OpenSim conference scheduled for November

Press release: Announcing the 2nd Annual OpenSimulator Community Conference 2014

June 3, 2014 – AvaCon and the Overte Foundation are pleased to announce the second annual OpenSimulator Community Conference 2014, to take place virtually on the OpenSimulator Conference Center grid on November 8-9, 2014. The OpenSimulator Community Conference is an annual conference that focuses on the developer and user community surrounding the OpenSimulator software. Organized as a joint production by AvaCon and the Overte Foundation, the virtual conference features two days of presentations, workshops, keynote sessions, and social events across diverse sectors of the OpenSimulator user base.

(Image courtesy AvaCon.)

(Image courtesy AvaCon.)

“Last year’s conference was a terrific success with more than 350 attendees from 45 unique grids and over 1,000 commits to the core code, which made OpenSimulator a much more stable and scalable platform,” said conference organizer Chris Collins. “This year we hope to build on that success by offering more opportunities for the community to be involved and doing more outreach to attract new users. With all the hype surrounding the Oculus Rift and other virtual reality technologies, we want the virtual reality community to know that OpenSimulator is a great platform for building the open metaverse.”

Based on feedback from last year’s successful conference, this year’s program includes four tracks to showcase the variety of uses of OpenSimulator, including Business & Enterprise, Content & Community, Developers & Open Source, and Research & Education. In addition, a new Learning Lab area will be available for hackerspaces, speed builds, and workshops for hands-on learning experiences guided by experts in the OpenSimulator community. The Call for Proposals for all four tracks and the Learning Lab is now open, and proposals are due July 1, 2014.

Conference volunteer Michael Emory Cerquoni — also known as Nebadon Izumi in-world. (Image courtesy AvaCon.)

Conference volunteer Michael Emory Cerquoni — also known as Nebadon Izumi in-world. (Image courtesy AvaCon.)

Due to the “alpha” nature of the OpenSimulator software, the annual conference is an experiment in capacity testing for OpenSimulator in addition to being a community event. Since seats are limited, registration will open on a first-come-first-served basis on September 15, 2014 until the maximum number of virtual conference center tickets is reached. At that point, community members will still be able to register for the live streamed version of the conference that will be available for free via UStream.

For more information please see the conference website.

About OpenSimulator

OpenSimulator is an open-source platform that supports the creation of collaborative, immersive, distributed and social 3D virtual environments over the Internet. OpenSimulator software is now the basis for many “grids” of varying sizes and purposes.

About AvaCon

AvaCon, Inc. is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization dedicated to promoting the growth, enhancement, and development of the metaverse, virtual worlds, augmented reality, and 3D immersive and virtual spaces. We hold conventions and meetings to promote educational and scientific inquiry into these spaces, and to support organized fan activities, including performances, lectures, art, music, machinima, and much more. Our primary goal is to connect and support the diverse communities and practitioners involved in co-creating and using virtual worlds, and to educate the public and our constituents about the emerging ecosystem of technologies broadly known as the metaverse.

About Overte Foundation

The Overte Foundation is a non-profit organization that manages contribution agreements for the OpenSimulator project. In the future, it will also act to promote and support both OpenSimulator and the wider open-source 3D virtual environment ecosystem.

maria@hypergridbusiness.com'

Maria Korolov

Maria Korolov is editor and publisher of Hypergrid Business. She has been a journalist for more than twenty years and has worked for the Chicago Tribune, Reuters, and Computerworld and has reported from over a dozen countries, including Russia and China.

  • hack13

    It was kinda nice last year, but I just can’t help but wonder why the sponsorship’s are so expensive. But that is just simply my question, I mean I have seen bigger events sponsored even in real life for less. But that is just my opinion, and I look forward to this years conference.

    • I’m not commenting as an organizer here because I’m not involved in this part of the process but my guess (totally a guess!) is that the conference is not offsetting any costs by charging attendance, and sponsorships go to pay for streaming and video recordings. Some real-world conferences also keep costs down by having one big sponsor pick up most of the cost of the conference, by selling lists of attendees, by selling space in gift bags, or by getting a cut of room rentals (among other tactics).

