Not sure how you get to "no confidence," but that's not my vote. I'm suggesting ways to improve the
content of the conferences. As I clearly stated, one man's opinions (although others appear to have
similar opinions). Most of what I saw in Rochester was interesting and well presented. I did see
numerous presenters run out of time and have to cut things short due to what I think are unrealistic
time slots and/or unrealistic packing of content into presentations. Everything can always be
improved, and should be improved.
I do think you might have a wider range of proposals if you allowed longer time slots. As I said,
it's impossible to get any real substance into 20 minutes and 35 minutes is difficult if you want
audio/video examples and a Q&A period. Longer time slots immediately means fewer time slots, hence
selection becomes more of a "buyer's market." For a presenter, you go to a lot of trouble amassing
material for slides and audio examples and then you realize you need to cut too much substance and
whittle audio down to a handful of minutes, and there won't be Q&A. Maybe compromise on 45 minutes,
with an expected 10-15 minutes of Q&A or unrelated open discssuion?
There also seems to be some disatisfaction with parallel sessions, so perhaps elminating that also
would make selection more of a "buyer's market" because there would be fewer available slots. As I
said earlier, I think "number of presentations given" is a meaningless measure of a conference's
success. It should be all about quality, not quantity. Restricting quantity naturally leads to
higher quality if there is judicious selection.
-- Tom Fine
----- Original Message -----
From: "David Lewis" <[log in to unmask]>
To: <[log in to unmask]>
Sent: Monday, February 25, 2013 11:46 AM
Subject: Re: [ARSCLIST] ARSC Conference Program scheduling- Your vote counts
> Tom wrote:
> Why not put to a vote of pre-registered conference-goers the "on the
> bubble" presentation proposals, a month or so ahead of the conference.
> Leave, say, 5 slots and put to a vote the 10 proposals that were considered
> so-so by the selection committee. Let the attendees decide what they want
> to see.
> Also, use the online survey ability for attendees to rate all the
> presenters (NOT anonymous -- everyone who files an opinion needs to
> identify themselves so they stand behind their rating and words). Those
> with unambiguously bad ratings don't get asked back. Those with ambiguous
> ratings need to pass a careful consideration process for their next
> proposal. Those with unambiguously good ratings are invited back.
> This may fly in the face of some modern organizations (not necessarily
> ARSC), but why can't we put direct accountability and quality-assurance
> measures in place?
> Tom, I don't think you meant to, but this comes off like a vote of no
> confidence in the programming committee. That there would be 10 acceptable
> proposals among rejected papers is really optimistic. Was Rochester
> really that bad? I was kind of PO'ed as I had served on the two previous
> program committees, was not asked back and not notified I was no longer
> serving. I was not the only one in that boat, and later the ARSC Board
> agreed that going forward, should that situation arise again it would be
> handled differently. But in terms of the difference between Rochester and
> the conferences I worked on, I was not able to attend LA, but New Orleans
> really wasn't significantly different in terms of the quality of the
> programming. It was about the same.
> What you seem to desire is a different pool of proposals to draw from than
> we usually get. To get that, I would suggest that you reach out to people
> who are not in ARSC, or are perhaps not aware of it, and to encourage them
> to submit a paper. I do it all the time, and it's difficult; no one I have
> reached has taken me up on it. In fact the Charles Taze Russell paper I
> gave in Rochester was originally slated for the fellow who collected all of
> that material relating to the PhotoDrama of Creation. But he changed his
> mind about presenting, so I proposed it instead, because I believed the
> paper was important and especially suitable for ARSC.
> I admit I had my feathers ruffled by the notion of "direct accountability
> and quality-assurance measures" in relation to conference programming. We
> generally do not have enough information, nor such a wealth of proposals,
> to assure quality in absolutely every case. And I don't think much can be
> done to improve it other than to ask for longer, more detailed abstracts,
> which would result in another kind of hassle -- when in the conference call
> the question goes out "what is the premise of this talk?" then someone has
> to read it over the phone. I really think the main improvement that can be
> made is what goes into the front end in terms of proposals; if you want
> stellar papers, call your stellar friends and acquaintances and have them
> submit one.
> Uncle Dave Lewis
> Lebanon, OH
> On Mon, Feb 25, 2013 at 10:18 AM, Steven Smolian <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
>> I think an analysis of the types of presentations could lead to more
>> balanced use of time slots.
>> For example, there are often presentations by people who have written
>> They usually have a few nuggets relating to research techniques and are
>> otherwise promos for the book.
>> I suggest we have the authors distill the nuggets and reduce the promo
>> stuff. The authors can then be given a panel that follows the banquet and
>> precedes the awards.
>> Steve Smolian
>> -----Original Message-----
>> From: Association for Recorded Sound Discussion List
>> [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Tom Fine
>> Sent: Monday, February 25, 2013 9:06 AM
>> To: [log in to unmask]
>> Subject: Re: [ARSCLIST] ARSC Conference Program scheduling- Your vote
>> Here's a suggestion ...
>> We now have an online polling/voting system available, currently being used
>> for the ARSC 2.0 survey.
>> Why not put to a vote of pre-registered conference-goers the "on the
>> presentation proposals, a month or so ahead of the conference. Leave, say,
>> slots and put to a vote the 10 proposals that were considered so-so by the
>> selection committee. Let the attendees decide what they want to see.
>> Also, use the online survey ability for attendees to rate all the
>> (NOT anonymous -- everyone who files an opinion needs to identify
>> so they stand behind their rating and words). Those with unambiguously bad
>> ratings don't get asked back. Those with ambiguous ratings need to pass a
>> careful consideration process for their next proposal. Those with
>> unambiguously good ratings are invited back.
>> This may fly in the face of some modern organizations (not necessarily
>> ARSC), but why can't we put direct accountability and quality-assurance
>> measures in place? I think it would only improve the conferences. Make the
>> onus squarely on the presenters -- be interesting or else (you've wasted
>> people's time and money, you've thus not accomplished your goal and you
>> won't be invited back). Why should the onus ever be on the audience -- find
>> this guy interesting or else (you've wasted your time and money attending)?
>> Seems to me that this is customer satisfaction 101 stuff. It also forces
>> presenters and selectors to have one goal -- make an interesting and
>> relevant presentation for ARSC Conference attendees. Not, make your
>> bones, satisfy a degree requirement, prove that you've used a grant or
>> an ax. Basically, you're saying from the get-go, we know people have
>> ulterior motives and we're here to tell you to forget about it, just make a
>> relevant and interesting presentation on a topic of enough interest to
>> justify your place on the program.
>> -- Tom Fine