On Tue, Jun 7, 2016 at 2:59 PM, Salazar, Christina <
[log in to unmask]> wrote:

> Having gone to C4L in 2007 in Athens, when it was I think 150 people (ha!
> Let's be honest: 145 men and 5 women) and then again in 2015 in Portland
> and 2014 in Raleigh, the Code 4 Lib that once was is no more. Long live
> Code4Lib.
> If we continue to want a large conference we need a better fiduciary
> agent. Take the fact that so few folks are willing to put bids to host as a
> sign that something different is happening here from what used to be 10
> plus years ago. (Wait, damn! Am I THAT old???)
> I'm not saying that all the changes that have happened over time have been
> bad (see my observation of gender balance above) but I think the large
> annual conference specifically needs to be thought through.
> How do we approach thinking it through? I have no idea but as others have
> said, the conversation is long overdue. (I wonder when Ruth says "Clearly
> the community wants to go" WHAT "the community" wants to go TO? Would we
> even be able to come to an agreement on that?)


My recollection is that in the bad 'ol days, c4l was much more about
sharing ideas to solve practical problems. The conference was like that too
-- people sometimes delivered lightning talks based on ideas that popped
into their heads by a presentation that had just been given. There was a
lot more nitty gritty tech in the offline fun. Getting involved was simply
a matter of showing up. The conference was a chance to get together with
people you'd been working with remotely.

Nowadays, the conference (which has become like other library conferences)
has become an end in itself. It seems to take more energy than everything
else combined and the lion's share of the messages on this list are
announcements or administrative in nature. Communication has shifted from a
hive mind dynamic where everyone contributes towards one where a few push
information out to the many -- this presents barriers to participation and
contributes to people feeling like outsiders.

Both c4l and the conference have changed a great deal over the years, and
whatever path we continue on deserves some discussion. The worst case
scenario is that we don't reach an agreement on how to proceed and things
break into smaller pieces. That wouldn't be the so bad because there is
plenty of great action to be had in smaller and regional venues.