Saturday, February 12, 2011

PyCon 2011: Want to discuss things? Want to help promote - we'd love to have you around!

Feel like helping promote, get the word out - or just show that you're going or speaking at PyCon 2011? Well - we encourage presenters and everyone to post blog entries to anywhere they can - if you have one you see, or think especially deserves notice - drop an email to pycon-organizers and we'll feature it here, and elsewhere for PyCon 2011!

Second - Simon Willison, co-creator of Lanyrd a newly minted YCombinator startup designed around promoting and  says: of the best ways we (Lanyrd) can help is if you get as many of your attendees to mark themselves as attending on Lanyrd as possible. This has a couple of knock-on effects: most importantly, if anyone signs in to Lanyrd who follows at least one of PyCon's attendees they'll get a conference recommendation. Secondly, we're about to set it up so e-mail alerts go out to users telling them of conferences their contacts are attending, with an emphasis on conferences with multiple contacts already going.

You can tell people to tweet "@lanyrd attending #pycon" - our Twitter bot will pick them up and add them to the list on the PyCon page without them having to sign in to the site.

PyCon has great metadata on Lanyrd, so hopefully as our audience grows we'll be pointing more and more people towards PyCon as a natural effect of how the site works.

So come join us all over here at Lanyrd!

Third - Eric Florenzano and Leah Culver have fired up another newly minted YCombinator startup - Convore, a social site which is an interesting mashup of IRC, Twitter and other message board concepts. So far, we're digging it, and considering using it for the recommended "real time" chat tool for PyCon 2011. We have a PyCon 2011 group right over here you can join in on.

(Note: I challenge someone to come up with an awesome iPhone/Android - and OS/X / Linux client for Convore by PyCon)!

It's important to note: Both of these startups are Python powered, through and through and are built by long-standing Python/Django community members - hence why we're encouraging them. We're showcasing a lot of Python powered startups and services - and even some not powered by Python, but we as a team feel that encouraging these Python powered forums helps us all, while helping us spread the word about PyCon 2011.

We're going to work on having a real-time stream going on for all of the places PyCon might be being discussed - and there might still be more awesome discussion tech coming up in time for PyCon from other Python folk.

Blogging, participating in the social web - getting the word out - all help PyCon and helps get the word out. Thanks for everything you've done so far, and thanks for the hundreds of attendees already coming to PyCon 2011.

Registration is still open, and we're still taking on new sponsors!


Pete said...

Look, I'm all for encouraging startups, and I think Startup Row is a great idea, but this is getting ridiculous. This entire blog post is mostly promoting the services of two particular Ycombinator startups, and only marginally about the conference itself.

When you start choosing favorites among startups to provide "officially recommended" services, you put the objectivity and non-commercial/community-run nature of Pycon at risk.

If these startups would like to pay for sponsorship and receive the same benefits as other sponsors, I'd have no problem. But giving them free marketing is unfair and inappropriate.

Please stop.

Jesse said...

Pete - these startups are python powered, through and through, by Python community members, and are useful to help promote PyCon to both the existing community, and those not "in the community" yet.

As for "officially recommended" services - I'd rather have a few recommended avenues then have none at all. We're going to promoting the IRC channel, the twitter hashtag, we have a facebook page, etc. I don't think that promoting Python powered startups and services as tools to help get the word out in any way strips us of objectivity.

So, we can disagree: I, as one of the chairs of the conference, am interested in marketing it as far and as widely using as many tools as I can because it helps broaden the audience of the conference.

Not to mention, these are tools/service put together by long standing Python community members, and it helps the community to promote such things.

Michael Foord said...

Totally agree with Jesse. If the services are genuinely useful then promoting them as a "recommended" channel is *great*. If those services happen to written in Python, and by prominent Python community members, then *triple bonus*!!

Jesse said...

Also Pete, last year we promoted twitter, flickr, wave and others - promoting services - even non python powered ones, to help us spread the word and help attendees keep in contact with one another is a long standing tradition.

Pete said...

There's a real difference between "use #pycon on twitter/flickr" and "use this tiny startup's services". In the first case, we're promoting the conference itself - the service (Twitter/Flickr) isn't going to measurably benefit from us doing so.

The same cannot be said of the startup case. As small startups that few people have heard of, they get a much larger benefit (including Google juice) from your recommendation. Whether they're written in Python is irrelevant - there are lots of similarly-sized Python startups not being so heavily featured.

I have no problem with efforts to market the conference, but let's not turn that into marketing for third parties. The original post talks more about the startups than the conference itself. Much like courts of law, the appearance of impartiality matters as much as the practice.

Pete said...

To further clarify, it's statements like this that I find really problematic:

Note: I challenge someone to come up with an awesome iPhone/Android - and OS/X / Linux client for Convore by PyCon

That has nothing to do with Pycon and clearly benefits Convore.

Furthermore, we're supposed to discuss the merits of Convore itself, after creating an account? Really? Chicken, this egg calling.

Jesse said...

If you find that comment problematic, I'd say you're reading too much into it. I added that in there because I (perhaps selfishly) want a client that's not browser based for a service which is going to benefit us, by PyCon.

So yes, it does benefit PyCon - a native client is something a lot of people like, and it too can be open source(d) by the developers of said application.

Convore and Lanyrd, were put together by long standing Django and Python community members, provides a potentially useful service for us for discussion and debate during the conference.

I'm sorry if what I said is offensive, but I will continue to stand by it as I see nothing indefensible in it.

If you don't like, or want to promote the services then please- don't. Your feedback has been noted and there are lots of other ways to help up such as volunteering at the conference, writing blog posts about PyCon, etc.

Jesse said...

As for this: "The same cannot be said of the startup case. As small startups that few people have heard of, they get a much larger benefit (including Google juice) from your recommendation. Whether they're written in Python is irrelevant - there are lots of similarly-sized Python startups not being so heavily featured."

I would gladly heavily feature, mention and market any and all Python powered startups who can provide relevant services to and for (and do) PyCon on this blog, or any other blog I contribute to.

Yarko said...

I will add a very simple statement and observation: If a service is useful to pycon (i.e. for getting onsite-volunteers, or as a channel for calling for onsite needs), and benefits the conference, people will use it - if it isn't useful, then people will give straight feedback.

I certainly don't consider a launch (the day I checked one of the services) as advertising, rather as exposure - both good and bad - and this is the testing of metal which helps make services.

As for Pycon - if it benefits the conference, this is as good as a giveaway, and I see no reason for the conference not to take advantage. I have no problem with someone who is providing useful services from receiving exposure (nor someone failing in providing good services from seeing the light of day).

A startup that launches just before / at pycon, and becomes successful I would expect will repay with support of future PyCons. And, yes - for profit or open (as web2py was, gaining some spotlight for 2 years of providing registration software - both good and critical feedback was a benefit to that project) - standing up to the light of a community has consequences; consequences that take a certain level of preparation.

We, as a community, provide many forums to stand and be seen. Rallying some encouragement to check out a new place on that stage is completely normal, encouraging and consistent with sense of community.

It's a good thing, I think.

Pete - if you were talking about startups on their second or third year of community limelight, but no other involvement I, for one, would be inclined to look at this with a more critical eye.

Best regards,

openid said...

If you're looking for simple console-based client -- there's