I have the memory that nest was born as response to the impossibility to do in-person events. Now that in-person events are ok again, we had flock. But there is still a lot if us (contributors) that can’t make it for a lot of different reasons.
Is possible to organize a nest event this year? Maybe a refocused one?
I think I missed something very important in Fedora this year.
This is probably on me to answer, huh? This is probably the right conversation to have now.
I recognize that the virtual events are important. @riecatnor innovated our virtual events from nothing during the pandemic years, and our virtual events set Fedora apart from many other communities. What is absolutely sure to me is virtual events that involve all of our community are something here to stay, and I hope that we might build a team around our virtual events too.
However… it was said long ago, and it remains true now, that a Flock and Nest event are gigantic efforts to manage. Ultimately, I am accountable for our global event strategy and executing it. I feel certain that running a Nest and Flock together is too much for me to take responsibility for (or anyone in my role). I feel that it is the best thing to retire the Nest event and focus our efforts elsewhere.
But this does not mean virtual events are gone. Twice a year, we have our virtual Release Parties, which feel a lot like mini-Nests to me. Historically, we have had fantastic engagement at our release parties and I hope to continue that trend. We also have other virtual events during the year too. There is the Creative Freedom Summit and the Fedora Week of Diversity. Recently, at Flock, we discussed the idea of reviving the Fedora Week of Appreciation and having a one or two day virtual event to go along with it. So, I do feel like we will continue to have important ways that anyone can participate and contribute virtually with the Fedora community.
I guess the question I want to know is… is there something that Nest provided that our Release Parties and other virtual events do not? If yes, what is that missing piece? Could we incorporate it into how all of our virtual events are organized, in order to make them better?
This is coming off the top of my head and I don’t feel like my thoughts are polished here. I am curious for more feedback, because I am sure that you are not alone in wondering this @x3mboy. Evidently a lot of people reacted to your post here, so I know there is an interest.
For you and for anyone, both are way too big, that’s why I propose a “refocused” nest.
Yes, RP while exciting and fun, are more incline towards sharing and engaging new members. I felt Nest more like a place to work together, move things forwards, more like Flock is.
Sure we can, but I think that doing that to RP is changing the P on the RP.
Having experienced 1 Flock, 3 FADs, 1 vFAD, 2 Nest and a lot of RPs both virtual and physical, I think that what I’m looking is a way to work synchronously with the teams in a work focused event. RPs don’t provide that space, because they aren’t meant to be that.
I’ve been thinking about this for a couple days since you opened the ticket @x3mboy and I have thoughts. I am in 100% agreement that running Nest and Flock is too much work for any one person. I also wasn’t able to make it to Flock this year, and definitely had an “I’m missing something important to me” feeling. Both in relation to connecting with Fedora Friends, as well as missing most of the content, focused work, and hallway track. It was nice that we had some self organizing from other remote “attendees” of Flock and had some online socials. It was organized on the fly though, so not many people were able to attend.
Here’s some ideas we could think about and discuss- with the understanding that people from the community would need to organize them, such as Ambassadors, Advocates, Team Leads, etc. @jflory7 's role would be to facilitate the things the organizers required, or fold things into processes he’s already doing for virtual events such as the Release Party.
The day or week after the Release Party teams could organize plenary, hackfest, or workshop sessions. These could be advertised at the Release Party to get plenty of visibility. This would be entirely self organized by the team using whatever platform/format/time zone they require and would not be officially connected to the Release Party. 
Improve the virtual experience for Flock- I know this is already something that the organizers want to do. Maybe we could work to get a better understanding of how by engaging with contributors who couldn’t make it. I think getting that feedback could be a multi-prong approach: a general survey, posing question to teams so they can discuss on their own and summarize their ideas to improve things, and 1:1’s with the most active contributors who couldn’t make.
A “mini-nest” that happens around the same time as Flock- or maybe a couple weeks before or after. Instead of using Hopin- use the formula we executed for the Creative Freedom Summit. Warning based on my own experience: this would need to be community organized, and it wouldn’t be a small feat to make it successful. 
Have a constantly open CfP for Release Parties and promote it at every chance. @jflory7 would need to set this up, but the Marketing Team and others could do the promoting work. The idea would be to encourage folks to submit ideas at every chance, and would help @jflory7 when it came time to organize the Release Party by having a pool of sessions to choose from. 
Start pushing for teams/initiatives to start proposing FAD’s again. I didn’t have to do much of this during my tenure as FCAIC because of COVID. I do remember attending a couple of these over the years as a contributor and they really provided a lot of energy and progress for teams/initiatives. I know there was a “help us spend Fedora’s budget” sort of session at Flock, though I didn’t get to see it myself, I would guess that this or something similar was one of the ideas tossed around.
