A new thing we're trying for PyCon 2014 is the pre-acceptance of some lightning talks. Lightning talks have been a staple of PyCon since the beginning, and if you're not familiar with them, they're 5 minute talks. We typically have two podiums setup, an emcee coordinating the session, someone with a 5 minute timer (really, it's strict!), and a big list of speakers who jump in, setup their laptop, give their quick talk, jump out, and another one jumps in. It's an awesome way to see a ton of topics shared in a short amount of time.
We're not removing the on-site signup that has been ubiquitous with lighting talks at PyCon and elsewhere, because plenty of great spontaneous ideas have been generated at dinner one night, and presented about the next day. Lighting talks have also been a great venue for followups to talks from the previous day.
They're also the perfect duration for a ton of other topics, including ones that our community is thinking about right now. So, for the first time, we're going to be pre-accepting a portion of the available lightning talk slots through the same process we use to judge the other types of proposals. They'll go through a few rounds of reviews and the best will be selected for our schedule. The remaining portion of the schedule will be filled on-site like in the past.
Just like posters, talks, and tutorials, you'll see the option to submit a proposal for a lightning talk at http://us.pycon.org/2014/dashboard/. If you haven't done so, you'll need to start by creating an account and filling out your speaker profile.
While the deadline for our 30 and 45 minute talks is September 15, lightning talk proposals are being accepted through October 15. Submit yours today!