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I think this is a situation where there is no solution that will satisfy everyone.  No matter what is running up agains what, somebody is going to be interested in both presentations and if you eliminate concurrent presentations, it is going to seriously reduce the number of events and many will be sitting around because they aren't interested in the current subject.  I don't envy those who have to make these decisions.

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>________________________________
> From: Michael Biel <[log in to unmask]>
>To: [log in to unmask] 
>Sent: Sunday, February 24, 2013 11:07:23 AM
>Subject: Re: [ARSCLIST] ARSC Conference Program scheduling- Your vote counts
> 
>Tom -- I think you got it backwards.  We do not want similar sessions
>opposite each other, we need different sessions opposite.  Having two
>discographical/collecting sessions opposite each other is what the
>problem is.  Many in the group don't care about the technical and
>archivist cataloging sessions, and some ONLY care about these and don't
>care about the musical content or ancient performers.  
>
>Mike Biel  [log in to unmask]  
>
>-------- Original Message --------
>
>From: Tom Fine <[log in to unmask]>
>
>
>One solution might be to make Thursday all music/discography day and
>Saturday all 
>technology/archiving day, with Friday being some sort of mix with a
>longer morning session for ARSC 
>business. This could then help people like Steve and myself avoid being
>torn between something of 
>curiosity to us (ie something historical or musical) vs a technical
>session that we know we should 
>attend to justify the cost of travel (ie it will help our business,
>which funds the travel).
>
>-- Tom Fine
>
>----- Original Message ----- 
>From: "Steve Smolian" <[log in to unmask]>
>To: <[log in to unmask]>
>Sent: Sunday, February 24, 2013 9:10 AM
>Subject: Re: [ARSCLIST] ARSC Conference Program scheduling- Your vote
>counts
>
>
>> 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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