talk – ‘The best event in the world and how you can do it too!’

Based on my experiences helping on the Software Freedom Day Melbourne team for several years, and the successful BarCampGeelong, I responded to’s Call for Papers (CfP) with an outline of a talk around running outstanding events in the free and open source software community. The aim was to provide the skills, resources and techniques that budding organisers would require in order to manage a successful event. Fortunately, the CfP was accepted and as well as being part of the Core Team for 2012, I had an extra action item – preparing an awesome presentation!

Instead of using Impress for slides, I wanted to find something a little different. At the August WordPress Melbourne meet up, Vernon Fowler used Prezi for his BuddyPress case study. Prezi, while producing impressive slide decks, is proprietary and closed. Something told me this would be unpopular with the crowd. Having used Inkscape heavily, I was directed to Sozi, a free and open source software tool that creates SVG files and Javascript from Inkscape. This tool is amazing – as you’ll be able to see from the slide deck below. The only drawback I found was afterwards – when trying to upload the Sozi-created SVG file to MediaWiki, it’s detected as a potentially dangerous file because the SVG contains HTML.

After delivering the presentation (link to video below), I received lots of constructive feedback. In particular, Karen Sandler, one of our keynotes for, let me know that she doesn’t use the camera on her smartphone – because it uses proprietary software. Of course, this meant that all the QR codes I’d included in the slides were effectively useless! So, the slide deck below has been updated with printed URLs.

One of the more positive pieces of feedback received was around the fact I produced and printed a transcript for the presentation so hearing impaired people at the presentation could have a more equivalent experience.