A few thoughts on the future of NZNOG that came to me after the meeting
closed on Friday. There is no direct operational content here.
First up, a big thank you to everybody who participated, the sponsers
and speakers, the many volunteers, and especially Lin, Peter, Mark, Joe
and Donald for organising an excellent show. With my sponsers hat on, I
can say that I think it was money well spent, even with Jonny hogging
the limelight :-).
1) where were the small Wellington ISP's?
GlobeNet, Actrix, DTS, Xtreme, LinuxNet, NZWireless - did you have staff
there? If not, why not? What would make you come along next time?
2) the content
I made the comment at the time that I wouldn't want to see more vendor
content. I realised afterwards that that wasn't strictly fair - we're
all vendors in one way or another, and some of the vendor presentations
were amongst the most interesting at the conference.
I think what I was driving at was "I don't want to watch vendors present
regurgitations of the whitepapers on their website", rather than
"vendors are evil, get behind me Satan". This conference will remain
relevant if you get information in it that you can't get anywhere else.
3) "is it technical enough?"
People who have interesting things to say or viewpoints to push (think
Paul Vixie and Geoff Huston in previous years, and Hamish Macewan this
year) are often the folks who leave a lasting impression, regardless of
their technical merit (or more often, lack thereof). Conversely, it'd
be a sorry conference if the occasional paper didn't sneak in that
needed more than high school math to understand - it's always good to
have a few papers that make you go "Huh? WTF is s/he talking about?".
So I'd like to make a case for "papers from people who know and care
about what they're talking about, regardless of whether they are
technical or not". Having said that, I wouldn't want the conference to
be any less technical, since the easiest way of meeting the above
criteria is to have reasonably technical presentations.
4) should we have a sysadmin stream?
If you want to run an SA stream to get more punters through the door,
then don't bother, it feels about the right size now. So a stream that
was concerned with Oracle DBA'ing, or virus scanning on desktop
machines, and which was clearly aimed at a different target user group
than the current attendees seems a little pointless.
Of course, it is naive to suggest that system administration and network
operations are somehow foreign to each other - most of us do elements of
both. So if there was a stream that was "system administration for
network operators" that could attract some interesting papers on (for
eg) nagios, or snmp daemons, or LDAP, or cool radius hacks, or asterisk,
or spam handling, or similar then I think I'd be all for it.
5) should we align with another conference/body?
If it makes it easier to run the gig by getting some support from the
likes of InternetNZ, then I'd be calm with that, it'd be a shame to see
this fail because of the burden on volunteers. However, this is now
clearly a successful and vibrant conference in its own right - I'm not
sure that running the conference in conjunction with something like
Govis would achieve anything positive.
6) should we publish proceedings?
Seems like a good idea if you want students/academics to participate
(something I think we should encourage), but it's yet another job for a
volunteer, to apply for the ISSN number, and put such a document