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On Wed, 2012-02-22 at 14:39 -0500, wrote:
Hi Everyone

It would be good for the community to try set up a Biennial Conference in
North America for Either in Montreal, Boston or San
Fransisco. I think it is in our best interest to start developing the North
American community.

Some investigation so far, and this is in the city of Boston: depending on
the number of people attending, we can use the offices at the FSF. Another
alternative is having the Conference as a component of
LibrePlanet2012: Or a
conference hall at the Univ. Of Mass. can be rented at a very low cost.

Generally we would want the conference to be at least 6 months apart from
the main conferences which, based on past history will always be in the EU.
(the exception being 2008 in China for OOo)

A quick note back saying you would be interested in attending if there was
such a conference would be appreciated.

If anyone is interested in helping investigate this and driving this
further, please let me know.



Several thoughts from an essentially
still-a-lurker-for-the-most-part.  :-)

1.  If a conference is created, I'd like to push for something in a more
centralized location.  SF, Montreal and Boston are usual suspects for
FOSS events and thus huge swaths of the Midwest get ignored.  For both
LibreOffice and FOSS in general, its time we started making headways in
new regions of this large continent of ours.

2.  "Growing the community" is a good thing, but this is still a rather
vague target and we should take the time to identify what that target
means.  Factors do influence how we determine the target.  When we say
"community" do we mean to increase the number of users who adopt it?  Do
we say we want to increase the number of advocates that sell
LibreOffice?  Do we focus on increasing contributors to LibreOffice?  Is
there enough contributors in the region to get together to make
significant investment in a conference?

Any one of these target questions will define how the conference is laid
out.  A LibreOffice users conference is different than a LibreOffice
hackfest conference.

And whatever the determined target, it should be the one with the lowest
hanging fruit to start with and then we can evolve into bigger and more
complex targets with each subsequent conference.

For example, a big users-targeted conference will increase the mindshare
around LibreOffice and that will subsequently increase the number of
potential people interested in contributing to LibreOffice in various
aspects.  Targeting FOSS events like LFNW and SCaLE, etc. are nice but
since most are Linux users, and most distros come with LibreOffice
installed, our gain isn't that big in terms of adoption.  

So, a conference that targets Windows users and corporate software
decision makers and trainers could create the most bang for the buck in
a conference the first year.  Of course, I don't know how much funds TDF
has for seeding such an initial conference.

But in any case, with my own conference organizing experience, I'd love
to join in and help organize such a conference.  I think the question
here shouldn't be "should we do this?" but rather "how or how soon can
we do this?"

Bryen M Yunashko

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