Saturday, March 22, 2008

Potential activity: "Blasts from the past"

One of the amazing things about CFP is how many incredible people have spoken there over the years. When people suggest potential speakers, I frequently find myself responding "great idea! he/she spoke several years ago and it would be interesting to hear their current perspectives".

Alas, there aren't enough slots at conference to hear from everybody again -- especially since it's equally valuable to bring in new people and perspectives. But wait a second: it's 2008, why are we only thinking in terms of physical presence and standard conference formats?

"Blasts from the past" are either short self-produced videos (5 minutes or less) or essays (2 pages or less) from past speakers and participants. Everybody's invited to submit; we'll use mechanisms like digg,, number of views on YouTube, and (with luck) a Slashdot poll to select a handful to show/read at a cocktail hour at CFP, and play selections from the videos between sessions.

Of course, they'll also be available online to people whether or not they're at CFP; and the collection will make a fascinating snapshot of "what CFP-ers think of the world as of May 2008".


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