[tor-talk] Pre-PETS 2014 Meetup

Moritz Bartl moritz at torservers.net
Mon Jul 21 10:00:59 UTC 2014


I wanted to publicly thank all the people who helped with the
organization of the Pre-PETS 2014 meetup.


Jaap van Ginkel and Joeroen van der Ham, thank you for providing your
department space and all the free coffee! Thanks Pepijn for your
shopping help, and thanks to the Renewable Freedom Foundation for snacks
and drinks. Thank you Merlijn and Jurre for being my local contacts and
connectors. Without all of you, this would not have been possible!

The idea of the event was simple: to provide a place where people can
meet each other, without having to coordinate on their own. We had three
rooms, two with projectors and whiteboards, so people had the option of
forming smaller groups and spread out. In the end, most of the ~30
participants stayed in the computer lab. We had a couple of
announcements for 'working groups'. A larger group talked about Tor's
legal and geographical diversity, but most people formed small groups of
2-4 and had open discussions. We could have accommodated way more
people, and then some kind of organized sessions would have been set up.

I quite liked the 'format', but it has the downside of working best for
people who know each other already: People who often only meet at
conferences and then don't find enough time to have a good chat. This
day offered a good chance for that.

PETS is a great event, and I think it is a good idea to make a pre-event
meetup a regular thing. Many people didn't show up because they heard
about it too late and could not change their travel plans, but if we
announce it early enough the next time (via PETS channels?) I bet even
more people will show up. I don't know how to best name the event so it
becomes clear that it is meant for people already active in the field,
less as a newcomer thing. In the end, I was happy about the balance, but
of course some visitors expected a more structured event and had a bit
of a hard time joining ongoing small group discussions.

Regardless of whether you were there or not: Let me know what you think
about these kinds of meetups, and whether they're worth having!

Moritz Bartl

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