • You're right. We shouldn't keep them in zoos. Let's just them die out 'naturally' as all their habitat is destroyed. Oh, it is far beneath their dignity to keep them alive, in the hope that perhaps some habitat might be restored...
    • I'm with you on this one. How about you and I and other non-zoo goers take a trip to Powells []?
      • And you know what I heard is right near Powell's? The 24 Hour Church of Elvis! I am so down with that. Books and insanity, that's a good outing. And we can meet up with the zoo-goers at the arcade, where I can am(aza|use) you all with my mad Dance Dance Revolution skillz!
  • Nat, I'm curious. Does this replace the Town Hall traditionally held at end-of-con? I'm curious what the reaction to those has been, traditionally. I always appreciate it, as it provides a nice roundup of reactions and suggestions from the intriguing to the antagonistic...
    • Town halls usually start with a few comments from the organizers on how this is an auspicious time and place, and focus on interesting recent events (especially those that happened at the conference).

      Then the microphone is opened up to the peanut gallery.

      Then someone asks "Why can't we have an east-coast venue?" A show of hands late friday afternoon somewhere on the west coast shows that the vast majority of attendees prefer a west coast venue, followed quickly with a random quote about how east coast

    • What Ziggy said :-) We do like getting feedback, and we'll schedule a feedback session or BOF in addition to the evaluation forms, but ultimately the town hall didn't do much more than soak up the last session of the conference. My hope is that a networking trip will actually be useful to people.


  • Things are looking pretty solid for me financially, so I was thinking about going to OSCON. I haven't visited Portland and this is as good an excuse as any. Plus, I know some of clients will be there. :-)