Re: NVDACon 2020 post-mortem analysis: success, moving to a different platform, Twitter feed


Nimer Jaber
 

Hello Robert and NVDA Con team:

First, thank you for all your efforts in putting together NVDA Con. NVDA Con went about as well as it could have. I am thankful to all of your efforts.

For my part in the chaos of the opening forum, I would like to apologize.
  • I attempted to come on opening forum, and explain why I believed that Teamtalk is not an ideal platform. Moderation is not as powerful as it is on other platforms, users find TeamTalk fiddly with audio particularly when or if they unplug and plug in devices, etc, TeamTalk doesn't really have echo cancellation, NVDA Con is an international conference and should not be pleased with 60 participants, particularly when more than half were organizers, moderators, and NVAccess staff, and so on. I feel very strongly that TeamTalk is a very poor choice of platform for an international conference, and I have brought this up repeatedly over the years.
  • Instead of being given the opportunity to speak, I was interrupted, and organizers defended TeamTalk as being a great platform.
  • I was unprofessional in my attempts to illustrate, during a small part of the opening forum, why it is a bad idea to use TeamTalk as a platform at this point. I used various nicknames, and adjusted my gain level pretty high, and caused echo while others were attempting to speak, particularly for those individuals who were attempting to interrupt me from speaking. This is not good for an international forum, and I apologize for this. I did not repeat this for the remainder of the conference, and will not do so again.

Even in this thread exchange, I am seeing organizers still say that TeamTalk is a good choice for hosting a conference. Even with all that happened during opening forum, even with the keynote running into the issues that it ran into, we still see people defending TeamTalk as a platform. I was unable to enjoy the keynote live as I kept being kicked out and needed to rejoin a number of times. Each time, because of the number of users, there was a noticeable lag, and at one point, NVDA crashed. This is on a quite powerful modern machin with 16 GB of ram and a gigabit Internet connection.

If the cost of running a Zoom room for the conference is as stated in this thread, for ten moderators, and if it then allows for streaming things like the keynote to Youtube, and if it allows greater flexibility and ability of users, developers, and interested parties all around the world to join, and if it can better enable NVDA con to reach many more users, thus being more representative of the NVDA community, then that cost is a small one to pay. If NVAccess cannot get a lower rate by working with Zoom, I am happy to donate the cost for this for next year's con. Recording would be simpler, many of the audio issues would be sorted, moderators have substantially more control, and audio quality for certain events can be enhanced with minimal jitter issues, disconnects, drop-outs, and issues with the time it takes to reconnect. Presenters and participants can easily connect by phone call, mobile app, on the web, using desktop apps on Windows, Mac, and Linux, and so on. I don't really frankly understand why there is still a question of whether this is or is not a good idea.

Again, I hope the organizers will accept my apologies for contributing to the issues with the opening forum. Thank you all for your hard work into this year's con.

On Mon, Dec 7, 2020 at 10:10 PM Robert Hänggi <aarjay.robert@...> wrote:
On 08/12/2020, Quentin Christensen <quentin@...> wrote:
> Thanks Robert!
>
> Now I don't want to scare you off, but particularly if you are still the
> chair next year, I've got YOU in mind to do an NVDA story on in the lead up
> to the conference like we did with Justin this year :)

I'm not that jumpy, hahaha.
Good idea, I could start by recording a personal Journal so that I
don't forget what happened when.

