User/Community Organized Virtual Libre Conference - October 29th & 31st, 2020

Inspired by the libre and unconference movements, a group of SoCal Blender founders and meetings organizers have teamed up with some volunteers from the local user/community organized conference ecosystem to resurrect the other 2 dates of October 29th and 31st around the BConf date of October 30th.

These other 2 days though will be new and “for the user by the user” open collaboration inspired dates. They are being organized logistically similar to a virtual unconference with some differences. It is being organized by volunteers from the SoCal user/community conference ecosystem and will be guided by their expertise.

Being inspired by the unconference movement and in the true spirit of open/libre source in media production this event also includes invitations to the users of other media projects like Krita, Inkscape, Synfig, OpenToonz plus many others.

By design, this is meant to be quite a bit different from the normal Blender events in late October. More information will be announced soon by the organizing team. Until then please post your suggestions here on how things can be done differently in a way that is “for the user by the user” and in the true spirit of open source.

Full newsflash announcement post:



"How will I be able to sign up?"
Additional information will be posted here. So far we are looking at trying out some open source conference management platforms that specialize in unconference like setups for free to attend virtual conferences. Although this won’t be exactly like an unconference, it is enough like one to use that model as a guide. We will be making a decision on which platform soon.

"What is this user/community conference ecosystem?"
SoCal is home of the largest group of annual user/community organized open source focused conferences globally. Conferences range from Python programming to big data with infosec in between. With that comes a vibrant community of local SoCal and global volunteers that organize these user led conferences or volunteer at conferences in person. Volunteers in this ecosystem are looking forward to this opportunity to organize this event in the true spirit of open source.

Some of the conferences that they organize or volunteer at are:
UbuCon North America(Ubuntu), PyBeach, Git Merge, LayerOne(cyber security), PyCon(US/North America), SciPy(US), Data Con LA(big data), SoCal Linux Expo(SCaLE), Shellcon(infosec) and many more.

"Why are users from other software projects being invited?"
Open source media production software has become so popular in general that there are now several favorite apps in people’s tool chain or tool box that are important and of interest to users.

"Is there a website?"
We are setting up a git repo as a starter website and will post the link within the next few days. We are using a git repo so other users can start collaborating immediately. We are considering different open source platforms or may stick with git. We’ll figure that out in the next few weeks.

More information coming soon.

9/20/20 - UPDATE: Our first organizers meeting produced the overview of a simple mix of open platforms that allow the community to build up the unconference with adjustments to make it easy for participants to be engaged. We will setup the platform and reach out to the various DCC communities as soon as the framework is setup.

We came up with some guidelines and have started working on event graphics. We decided on the name of the event and have some excellent examples of successful and interesting unconferences for reference.

If you are interested in participating in this early stage before we get the platform framework up please DM me.



10/14/20 - UPDATE:
The initial organizing team is having a lot of fun. We are a bit busy with another event the week before the unconference so we are working on both at the same time. We have some interesting suggestions to work from. Being it is a modified unconference we can wait until right before the dates to do the final organization work. We just need to finalize a communication platform. Wait until you see the options, lol…

So we’ve reached out casually to several of the other open source DCC app communities since all of them are invited. We’ll be sending out official announcements to their recommended channels soon so they can start preparing their work and projects they want to share.

More info coming soon and the team is excited to see what the community makes of their own conference that is for the people by the people.

~JT and the event org team


10/25/20 - UPDATE:
Good news DCC fans! The org team just completed yesterday a similar event to the unconference that is proposed. The event client said, “Team we did something extraordinary - a metamorphosis of stellar, on more than one level, proportions of an in-person event in unbelievable time.”

So in the following days leading up to this Thursday and Saturday we will be following up with several of the other open source DCC app communities to keep them in the information loop about how to launch this unconference on Thursday. We’ll be sending out official announcements to their recommended channels soon so they can start preparing their work and projects they want to share.

If you have been following this thread and want to participate in the unconference here are some early tips as a reward. The first part of Thursday will be the attendee organizational segment based on the work of the initial organizing team. Be ready to jump in on that if you want to have a prominent place in presenting because that is when the schedule is decided in an unconference style event.

The presentation resources you can use are:

  • images
  • audio files
  • short videos uploaded (<=120MB)
  • online video links (no YouTube links though, most others are okay)
  • slide presentations saved as a PDF (so you can advance the slides)
  • website links
  • desktop sharing
  • web cam streaming
  • microphone audio/voice.

So be ready with resources from this list so you can share or present at the unconference. It is all about whoever shows up and has something ready to share.

More info is coming in the following days leading up to the unconference and the team is excited to see what the community makes of their own conference that is for the people by the people.

~JT and the event org team


10/29/20 - UPDATE:
The first day of organizing the conference is going well. Several volunteer organizers are working with the org team to build out the format of the unconference platform. It is looking good and a lot like an in person unconference.

There are schedule time slots where prospective presenters can post their topics they want to cover and have attendees vote on who they want to have present. This is a virtual version similar to what happens at an in person unconference. This gives a chance to present to those that may not usually have one. Also, a couple special guest presenters have been lined up.

We have a few surprises to share with the attendees and some special interactive features that will be fun for all. We are setting up a design our logo contest for attendees for example.

So early Friday, Pacific Time, the user organized platform will have the basic layout needed to share it with the general public. So we will open it up by posting an invitation in selected DCC apps’ forums and then the onboarding of those that want to present a topic can begin.

Voting on presentation topics will continue through to 7am Saturday morning Pacific Time. At which time the presentations will begin that have the most attendee votes. This is a self organized by the use for the user type of unconference format.

We’ll update this message when the invitations go out Friday morning Pacific Time. Sett you there!

~JT, the event org team and the first day volunteer organizers


10/30/20 - UPDATE:
The first day of the unconference that was dedicated to setup went so well that we have to reschedule the event. The build out of the platform is quite extensive and thus taking more time to finish up and has extended to a second day. We have quite an elaborate setup that we think will be quite impressive when it’s ready.

So the original org team and new volunteer organizers want to make sure as many users as possible can participate on this platform we’ve built out. So we are rescheduling for either Satruday November 7th or 14th for the presentation day. We will open up the platform for onboarding several days before that.

This will give us more time to advertise the event to attract more attendees and participants. So get your presentation proposals ready. We’ll decide on the date by early next week and make an update here and on our other channels.

Thanks for your support and encouragement.
~JT, the event org team and the first day volunteer organizers