Notes from the first OpenPGP Summit

Hans-Christoph Steiner hans at
Tue Apr 28 17:33:31 CEST 2015

Werner Koch:
> On Mon, 27 Apr 2015 01:31, bre at said:
>> Thanks for the write-up, Werner! :-)
> Actually you have been much faster with your report
>>>   disappointed that many of the participants favored this closed
>>>   invitation-only style summit and want the next meeting to happen the
>> On the one hand, I suspect it would be very hard to maintain the
>> excellent signal/noise ratio we had, in a completely open summit. On
> Maybe.  We are used to work on mailing list and I would bet that in most
> cases it is easier to ask too noisy participants to behave well during a
> physical meeting than on mailing lists.  The IETF has quite some
> experience with that and requires physical meetings for important tasks.

In my 20 years of experience attending and organizing all sorts of tech
conferences, I find that open conferences tend to better than closed ones.
But mostly, the open- or closedness is not the biggest factor in the signal to
noise ratio. Instead, it is the level of organization.

The best conferences I've been to have been completely open and mostly
self-organized (aka Barcamp aka Unconference).  But that requires a specific
audience that is well practiced in self-organization.  I have been to very
good conferences that were semi-self-organized, i.e. barcamp-style with some
well practiced moderators really guiding the whole process (for example, a
"Gunner Event" run by Aspiration Tech). And as Werner says, it is much easier
to tell people in person to reduce the noise than it is on all of the various
open internet forums we operate on.

I really think it is quite important that these summits are open to anyone who
wants to attend.  I have run a number of barcamps with small groups, so I'm
happy to help moderate if I can attend.


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