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Comments on the nanog-reform mtg

  • From: Suresh Ramasubramanian
  • Date: Mon Jan 31 10:14:54 2005
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Hi

I just finished listening to the nanog reform session - I apologize in
advance for not making these points at the mtg, as my baby daughter
was born 1/26 and I am kind of busy most of the day :)

Executive summary - I'm comparing some of the suggestions in the nanog
reform summary with stuff I've seen happen at apricot.

Comments - 

Transparent list moderation: Yes, definitely an issue.  This article
is interesting and might be useful -
http://nielsenhayden.com/makinglight/archives/006036.html ... not that
I agree with all of it but it does make several points that I do agree
with

Program structure - multiple conference tracks, a management
committee, an operator driven program committee .. conference
organizer's relationship with these .. Barry Greene pointed out that
it sounds exactly like APIA + APRICOT, and mentioned that asking
APRICOT MC/PC members attending the reform mtg like Ole, Philip and
Rob Berger for their inputs would be a great idea - and I
wholeheartedly agree with this.  [full disclosure being that I'm on
the apricot mc and pc so I may be biased.. what I agree with is what I
see working, first hand]

Add to that Vijay Gill's excellent point about people getting off
their ass and contributing presentations, KC Claffy saying that the
problems of the 'net in 2003 are often just the same ones around
today, and points made about Philip's bgp tutorial and lack of content
to attract smaller networks and webhosts who dont have OC192
backbones.

Multiple tracks, workshops and tutorials, the way apricot is
structured, would definitely help .. as would spreading the content
over 10 days - workshops, tutorials, conference track and an ARIN
meeting if its collocated with nanog at that time].  Of course a
volunteer driven program committee full of ops would help (Rob Berger
and Tom Vest, with a bunch of other people do a great job at APRICOT,
I must say).

There's a lot I admire about the nanog PC (double blind evaluation of
proposals for example, and "if the PC doesnt have your presentation it
isnt going into the program" kind of rules) by the way, but what I
suggested would help, by putting responsiblity for initial vetting of
track content on the track chairs, with the program committee
performing oversight.  The track chairs for the event will of course
be on the program committee, at least for that mtg, and longterm track
chairs and regular contributors (such as tutorial instructors who
return regularly) would be coopted to join the PC on a semi regular
basis anyway :)

I can't say I am too hot on the elected BoD idea - so far, volunteer
driven management and program committees have worked just great for
apricot though - with people who aren't able to regularly contribute
just saying so and dropping off for a while (or permanently, depending
on their situation)

* Someone raised a point about high costs to attend nanog, and how
comping people would create two tiers.  At apricot what we do is
provide a fellowship program .. if you really need to come to apricot,
and if you cant get funding from elsewhere, you can apply for a
fellowship.  Of course criteria in apricot would be that you're from a
developing country .. and we have a fair number of those in the region
we cover.   APRICOT's longer program tends to be cheaper than nanog's 
for some reason though we have been known to host it in expensive
cities like Taipei (2003) and Kyoto next month (2/2005).

I realize comping might not be a viable option but if you move track
based you can charge on a per track basis so that someone who wants
security, or maybe v6, need not pay for the entire mtg and a bunch of
presentations he doesn't plan to attend and would much rather goof off
in the hotel bar with his fellow ops and discuss much more of what he
thinks is interesting and relevant stuff to him

-- 
Suresh Ramasubramanian (ops.lists@gmail.com)




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