      Meanwhile, sponsoring the conference is about more than direct marketing. It’s about helping support development, helping grow the community, helping bring people together. It gets the viewer and software developers together to fix problems (such as the 4096 bug!), and gives developers a deadline for improving stability and performance.

      Finally, financial support isn’t the only kind of support that’s needed. The conference needs presenters, greeters, moderators, volunteers of all kinds.

      Justin — You, for example, can give a talk about how to reach out to other grids via hypergrid communities. I think it would be educational for many other grid owners — and not just grid owners, but even organizers and managers of smaller communities on larger grids.

      Tim — You can give a talk about the options available for dealing with DDOS attacks.

      (I’m just throwing this out there — you might have other topics you’d like to talk about, instead.)

      See you in November!

      • hack13

        Perhaps, but the site doesn’t say anywhere that the money goes to opensim devs. As far as I can see, it all goes to AvaCon, INC. That bothers me quite a bit. I have been a part of many conferences before, and I am not talking about virtual ones only, I am also talking real life events. I have even been a director for two conventions, the budget for many of these events were very limited, and we relied 100% on volunteers to come in and do a lot of the grunt work. We rewarded the volunteers with free swag, and the money we made from people registering to come to the events, were about enough to just re-coupe our costs.

        I am already in talks with a couple grid owners about arranging an alternative event to this, one that would be directed towards opensim users rather than the brass people. Also offer a 100% transparency report on how all funds that come in and how they are spent, and with whats left over would be donated back into the community evenly distributed. I mean a lot of grid owners are I am speaking too are really taken back by how much this cost, most of us know it cost no where near this much to run a small grid and organize builders and volunteers. Heck the 500usd would be enough for an entire event of this size, if everyone was volunteers and for how long it is.

        • You bring up a good point on reporting of funds usage, at the very least, to those who payed in.

          Having read in a couple of places on this, apparently even when requested of them the information was not forth-coming. A non-profit should post that info without being asked as a matter of course…imo….[if it was, perhaps someone can post a link?]

          I also agree they charge to much.

          And there were registration issues that were convoluted and difficult. I did give in and try that but got nowhere…which was fine, btw…lol

          I enjoyed the recordings of some things I wanted to see so I do hope that is made available again. I may go by any completely open to HG visitors things if I get around to it then. I prefer events more designed for the common people, personally.

          • btw. I will be attending as Elvira and whipping some child avies ahead of me to scout out the good thangs……………………………….

          • and i still got it wrong!! somebody pass me da good stuff …hurry!!

          • ok, the info link was posted pls disregard this comment [and ALL my comments to protect your own sanity or lack thereof!!] Thx Fleep-))

        • Sheera Khan

          Count me in if you need volunteers for such an event

          • hack13

            @justinireman:disqus and @sheera_khan:disqus thanks for your support, and I agree we could put profit toward people like Justin CC and other developers. Or split the money among the non-profit grids like OSgrid or Metropolis where the money goes to help these true and holding on tight grids, that have large user basis.

        • Han Held

          >I am already in talks with a couple grid owners about arranging an
          alternative event to this, one that would be directed towards opensim
          users rather than the brass people.

          I was underwhelmed by how non-social “avacon” felt; it felt very cliquish and seemed to be geared more towards self-impressed people trying to impress each other. IE -it felt very closed to end users like myself.

          Knowing what I know of the social scene in opensim, I’m not overly optimistic about the endevour you propose –but at least it’s a step in the right direction and outliers like myself can always hob-knob with each other in the smoking area… 🙂

          • I’m sorry you felt that way, HH. 🙁

            Speaking for AvaCon, I know for certain that our goal is for anyone who wants to be involved to have the opportunity, and we have open calls for speakers, volunteers, and social event hosts, so at least on an organizational level, we are trying to be the very opposite of cliquish! I know in the heat of the moment it’s easy for conference staff to be so busy that it’s difficult to socialize, maybe that’s part of the issue? Either way, I hope you’ll give it a try again this year and if you noticed anything specific that seemed off-putting last year, we’d appreciate the feedback or you can contact me privately.

          • shawnkmaloney .