I almost added that this could happen after Flock too, but I think anyone who attends will be too burnt out from the intensity of the conference/travel to engage- and I think those are most likely key people that should be involved in these sort of sessions. ↩︎
I’ve almost talked myself out of this idea just writing this- but the virtual event formula referenced could work at any time for any team/initiative and not be connected to Flock… the benefit of tying it to Flock is being able to use the Nest branding. ↩︎
Noting here that some might argue that the Release Parties should be pretty much entirely user focused, and I can see that point. I think to bring clarity and meet the needs of both users and contributors, it would be important to clearly define that these would be community focused sessions, tracks, or day- whatever it might be. And we’ve seen proof that Fedora’s virtual events are a pipeline for new contributors- so having some contribution focused content is a positive if done right, IMO. ↩︎
I’ve been talking with Justin about this a bit. I agree with both Justin and Marie that two events is absolutely too much for one person. But, with DevConf.cz moving to spring, I think we have a gap that Nest could fill. And, I think that having a mini-Nest linked to Flock is more likely to compete and distract than add to it.
I think this might be possible if we build up a team to run it — then, the Community Architect can be the “flywheel” rather than the primary mover. There’s a maxim from software development: if something is hard, do it more often (or “if it hurts, do it more”). I think it’d be lovely if we had a cadence like… be right back, drawing on a napkin…:
This time was extra-exceptional, of course, with the first time to in-person in a long time. But it’s kind of always felt that way. If we did something like this, we’d have a regular cadence of events, so there can be a sustained team rather than rebuilding one ever year.
I was going to say “after Covid”, but that’s clearly not accurate, unfortunately! ↩︎
It felt great being able to attend Flock this year. I also enjoyed Nest last year. But the two are very different, indeed, and hard to compare.
Now, knowing that the next Flock is likely to take place in the US, and with our toes dipped into making Flock a hybrid event, I think we should focus our efforts there. I likely won’t be able to attend the next Flock. But I would very much like to take part anyway in a way that is involved, allowing to ask questions, maybe taking part in hackfests. I’m sure some of the hackfests can be transformed into hybrid participation, easily.
I have also been to FOSDEM this year. I believe anyone else who has been there, can confirm that they did a great job in making it a hybrid event. For people not being able to attend in person or when rooms where filled to capacity, there was a live stream and questions could be asked in a dedicated Matrix room. Moderators in the room would relay these to the speaker.
We could possibly add a dedicated hallway room for the event, where people can chat about anything or break out into smaller sessions.
@mattdm While I like your napkin drawing, I’m missing DevConf.cz in the scheme. That would be either Q1 or Q2 and thus potentially clashing / competing with Nest.
As I understand it, the Brno team intents for that to permanently be in June. Unless we’re going to change all of our schedule to accommodate that, it really kind of drops out of being useful to Fedora — it’s too close to Flock, so it competes instead of fitting in nicely.
I suppose we could move Flock to early December, and kind of make it work that way… but that doesn’t seem ideal.
I reflected on this feedback and it is certain that a Flock and a Nest in the same year is not feasible for one person to drive. Evidently, this is agreed. We need to a team to help drive the energy and spread the load more evenly. The F38 Release Party was a notable drop in quality from previous release parties because several things were late or last-minute. That did not feel right to me.
Looking at the current condition of the release parties, I could not execute a reimagined Nest event on top of the existing events load in 2023 or 2024. My goal in the next year is to actually build a small team or group of people who enjoy event wrangling to help with our release parties. So, if I had to put a timeline on this, I would focus on the next three release parties, and then maybe by then, we have a vibrant group of folks helping with the virtual events and we broaden the scope to add a Nest event. But we are not there yet. Or rather, I am not there yet. I would be happy to help someone else drive this kind of thing until I could get more time to work on this though.
I want to better understand what people need from Fedora to feel empowered to propose and execute events like these, especially in a virtual format. Is it about visibility? Is it about structure? Or about outreach and promotion? I want to understand what a team or group needs to feel empowered to have a hackfest or virtual event focused on the doing aspect, like Flock often does.
This is how I would lean. Ambassadors is one of those parts of Fedora that you pick up one thing to do, and it quickly becomes ten things to do, though. There is still a lot of pandemic baggage that we have not yet worked through with the Ambassadors program. We need a healthy Mindshare Committee for that, which I am not sure whether we have right now.
This is my top-most Flock priority. Live-streaming this year was a step in the right direction, but it was intentionally one-way broadcasting this year because we did have the resources for responsible moderation of the virtual spaces. But I hope to push Flock towards becoming a proper hybrid event in 2024.