Cheers
Robert

>
> Quentin.
>
> On Tue, Dec 8, 2020 at 12:20 PM Robert Hänggi <aarjay.robert@...>
> wrote:
>
>> Thanks Quentin for the kind words
>>
>> I must say it was such a pleasure and so inspirational to work with
>> you one to one that I didn't mind staying up wide into the small hours
>> (like now where it is 2:00 am here).
>> Especially in the first weeks when I felt like doing a one-man show
>> and reaching out to you was soothing to my mental balance.
>> Our "conspiracy" produced some great ideas of which not all could make
>> it into the conference as yet but they are burnt into our sub
>> conscience (or just the email archive) so that they could pop up any
>> time again.
>> I'm looking forward to work with you again in whichever role that might
>> be.
>> Cheers
>> Robert
>>
>> On 08/12/2020, Quentin Christensen <quentin@...> wrote:
>> > Congratulations Joseph, Robert, Derek, Austin, Laura and everyone
>> involved
>> > on running a very successful and well received NVDACon, great job!
>> >
>> > Joseph, you will be missed, but you have setup a great foundation and
>> got a
>> > talented group of people holding the fort so enjoy your time away from
>> > running the show next year!
>> >
>> > In terms of cost, NV Access are certainly willing to contribute
>> financially
>> > to whatever solution is going to work best for the conference
>> > organisers
>> > and participants - although of course we need to be able to justify the
>> > expense as well, and it may be that approaching a particular platform
>> about
>> > sponsorship is worthwhile.
>> >
>> > For now, congratulations again on a great conference, and I look
>> > forward
>> to
>> > hearing the recordings!
>> >
>> > Quentin.
>> >
>> > On Tue, Dec 8, 2020 at 11:48 AM Robert Hänggi <aarjay.robert@...>
>> > wrote:
>> >
>> >> Hi
>> >>
>> >> Again, for reference, here is the pricing page of zoom:
>> >> https://zoom.us/pricing
>> >>
>> >> I'm horrified when I check the feature we want and read the total
>> >> cost.
>> >> I've read comments like "If they can't afford $10 per month, I will
>> >> gladly pay it from my own pocket".
>> >> This is very misleading. The minimum plan for our purpose costs $200
>> >> per
>> >> year
>> >> The ideal plan (with phone calling, enough participants, live
>> >> streaming, multiple rooms, replays, better website integration and so
>> >> on) amounts to $1200 per year.
>> >>
>> >> Some people said that we could use their accounts.
>> >> I don't know how you feel about it but I don't like the thought to be
>> >> dependant on others.
>> >> Nonetheless, we will check out the options and Doug lee (as Joseph
>> >> said) is composing a workbook with all the possibilities.
>> >>
>> >> Cheers
>> >> Robert
>> >>
>> >> On 08/12/2020, Lino Morales <linomorales001@...> wrote:
>> >> > Yes you are correct James. I wonder between NV Access and
>> >> > individuals/non for proffit orgs around the world with some
>> >> > promotion
>> >> > etc. could raise money to use Zoom? If the NVDA community worldwide
>> >> > starts something like this now that would be great. Yeah I know many
>> >> > folks can't donate, but if we get said orgs for the blind on board
>> that
>> >> > would be a running start.
>> >> >
>> >> > On 12/7/2020 6:27 PM, James Teh wrote:
>> >> >> I'd respectfully point out that Zoom is not free - it actually ends
>> up
>> >> >> being quite costly for something like NVDACon - so it's not simply
>> >> >> a
>> >> >> matter of popular opinion. Any proposal to move to an alternative
>> >> >> platform also needs to consider how that platform will be funded
>> >> >> and/or set up.
>> >> >>
>> >> >> Jamie
>> >> >>
>> >> >> On Tue, Dec 8, 2020 at 9:08 AM Lino Morales <
>> linomorales001@...
>> >> >> <mailto:linomorales001@...>> wrote:
>> >> >>
>> >> >>     I didn't partake in the Con this year, however I vote for Zoom
>> for
>> >> >>     2021 and later. As you stated Joseph the hosts have more
>> >> >> control.
>> >> >>     I'm been crowing about getting Zoom for the past couple of
>> >> >> years
>> >> >>     pree pandemic. Glad it went well and hope to hear the
>> >> >> recordings
>> >> >> soon.
>> >> >>
>> >> >>     On 12/7/2020 4:39 PM, Joseph Lee wrote:
