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ARSCLIST  February 2013

ARSCLIST February 2013

Subject:

Re: ARSC Conference Program scheduling- Your vote counts

From:

Steve Smolian <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

Association for Recorded Sound Discussion List <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Sun, 24 Feb 2013 09:10:53 -0500

Content-Type:

text/plain

Parts/Attachments:

Parts/Attachments

text/plain (151 lines)

Some academics get travel funds only if they participate in a program.

I agree with Mike both in the too shortness of many presentations and in the 
concurrent sessions issue.  When there is a conflict, I almost always go to 
the technical sessions and deeply resent not being able to attend those 
relating to recording history.  Grrrr!

As an occasional presenter with a 35 minute limit, I cram as much as I can 
into that time, and to heck with questions.  So do others.  Lots of bad info 
floats around unchallenged.

On the other hand, I generally dislike the zombie panels where old stars 
reminisce.  I spend the $ 1,000 it costs to travel and register for 
information, not entertainment.

Steve Smolian




-----Original Message----- 
From: Tom Fine
Sent: Sunday, February 24, 2013 8:21 AM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Re: [ARSCLIST] ARSC Conference Program scheduling- Your vote counts

One man's opinions ...

It seemed to me, observing in Rochester, that there was a reasonable 
percentage of presentations
that were more about "making your bones in academia" than being relevant to 
ARSC members. Very
obtuse subject matter, more appropriate for a doctoral thesis presentation 
in some cases. In other
cases, ill preparation sabotaged what might have been interesting material. 
So you could cut out
some fat and have longer presentations of substance. Number of presentations 
is not a good measure
of anything, in my opinion.

Maybe this would work -- first-timers get 35 minutes max. Let them prove 
themselves. It's then up to
the presentation committee to decide if they are worthy of an invitation to 
present again at a
future conference. Maybe let them know this going in, so they make it a 
point to make that a good 35
minutes because their reputation is on the line with ARSC. Those who have 
been deemed interesting
enough to be invited back should be told that there's a standing invitation 
but the invitation will
be re-evaluated each time they present. This encourages people to stay on 
their A game. The
returning veterans should be given up to 60 minutes, but should have to 
justify to the committee why
they need more than 35 minutes. This will allow them to consider carefully 
if they really do have 60
minutes of material or if they could condense it to 35 minutes.

20 minute slots should be eliminated unless they are mini-presentations as 
part of a panel
discussion (i.e. setting out the parameters of the discussion, or presenting 
some audio before the
discussion).

There should probably be a separate discussion about if these rules would 
work equally well for
history/discography and technical topics. The way ARSC is today, there needs 
to be a heavy technical
emphasis in the programs, and some technical stuff is a very deep dive and 
may even take more than
60 minutes. That said, I thought some of the technical sessions I attended 
were overly long -- in
other words a lot of jargon around very little action or accomplishment. Do 
you really need 35
minutes to tell everyone how you "assess" a grooved record (i.e. look at it 
and see how scratched up
it is)? On the other hand, if you're laying out a complex database/metadata 
structure -- which is
likely to be of great interest to others tasked with that job -- you should 
have the amount of time
you need to get enough information across to be of use to those in 
attendance, otherwise it's not
worth any amount of their time, or yours.

A somewhat simplistic rule of thumb for historical/discographical 
presentations might be, if it's
very specific (i.e. one artist's time on one label, one piece of music or 
one album, one little
record label, etc), keep it to 35 minutes. If it's something sweeping, like 
for instance the history
of jazz in Kansas City, that deserves an hour but make sure the presenter is 
willing to do the work
to fill the hour with interesting material.

Another possibility to consider -- if someone is basically re-iterating 
something published in ARSC
Journal or some other printed outlet (like a doctoral thesis), perhaps they 
should be restricted to
35 minutes. If they are presenting new, interesting (as deemed by the 
presentations committee)
material, give them more time because that will encourage them to develop 
enough material for a good
ARSC Journal article, hence a virtuous cycle.

Bottom line -- number of presentations is meaningless if short time slots 
lead to shallow, useless
presentations. Very few things can be well-explained in 20 minutes. A few 
things need more than 35
minutes, but I think taste and discretion need to trump egos and "debt to 
longtime members." It
should only go long if it's worth the extra time, possibly at the expense of 
someone else's
opportunity to present. Not to be given lightly, but should be given when 
deserved.

-- Tom Fine

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Steve Ramm" <[log in to unmask]>
To: <[log in to unmask]>
Sent: Saturday, February 23, 2013 11:03 PM
Subject: Re: [ARSCLIST] ARSC Conference Program scheduling- Your vote counts


> In a message dated 2/23/2013 6:32:07 P.M. Eastern Standard Time,
> [log in to unmask] writes:
>
> It is  not an easy job putting the
> schedule together, and I sometimes wish the  Prog Chair would ask some of
> us for advice.
>
>
> I'll remind ALL on the ARSC list who are paid members - and thus get to
> vote in the upcoming election that the decision is yours. There were be
> candidates for Second Vice President/Program Chair. in the ballots going 
> out
> next month. The winner of that office will be program chair for the 2014 
> and
> 2015 ARSC conferences. So it's up to you to exercise your vote and decide 
> who
> would make the better Program Chair. It is that person's job to plan and
> schedule and accept (or reject) program papers.  (I will remind you, of
> course, that without concurrent sessions, there will be 40% less papers
> presented. (and it they are 60 vs 35 minutes in length, there will be 65% 
> less
> papers than there were in 2012.
>
>
> Steve
> 

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