As a associate of the Software Free International (SFI), I got a chance to sit on the Software Freedom Day Competition Committee 2011. However it was a tedious work than I thought. As one of the members of the completion committee I have to rank each and every report submitted.
But how could I selected the best event, what make an event the best out of others? Since we got reports from many countries what about the scale? First few days I was confused ! What should be evaluated, what is critical and what is not. So many questions to find answers.
Since the primary goal of having an event for Software Freedom Day is to spread the word about Free Software. The evaluation was based on the matter that the teams effort towards the primary goal.
The only medium to evaluate is the report they submitted. Some have submitted web pages, blogs, photos albums and few submitted comprehensive reports which is preferable but less. Therefore if you are willing to take part with the next year competition please keep in mind that you need to submit a comprehensive report with all the required information and photos. That will take you high on the list.
In my evaluation I examined how successful the teams are in achieving the primary goal we envision. Some factors considered are number of attendees, content of the event, how organized the event was, publicity for the event and the relevance.
Some teams got the support from the governments and some doesnt. Some countries are in favor of Free Software, so that those teams are lucky.
Those are the considerations when ranking the events. However it is really hard but interesting.
As a note to next year organizers;
- Start planning your event, ask for swags early, get the help from local Free Software communities.
- Target various audience the public, IT students and non-IT students.
- Start publicity campaigns early and make them attractive, flyer banners and so on.
- Invite speakers and organize the content to inspire/ motivate the audience towards the Free Software.
- Take photos on the event day elaborating the audience, preparations, swags and any other special thing to note.
- Prepare a nice and comprehensive report elaborating why we need to rank your event.
- Include references (blogs, photo albums, etc..)
Some critical points;
- Photos are important and it is good to have some videos if possible.
- Nice/ organized event report will earn you more credits
- Note any special point, example the composition of the audience, etc..
Finally waiting for the official announcement from the SFI Secretary about the winning teams to congratulate them. And others dont get disappointed we wanted to select you all but resources are limited. Try harder, next time you can be the winning team and I would like to thank your wonderful effort on organizing and hosting marvelous events to celebrate Software Freedom Day.