Penguin Day Agenda

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Penguin Day New Orleans - Proposed Agenda

The following is the preliminary agenda for the first-ever Penguin Day New Orleans, taking place March 22, 2008.

Note that possible additional sessions are listed at Penguin Day Additional Session Topics. We welcome you to have a look, and let us know of any sessions you might like to help facilitate! And we welcome new ideas...

Feel free to add additional sessions!

8:30am - Coffee, juice, pastries

9:00am - Introductions and Opening Circle

9:45am - Spectrograms!

Spectrograms are interactive group opinion polls, intended to encourage participation by everyone. Spectrogram topics will be revealed in the moment; come prepared to explain where you stand :^)

10:30am - Break with coffee and snacks

10:45am - Morning Break-Out Sessions

Facilitators for each workshop will briefly describe what they will be discussing in their session. Participants will be able to ask questions and choose which session to attend.

Sessions will run for 75 minutes each in parallel, with the large group re-convening for 15 minutes of report-backs at the end.

  • Introduction to Free and Open Source Software
    • Facilitated by Allen Gunn
      • This session will introduce the history, philosophy and practicalities of Free and Open Source Software (FOSS). Key terms and concepts will be discussed, including "source" and the differences between "free", "open" and "proprietary", and participant questions will drive the course of the dialog. The nature and role of software communities and user support will also be explored.
  • Introduction to Free and Open Source Desktop Applications
    • Facilitated by Jim Craner
      • From Firefox to Open Office to the Gaim instant messaging tool, there are plenty of Free and Open Source applications that rival or even exceed their proprietary counterparts. This session will offer a guided tour of those tools, while also leaving room for discussion of what's still missing and what's hard to install and use.
  • Introduction to Blogging
    • Facilitated by Beth Kanter
      • There are many powerful open source blogging tools. Beth will discuss her preferences, and discuss how to set up a basic blog and start publishing.

12:30pm - Lunch and Open Discussions

1:30pm - SpeedGeek Extravaganza!

Speedgeeking is a chance to see a lot of Free and Open Source tools and projects in a short amount of time! Small groups move in a circle from station to station in five minute intervals, learning rapid-fire about tools and projects. A complete explanation of Speedgeeking can be found at

2:30pm - Break with coffee and snacks

3:00pm - Breakout Workshops

Afternoon break-outs will follow the same format as morning sessions: sessions will be briefly introduced, participants will ask any questions they have, and we'll break into small groups.

  • Helping Techies and Non-Techies Communicate and Cooperate
    • Facilitated by TBD
      • Penguin Days exist to allow nonprofit "end users" to meet and share ideas with Free and Open Source Software developers. This is session will provide a forum for discussing the language and perspective differences that exist between those who identify as "Non-Techie" and "Techie", and offer suggestions on processes and successful models for productive collaboration and communication.
  • Free And Open Source Online Advocacy: Tools And Best Practices
    • Facilitated by Allen Gunn
      • The range of platform available to support online advocacy is rich to a point of overwhelming. This session will start by characterizing the different types of available tools for different advocacy and campaigning models, and address best practices for getting started and sustaining online advocacy efforts.
  • Creative Commons And Open Content
    • Facilitated by Beth Kanter
      • While there is much discussion about the promise of "Open Source" software, there is much promise and potential in creation and utilization of "Open Content" for nonprofit needs. The building blocks for Open Content are the Creative Commons licenses. This session will use a training game that was created by remixing other similar content licensed by the Creative Commons license. The game will offer an opportunity for participants to discuss their open content ideas, questions and challenges. We will also take a look at other open content projects benefitting the nonprofit sector.
  • Business Models for FOSS developers and providers
      • Many providers of FOSS implementation, support and development struggle to find the right business model in the absence of proprietary licensing and royalties. What are "competitors" in the FOSS market places? How can FOSS providers structure business models that support the larger FOSS ecology and serve their customers best? In this session, various FOSS providers will discuss their business models and ways to encourage the three "C"s (Communication, Cooperation, Collaboration).
  • Starting Open Source Projects
    • Facilitated by Michelle Murrain
      • So, you want to open source your code? You want to start an open source project to do a nonprofit-focused function? How do you start? What do you need to think about, and what's important? How do you get people to use your software? How do you get other developers interested?
  • CiviCRM 2.0 - Advanced Topics
    • Facilitated by Dave Greenberg
      • Dave will answer participant questions, and will offer insights on integrating your Contact Database / CRM System with a Content Management System (CMS), including benefits and examples.
  • Working with Wikis
    • Facilitated by Marc Laporte
      • Marc will explain what a wiki is, and how they can be used as powerful community collaboration tools. He'll also talk about TikiWiki and some of the unique things it can do. Bring your questions!

4:40pm - Closing Circle

Participants meet in final plenary to summarize the day, imagine next steps and prepare for post-event beveration and merriment. Post-Event

Adjourn to nearby watering hole for further Penguin Antics