            Hey Hey the HEARING dude is here. My comment as far as feeling “non-social” as Han aptly put it? Is that I have been to Fleep grid ….fleepgrid.com:8002….and ENJOYED the welcoming sound provided upon landing AND the piano on the roof! Now, Avacon? Not so much. Kinda hard to hear and enjoy which should be default option in all viewers and only shut off if grid/region owners are part of the “people” crowd mostly made up of non smoking sterilized society lovers. hahaha. That’s my opinion. Get 24/7,commercial free stream at Avacon and I will begin to care if they care or not. 🙂 You Fleep are the only one I’ve seen or noticed thus far that makes the whole deal look credible and legit. to ME. I only speak for me. Oh, and Maria a bit. A bit cuz she see’s my new mission of a centralized calendar of events for OpenSim as a business opportunity for someone?? YEA!! me tooooo!! can you believe she typed that right in front of MY eyes?? hahahahahahaha.

          • I do agree with you on Fleep, she really is the shining light on all this in a very personable way…tho Justin is also personable.

            Go make some real money Shawn bringing the Metaversum together with your calendar idea!!

        • Zandramas Grid

          We would be more then happy to donate some money to help with this event.

    • I just wanted to echo Maria’s comments, though we’re very grateful for those who financially support the conference, we’re just as appreciative for volunteers! There are many, many ways to support and participate in the conference besides donations, and we welcome folks to sign up as a speaker, volunteer, or to host social events on their own grids, too.

      • hack13

        @Fleep:disqus but that doesn’t answer the question of where do the profits go?

        • Hmm, I posted about that a second ago but now I can’t find the post!

          • Oh, it looks like the post I made is being held for moderation, maybe because it has links in it?

          • Ah well, I’m sure Maria will get it approved soon. In any case, the short answer is that there weren’t any profits, rather AvaCon donated our own funds to cover expenses that weren’t covered by sponsors. Since I don’t want to try to post a link in case that also gets held for moderation, you can find more info about last year’s budget on the conference website under About > Previous Conferences > 2013 OSCC > 2013 Conference Budget. Hopefully that will answer any questions and I suppose it is a little bit buried in the menus!

          • hack13

            I apologize, but no one should ever pay that much for hosting I don’t care how big the event. Secondly, I would like to see how it even cost that much money to host a website, I run several servers, and even with load balancers and DDoS HARDWARE protection not software. My cost have never been that much even for a whole year’s worth of website hosting.

            I request to see more transparency.

          • Didn’t that Walter Balzac guy host the servers?

  • That’s a pitty, it looked good, I was going to sponsor this, but two things have put me off, firstly as a relatively small grid – that is not currently making a profit from my grid as we are currently focusing on building our community, there is no way I am going to pay USD$500 for a sponsorship deal – agree with hack13, this is unrealistic pricing for a virtual event. Secondly, it seems that they exclude adult related grids from their sponsorship as the conference is aimed at “all ages” – that therefore excludes all adult grids like Avalonia Estate.

    Thirdly whilst I do fully support OpenSim and want to see it’s continued success and development, I don’t think sponsoring such an event will be the best use of my marketing budget, as my target audience will not be attending such an event.

    • Han Held

      If you have an actual marketing budget -as in you’re consider advertising, I’d suggest taking out an ad at sluniverse. They have great google rank, they’re far more active than all the the G+ groups combined and squared, their readers are people who are interested in virtual worlds and they are outside of the saturated opensim echo chamber -you would actually be helping to grow the opensim ecosystem, in fact. It would go a long way towards raising awareness of adult areas in opensim, I’d say.

      I provided a link already but the HGB moderators, in their wisdom, deleted that post. Putting a dot com after sluads will get you to the site, however. 🙂

    • Hi Justin, we did make a determination that we wanted the conference to be open to an all ages general audience, but mature or adult oriented grids are welcome to host a social event on their grids (so long as it is marked clearly so people can make an informed choice!). We haven’t opened the social events sign-up yet until we get a little further in the schedule planning, but I expect we’ll get that posted shortly.

  • yea, don’t u go making a habit of that, ya here!!! it’s bad for the digestion and other thangs!! -))))

  • I had seen that link but didn’t go there, good to know. Still, though, I think a breakdown of what was paid last year and to whom would be nice to see.

    Lack of transparency bothers me in a lot of this vr stuff and we need to hold people to accountability on a higher plane and more professional standard……

    Oh, btw, did you see my photo I took this morning??

