I agree with Tom.  If you look at the links Andromeda sent earlier in 
this thread, both conference organizers reported dramatic increases in 
the number of under-represented presenters simply by 1) making the 
proposal authors anonymous during voting and 2) encouraging (and 
sometimes personally asking) under-represented programmers to submit 

Seems like an easy enough place to start, right?


On 11/27/12 4:26 PM, Tom Keays wrote:
> What makes it work for SXSW is that they have a formal organization -- an
> incorporated body, in fact -- that gives them the continuity and structure
> to do things that can be highly structured or ad hoc, depending on the need
> of the situation. They have to be this way because they are freakin' huge.
> It is the fact because they are so huge, and have so many presentation
> applications, that the organizers have this sort of latitude to pick and
> choose among the best candidates.
> Code4Lib is more like a collective: no central organization, only a loose
> set of guidelines, and, thankfully, a lot of engaged individuals with a
> good institutional memory to keep things on track (where the definition of
> "on track" itself is fairly mutable). We can be this way because we have
> intentionally kept the event small. It works, but it can be rocky.
> Would I alter my vote for a presentation due to data that indicated gender,
> ethnicity, age, whatever? (Probably not.) Might a presenter be a little
> weirded out that these variables were being included as part of the voting
> process. (Quite possibly.) Is it even legal to do so? (Dunno.)
> I don't think we're big enough that the SXSW approach of having a central
> organizational body make some discreet discretionary choices among the
> presentation finalists would actually work. In our context, who would that
> be anyway?  To achieve the gender/ethnicity/age/whatever balance, they
> might have to sacrifice quality in the talks. Quota systems don't work when
> the pool is small. And given our open voting system, the people being
> passed over will not be happy.
> To me, the solution is not to winnow at the back end, but encourage
> diversity at the front end. I think we, as a group, have tended to do this.
> As Bess has said, "our community is clearly doing a lot to move in the
> direction of inclusiveness."
> Tom
> On Tue, Nov 27, 2012 at 12:44 PM, danielle plumer <[log in to unmask]>wrote:
>> s

Shaun D. Ellis
Digital Library Interface Developer
Firestone Library, Princeton University
voice: 609.258.1698 | [log in to unmask]