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On bootstrapping a community-run FOSS event

May 12, 2010, 19:02 (0 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Nathan Willis)

"On Saturday, April 10th, I was in Austin Texas for the inaugural Texas Linux Fest (TXLF), a community-run FLOSS conference. The idea to stage the show arose last August during OSCON, picked up steam in the fall, and in the end a little under 400 people turned out — including speakers and volunteers — which most considered a successful number for a first year event. [TXLF attendees]

"The fact that it worked demonstrates that the developer and end-user open source community is eager to get together. But that fact guarantees no automatic success; along the way the TXLF planning team met challenges that anyone investigating launching their own regional show could learn from — as well as opportunities where the open source community could build tools useful for a wide range of all-volunteer projects.

"Brief background

"The genesis for TXLF was a series of independent conversations along the lines "there should be a regional community Linux show in Austin," mostly by Matt Ray of Zenoss and myself, with other people. Eventually both Ray and I had that conversation with Ilan Rabinovitch of SCALE, who told us to start talking to each other. Gathering all of the interested parties in one place was the first challenge. There is little you can do other than put the word out in every conceivable medium and see what happens — the group contacted individual free software hackers, business contacts, and every regional LUG and developers' group with an active presence on the Internet."

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