Want to help with EmacsConf 2021? Here's how you can make it even better!

After the conference

Excited about EmacsConf 2021? Want to give back? We could still use your help! Here are some things you can do to help out:

  • Learn how to edit this wiki and then add new="1" to the caption directives in 2021/captions/*.md in order to break them up into paragraphs.
  • Edit and review captions for the rest of the talks: coordinate with sacha@sachachua.com to reserve the talk you want to work on and get some captioning tips.
  • Harvest questions and answers from IRC and put them into talk pages.
  • Harvest questions and answers from the BBB recordings and put them into talk pages.
  • Improve the HTML, CSS, and JS used on the wiki pages
  • Think of ways to make things even better
    • How can we have multiple streams?
    • How can we improve the experience for speakers and participants?
    • How can we experiment with other ways to chat?
    • How can we get the tech stack to be more reliable?
  • ... and other things you can think of!

To volunteer, please e-mail us at emacsconf-submit@gnu.org a quick note to say hi. We'd love to hear from you!

Edit and review captions

Want to help make videos easier for people to enjoy during the conference, or find and learn from afterwards? Please volunteer to help caption recorded talks! You'll get a sneak preview of a talk, and possibly auto-generated captions that you can use as a starting point.

We’d like to get started on this as soon as possible because the pre-recordings will start trickling in until the conference, and doing it progressively is a good way to keep the work-load low.

For an Emacs-based solution, subed.el mode makes it easier to adjust the timings or edit the text. Captioning tips

Tech-check speakers

Many sessions will have live question and answer sessions via BigBlueButton (BBB). Everything works more smoothly when the speakers are all set up and ready to go: their audio works, their screen can be shared properly, and so on. You can help by testing their setup beforehand.

You can test your own connection at https://test.bigbluebutton.org. If that works for you, you can be a tech-check volunteer! You can add yourself to the table on our Prepare page and let us know what your availability is so that we may match you up with speakers who want to doublecheck their setup before the conference. All you'd need to do is to go through a checklist with them.

Here are some notes on the process:

  • Can you hear me? Can I hear you?
  • Explain process
  • Test audio, webcam, screensharing
    • Encourage webcam for Q&A, although make it clear that it's totally optional
    • Audio: System audio will generally not be picked up by BBB unless there's a virtual loopback device, so music demos and other things that use system audio will need to be prerecorded
    • Multi-monitor setups might not be handled well by BBB; share window instead of desktop
    • Difficult to show webcam and shared screen at the same time because BBB makes the shared screen too small. If the speaker is interested, consider using a webcam app (Windows: their webcam's camera app, Linux: Cheese, set to Always on Top)
  • Check if comfortable checking into IRC: #emacsconf-org channel via https://chat.emacsconf.org or their favorite IRC client (libera.chat network)
  • Check if the speaker is comfortable finding their section in the test Etherpad, typing in text, etc.
  • Write down IRC nick, preferred public contact info, name pronunciation, and pronouns for inclusion in the public wiki if not already on their talk page

Run alternate streams

Do you have a pretty good network connection and a computer capable of livestreaming? Consider becoming an alternate streamer! You can pick one or more of your favorite sessions from the schedule and get set up for doing an extended stream, allowing more time for Q&A and live demonstrations.

Capture questions and answers

During the conference, people will be sending questions via Etherpad and IRC, and speakers might answer live or via Etherpad or IRC. As a volunteer, you can help make sure those questions and answers don't get lost. It would be great to get as many questions as possible written down in the Etherpad, along with their answers. This means copying questions and answers from IRC, typing in answers given live, copying questions from the pad into IRC if that's where the speaker is paying attention, and so on. It's a bit of a scramble, but it keeps the conversation going even after the event.


Thought of another way to help? Sure, suggest away.

To volunteer, please e-mail us at emacsconf-submit@gnu.org a quick note to say hi. We'd love to hear from you!

Thanks for contributing to EmacsConf 2021 or future EmacsConfs!