Yes, it’s a little late because of some fumbling in the wake of a great event, but we have a survey available for the FUDCon that happened in Boston from January 9-11.
In the case of this survey, there are a number of important data points we’re capturing, such as the timing and organization of events. For instance, which days are most effective for scheduling the BarCamp versus the hackfests? How do people prefer our technical talk day to be organized? There was some informal feedback that some attendees wanted more formal talks, but also other feedback indicated that other attendees liked the volume and breadth of topics offered by the BarCamp style. Capturing people’s feedback more formally gives us a more complete view of what community members prefer.
In the future, I’d like to see post-activity (or even during-activity) surveys becoming a regular part of every Fedora event. I’d expect that for each survey we’d be capturing some identical information that was more demographic in nature, and some custom, specifc data relevant to future events as seen from that vantage point in time. We did a survey back in January 2008 after FUDCon in Raleigh, NC, for example, that helped us tune this FUDCon a bit, although we still see room for improvement — and the answers to this survey will help us plan those improvements.
To become a regular part of our activities, though, I’d also like to see these surveys done using a free application. Preferably we’d have them available through some sort of Fedora-owned web property as you’d expect. I haven’t looked into this much yet, but I’m interested in whether the content management system into which the Docs Project is doing research could serve this need. Certainly this is a fairly common type of application for a CMS, and I think everyone would prefer that we be doing this work with a free application that shows off FOSS virtues. It also frees us from having to depend on an internal Red Hat resource, and puts the capability in the community’s hands where it belongs.
I’ve asked the Community Architecture team to consider using these surveys to improve our event offerings in the future. My hope is that they can simply become one of the items on the checklist of things to do when setting up an event, and that there will be raw material available on which anyone can build an appropriate survey for their event.
So if you attended FUDCon in Boston last month, or even if you didn’t but want your input to be counted, please visit the survey and give us your feedback. We’ll report back the results and raw data through a wiki page as always.