  • Sheera Khan

    I am very unsatisfied about the intransparency about the way the funds went for last years conference, so I for one won’t donate again this year. If the funds were to go to the developers that would be fine with me but if it actually did is everyones guess. If someone likes to donate to developers I guess JCCs gittip-account is still active and could use some love: https://www.gittip.com/justincc/ 🙂

    • (Reposting without links to answer this question!)

      Hi folks, sorry if there’s any confusion about the conference budget! Please see the conference website under About > Previous Conferences on the 2013 Conference Budget page which details exactly how conference funds were spent last year and how we hope to use any funds raised this year.

      Please understand that AvaCon donated our own funds for expenses that weren’t covered by sponsorships last year, not the other way around, and we continue to advocate and organize events to support the growth of the metaverse and open platforms like OpenSimulator because we are passionate about the technology and passionate about supporting the user community. All of our labor and time spent organizing the event was done on a volunteer basis.

      We very much believe in transparency and are extremely grateful to those who so generously donated their time and efforts organizing and supporting the conference last year. Feel free to view the records on AvaCon’s website under About > Documents or you can contact us if you have any other questions.

      • Sheera Khan

        Thank you for the information – I didn’t see that page before.

  • Zandramas Grid

    We were really excited for this event this year and had been patiently waiting to sign up however have am extremely dissapointment in the pricing. It’s just way too high! This just really is just really a big bummer and we won’t be able to participate at that type of pricing.

  • Justin Clark-Casey

    Okay, let me say first of all that although I am not chairing the conference this year, I was co-chair last year and I will still lead the Development and Open Source track this year as well as providing technical development during scaling tests.

    So I’ve seen firsthand just how much work goes into a conference like this. There’s a huge amount to organize when you have multiple tracks, keynotes speakers, volunteers, expo regions, etc. It’s pretty much the same amount of work as holding an actual physical conference.

    In all this, Avacon do an amazing job, especially Fleep – this kind of event would be impossible without them.

    Regarding the sponsorship, the website was a little confusing. There actually is a lower 50 USD dollar level but that’s under the “Crowdfunder Campaign” rather than in the main sponsorship page. This is now clarified on the sponsorship page. This level is conceptually equivalent to the community level that we had last year.

    It’s true that there isn’t a 250 USD level this year. That’s because there’s a significant amount of work with these levels and to make sure everything is above board contracts have to be signed. That takes up a lot of time that can be better spent on other parts of the conference.

    As Fleep said below, nobody is making or trying to make a bunch of money out of this – everybody is doing it out of a desire to promote OpenSimulator and the greater Metaverse. Indeed, Avacon was heavily out of pocket last year. I would never expect them to keep doing that, so this year we’re trying to raise the money necessary to properly cover the costs. Other conferences charge people who get tickets, but to have that reasonably cover costs, the charges have to be quite high and we didn’t want to go down that route.

    All in all, I (and Overte and other OpenSimulator developers) are 100% behind this conference. I think it does a great job of both promoting OpenSimulator and the Metaverse, and in pushing us to improve the scalability of the software that is extremely difficult to do by other routes.

    • hack13

      I am not saying that the event does not serve a great and good purpose. I am saying that the costs associated feel completely out of place, as a hosting provider of multiple virtual world platforms, it bothers me to see that a cost of 3,500 a year for just the grid management services could be that much money. Also I am severely upset with the lack of transparency of where the money goes, and how it is fully used. A simple page that just says “we put that here, and this here” is not sufficient for me, because I have never seen cost that high for equipment before.

      I am not saying anyone is trying to make money off of this event, I am only trying to say that I don’t understand how any of this could cost the amounts that it does. Also when it comes to the streaming software, I don’t understand where that cost even comes from, last year the conference used ustream services which are completely free. I don’t feel it is worth my money to put it on the conference when I could pay developers such as yourself directly, as the conference doesn’t really serve any purpose for me.

  • I agree with Han that slu is a good place to advertise. I still post there occasionally about Meta happenings in some regards but I am very selective on that anymore.

    Also, here is some good and even inexpensive advertising options I am considering doing myself eventually.

    http://www.hypergridbusiness.com/about/advertise/

    http://www.hypergridbusiness.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/02/Hypergrid-Business-ad-layouts-full-page1-269×500.jpg

    And she does offer free ads here [which I did do]

    http://www.hyperica.com/ but those are limited in some regards that I am sure she will be happy to expand on.

