Facebook’s Terms: My Original Complaints Remain

I see that Zuckerberg and crew did a 180 and reverted the “forever” clause in Facebook’s terms of service. It’s a small step in the right direction, but all of my original objections to Facebook’s terms (the objections that led to me deleting my account) remain. Facebook’s licensing terms are still too broad and claim far more rights than is necessary.

I’ll be speaking tomorrow night at Ignite Portland about social networks, media hosting, and licensing terms.

How Ignite Portland Presentations are Selected

With the fifth incarnation of Ignite Portland coming up in a few weeks, one issue surrounded in a bit of mystery is the process used to select the presenters. With far more entries than speakers (Ignite Portland 5 had over 80 submissions with less than 20 chosen to speak), many people wonder why they weren’t chosen or how the field is narrowed.

Since the Legion of Tech folks seem reluctant to share how the process works, I figured I would share what I know. I was involved as part of the presentation selection committee for Ignite Portland 2. The information in this post is based on my experiences as part of that process. The selection process may have changed since that time, but here’s a look at how things worked in the past which may provide some insight. I do not represent the Legion of Tech, and this blog post may be completely wrong… but here’s what I recall:

Presentations were selected by a committee of 8 folks, all volunteer organizers of Ignite Portland. A shared spreadsheet was compiled listing all of the presentations. Each committee member reviewed all of the proposals and voted for each one as Yes, No, or Maybe. The vote was simply based on whether the proposal sounded interesting and would make a good talk for Ignite. Each presentation was then given a numerical score based on the votes (formula was (number of yes votes – number of no votes + 1/2 the number of maybes). The list was then reordered based on the numerical score.

For Ignite Portland 2, there were over 50 proposals. Two of them received Yes votes from all eight committee members. Two received unanimous No votes. Every other proposal fell somewhere in the middle. We had 13 presentation slots to fill. After including the two with unanimous Yes votes, there were several that were “almost perfect” in voting and were included.

After filling the eight or nine positions, we had to determine which presentations would make the cut for the remaining few slots. This is where the criteria got more subjective and we looked at three factors (in addition to the voting score):

  • Subject matter: we looked for a mix of presentations on various topics (how to, tech, ideas/creativity, quirky, food, etc). If there were several presentations that were similar, odds are that only one would be chosen.
  • Speaker skills: if we were waffling about a presentation, if the committee members had any first-hand knowledge that a presenter was a particularly good (or poor) speaker, that would potentially be a factor in whether or not they were chosen.
  • Speaker gender: If we had chosen presentations strictly on the raw voting score, we would’ve ended up with a lineup that was overwhelmingly male. A majority of the committee felt that women should make up a larger portion of the show and I recall that one or two male speakers were bumped in order to make room for more female speakers. On the flip side, I’ve heard rumors (but do not have first hand knowledge) that for Ignite Portland 3, the reverse was true, and that at least one female speaker was bumped in order to allow for more male representation.

Based on those three criteria, we filled out the remaining slots on the lineup.

Personally I felt that the process worked well and has resulted in a good variety of shows over the four Ignite events thus far in Portland. I’m not sure that the gender bias factor should be included, but the Legion of Tech leadership on the committee felt that it should be a deciding factor.

I don’t offer this up as a criticism, or an endorsement, but rather as a look into the process since it appears that there is still some mystery to it all.

Postscript: what I’ve described above was the process as of Ignite Portland 2. Starting with Ignite Portland 4, the public could leave comments on proposals, these comments are taken into account when the committee makes the presenter selections.

2008

Inspired by Audrey’s look back at 2008, here’s a few of my highlights from the past year:

In 2008, I:

  • Began professional photography as a part time business.
  • Led/Organized WordCamp Portland
  • Photographed a number of local events including Ignite Portland, Startupalooza, Cre8camp, Lunch 2.0, BarCamp Portland, and others.
  • Went to a brazillion other events.
  • Tweeted. A lot.
  • Released all of my Flickr photos under Creative Commons licensing. Some have been used on well-known blogs including Webmonkey, WebWorkerDaily, and the Silicon Florist as well as other places such as local news media.
  • Built a roof over our deck (13′x25′). It even held up to the recent snowpocalypse.
  • Was a guest on Hanselminutes, talking digital photography.
  • Went with the family on a vacation to Disneyland (first time for both kids).

2009? We’ll see what it brings. I’m currently on the Oregon Coast for vacation… I’ll be back in town for about a week before heading off to speak at WordCamp: Las Vegas. After that? I guess that depends how well I do in Vegas ;)