>> >> >>>
>> >> >>>     Hi all,
>> >> >>>
>> >> >>>     First, it was great to see many people at NVDACon 2020. I
>> >> >>>     personally consider this a successful event despite the
>> >> >>> pandemic
>> >> >>>     and its effects. Although we had issues in the beginning, it
>> >> >>> ran
>> >> >>>     smoothly, especially as the post-keynote QnA was very
>> >> >>> extensive.
>> >> >>>
>> >> >>>     A few thank you’s:
>> >> >>>
>> >> >>>       * Robert Hangi: chairing the organizing committee and
>> upgrading
>> >> >>>         the pre-keynote experience.
>> >> >>>       * Laura Cornwell and friends: effective promotion, and for
>> >> >>>         streaming parts of the conference.
>> >> >>>       * Austin Pinto and other recording engineers.
>> >> >>>       * Derek Riemer: infrastructure and providing support.
>> >> >>>       * NV Access crew: another amazing keynote.
>> >> >>>       * Presenters: for diversifying the topics.
>> >> >>>
>> >> >>>     And most importantly, audience members who shared their
>> >> >>> passion
>> >> >>>     for NVDA and giving organizers countless encouragements. Hope
>> the
>> >> >>>     event served as a healing moment for you.
>> >> >>>
>> >> >>>     Second, based on actual experience and post-event feedback, I
>> >> >>>     would like to suggest that organizers look into a different
>> >> >>>     platform for NVDACon 2021 and beyond. Of course we have to
>> >> >>> think
>> >> >>>     about accessibility and outreach, but mostly to help future
>> >> >>>     conference moderators perform their tasks more efficiently.
>> >> >>> Zoom
>> >> >>>     is a possibility, and Doug Lee apparently organized an Excel
>> >> >>>     spreadsheet with potential platforms. I would also like to
>> >> >>>     suggest that when a platform is chosen, organizers meet
>> regularly
>> >> >>>     using that platform to familiarize themselves as to how to use
>> it
>> >> >>>     effectively.
>> >> >>>
>> >> >>>     Lastly, NVDACon Twitter feed is still alive. The next post
>> >> >>> from
>> >> >>>     there will be done when recordings become available.
>> >> >>>
>> >> >>>     I announced this after the closing forum, but this is to
>> >> >>> affirm
>> >> >>>     that I will not be participating in NVDACon planning for next
>> >> >>>     year. However, if people want me to, I can give coaching for
>> >> >>>     presenters upon request – mostly to go over online
>> >> >>> presentation
>> >> >>>     etiquette, how to respond to comments, and refining small
>> >> >>> things
>> >> >>>     in content. Apart from that, I will be your biggest fan from
>> >> >>> the
>> >> >>>     distance.
>> >> >>>
>> >> >>>     May the NVDACon continue to bridge the community for years to
>> >> >>> come.
>> >> >>>
>> >> >>>     Cheers,
>> >> >>>
>> >> >>>     Joseph
>> >> >>>
>> >> >>>     Joseph S. Lee
>> >> >>>
>> >> >>>     Student (communication studies), California State University,
>> Los
>> >> >>>     Angeles
>> >> >>>
>> >> >>>     Code contributor and add-ons reviewer, NVDA screen reader
>> project
>> >> >>>
>> >> >>>     Certified NVDA Expert, 2019
>> >> >>>
>> >> >>>     Founding chair, NVDA Users and Developers Conference (NVDACon
>> >> >>> –
>> >> >>>     2014 to 2016
>> >> >>>
>> >> >>
>> >> >
>> >> >
>> >> >
>> >> >
>> >> >
>> >> >
>> >>
>> >>
>> >>
>> >>
>> >>
>> >>
>> >
>> > --
>> > Quentin Christensen
>> > Training and Support Manager
>> >
>> > Web: www.nvaccess.org
>> > Training: https://www.nvaccess.org/shop/
>> > Certification: https://certification.nvaccess.org/
>> > User group: https://nvda.groups.io/g/nvda
>> > Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/NVAccess
>> > Twitter: @NVAccess <https://twitter.com/NVAccess>
>> >
>> >
>> >
>> >
>> >
>> >
>>
>>
>>
>>
>>
>>
>
> --
> Quentin Christensen
> Training and Support Manager
>
> Web: www.nvaccess.org
> Training: https://www.nvaccess.org/shop/
> Certification: https://certification.nvaccess.org/
> User group: https://nvda.groups.io/g/nvda
> Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/NVAccess
> Twitter: @NVAccess <https://twitter.com/NVAccess>
>
>
>
>
>
>







--
Best,

Nimer Jaber

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