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ARSCLIST  February 2013

ARSCLIST February 2013

Subject:

Re: ARSC Conference Program scheduling- Your vote counts

From:

Steven Smolian <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

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

Date:

Mon, 25 Feb 2013 10:18:42 -0500

Content-Type:

text/plain

Parts/Attachments:

Parts/Attachments

text/plain (168 lines)

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 books.
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 counts

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 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? 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 academic
bones, satisfy a degree requirement, prove that you've used a grant or grind
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

----- Original Message -----
From: "David Lewis" <[log in to unmask]>
To: <[log in to unmask]>
Sent: Monday, February 25, 2013 1:47 AM
Subject: Re: [ARSCLIST] ARSC Conference Program scheduling- Your vote counts


> Having been on the programming committee in the past -- and not speaking
> for them, just myself -- I wanted to respond to some of Tom's comments
from
> the first post.
> reproduced below.
>
> Yes, we do get some submissions that are straight up academic papers,
> repurposed for the ARSC Conference, or not so. On the committee I
> personally tended to take
> a more jaundiced eye towards such presentations, but sometimes others
might
> find merit in them and they'd go on. And some I was right about, though I
> do remember
> one that I tried particularly vigorously to shoot down that still flew.
And
> I'm glad it did; it was a good paper. So these things are a crap shoot.
>
> However, you do not want to discourage the academics from submitting. Some
> may well become members who return year after year and may become part of
> the
> bulwark of a future ARSC; others you may never see at the conference
again.
> I honestly don't know how much attention institutions of learning --
> outside of those
> who heavily support the cause in some way, or employ people who are
> conspicous ARSC members -- pay to the ARSC Conference. But I for one would
> never want
> any of them to get the idea that we might tend to reject something as too
> academic, no matter how much some of these papers can tend to be a
> buzzkill. And I did
> see one in Rochester that was definitely that.
>
> Technical committee meetings can get long winded and lose focus. That
said,
> they do get better attendence than the historical papers that you and l
> love. There is
> a reason for that; some institutions, such as NPR for example, send out
> personnel to attend those meetings specifically. Some of these attendees
--
> and I've talked
> to them, so I know -- haven't the slightest interest in attending to a
> historic paper on any topic; it doesn't relate to their jobs, or if it
did,
> they wouldn't know. We need
> these warm bodies to help support the organization so that there continues
> to be a forum for the historic papers that hardcore attendees feel are the
> lifeblood of ARSC.
> That's an argument both for keeping the technical committee as it is and
> for plenary sessions, so that there is an alternative to the technical
> meets if you're not in the mood.
>
> I once suggested "slam sessions" -- 10 or 15 minute papers that can be
> delivered in odd spots on the program, thinking that first time attendees
> could try one of'
> those. Actually, after discussing it with others in program committee it
> became apparent that an experienced presenter would be more likely to
> deliver a slam session
> well, and the general feeling was that the concept was not a good fit for
> us. But if things were to change, I could see where that might be an
> advantage, especially
> if you want to address a small topic, or to gain new reasearch angles from
> your audience into some area which needs more input.
>
> "Debt to longtime members" was never a factor in programming committee
> discussions I participated in; not once. What did come up was "does the
> speaker have a good
> track record? Does this look like a good paper?" Sometimes it's hard
> to tell from just a short abstract. And invariably someone has to drop out
> of the program, so you have
> to select from "Column B" to fill the void, or not, depending on how much
> time you have to notify someone that, hey, you're presenting after all.
>
> I hope I haven't said too much, but also I just seek to clarify some of
the
> thinking behing this process, as I experienced it.
>
> Uncle Dave Lewis
> Lebanon, OH
>
> Tom Fine:
> 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.
> 

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