  • -)))) hugsya

  • hack13

    Upon further review and investingation of reverse lookups and on the phone. I have found that your telling us of the cost being near 600 a year for the event is untrue. Your yearly hosting cost for the website is only aroung 108usd a YEAR. You are hosted on DreamHost same provider that host Hypergrid Business. They provide unlimited, or as they like to say “unmetered” services, which means unlimited sites can be hosted, and unlimited transfer. You also claim we can see your copies of your tax returns, I would like to see your billing statement for your hosting provider that says it is 600.

    • lmpierce

      Hi hack13,

      As moderator I’m going to ask that you rephrase your request for further information. Fleep has offered to provide relevant information and merits respectful requests. Your assertions are based on incomplete information based on clandestine fact finding, which may be leading to false accusations.

      • hack13

        The information I found is public knowledge and can be retrieved by doing a simple WhoIs lookup under ICANN legal, where all domains must show their routing information. If you perform this legal routing check, you will end up at dreamhost.com’s shared hosting server DNS servers. This is based off of relivant fact, you can then proceed to visit DreamHost.com and see that they only offer 1 shared hosting plan which charges a price of just 107.95 a year with a free domain and dns hosting provided at no extra charge.

        • lmpierce

          Hi hack13,

          Again, I’m asking that you take into consideration that your information relevant to Fleep’s discussion about conference costs is incomplete, and implies that Fleep has not been honest and forthcoming. As such, since false accusations are not accepted in our discussions, you must rephrase your comments so as not to imply improprieties.

          The source of your information is not in question, the way you present it is the part that is being moderated.

          • hack13

            So what your saying is, it is not allowed to investigate, and see the real picture behind it? Your telling me I cannot present this information, because it discredits another commenter. Why is this so, this to me seems like you want me to say that its all ok, that yes what they are doing is not a lie, without any proof and no realisitic journalism.

            I do not understand why? I will fully admit if I am wrong, and I want the event to happen, hell I was ready to go and be a silver sponsor this year. However after seeing the reports, and doing my own research, and my own investigation into the company. I have questions, and I feel people have the right to know the real answers. I am asking publically, because I don’t want people giving money to an conference that lies about how it spends its money, not saying they are I just want more proof, more information, and more transparency.

            If I am proven wrong, and they provide me with all the information, even privately. I will publically recant here, and on my own blog, and other social media. I am not affraid to admit when I am wrong, it just seem very very fishy to me these costs when I know how much it cost to do these things.

          • lmpierce

            Hi hack13,

            To reiterate, I’ve asked you to rephrase your request for information. Nowhere have I indicated that you cannot request further information or present information relevant to this discussion. However, the discussion guidelines do specify the manner in which information needs to be presented. This is to prevent the harm that comes from false accusations.

          • hack13

            Fine I have done so. And have emailed directly I plan on reporting what I get.

          • hack13

            They appear to be ignoring my emails and my phone calls.. not good…

          • Han Held

            To be fair, it can take 24-48 hours to hear from them.

          • hack13

            I am giving them 48 hours to get back to me, but they have been swift in my responses. If I don’t hear back in 48 hours, I will be going public with all the emails they sent me, and all the emails I sent them.

  • I am VERY excited about this. The last OpenSim Community Conference was one of the most professionally managed and engaging conferences I’ve ever attended (both in RL and virtually). All the organizers worked incredibly hard, and all the volunteers and presenters were great.

    This year should be even more interesting since Kitely is now connected to the Hypergrid, allowing Kitely users to just teleport to the conference and allowing conference attendees to explore the vast number of regions on Kitely.

    Hope to see you all there, and major thanks to everyone who is helping make this event happen again.

  • Frank Corsi

    It is a great event, as last year it did touch on topics of great interest. My company will gladly pay the price to be a top sponsor for this event. I feel the prices are not too high at all, and the amount of work that must go into an event like this does require a fair rate for sponsorship.

  • hack13

    Follow Up Response Blog, To Comply With Rules & Guidelines of HGB http://timothyvyper.blogspot.com/2014/06/changes-in-my-perseption.html