Document Freedom Day 2013 in Campinas -- São Paulo -- Brazil

Hi, there! This is the report of the Document Freedom Day event that took place in Campinas, São Paulo state, Brazil. I will talk a little bit about how we (keep reading to know who "we" are!) organized it, and the conclusions that can be drawn to help for the next edition.

Organization

The DFD (or Document Freedom Day) 2013 in Campinas was organized by the LibrePlanet São Paulo (link in pt_BR) group. If you follow this blog, and if you speak portuguese, then you have probably read the announcement of the group that I made last year. If you haven't: LibrePlanet São Paulo is part of the LibrePlanet project (sponsored by the Free Software Foundation), and "... is a global network of free software activists and teams working together to help further the ideals of software freedom by advocating and contributing to free software.".

The DFD 2013 was an important event to us because it was the first serious event that we organized as a group. Despite some mistakes and errors, I believe we did fine and were able to learn some great lessons for the next events that we plan to do. By the way, if you want to see the official page which we used to promote the event (and organize it too), take a look at <http://libreplanet.org/wiki/LP-BR-SP/Eventos/DFD_Campinas_2013>. The page is in pt_BR.

Basically, we should have: (a) focused more on defining the venue as soon as possible, because that would have made it possible to (b) start sending announcements about the event earlier. We also should have contacted the Document Freedom organization and asked swags and banners earlier, because when we did it was too late for the shipment to arrive in time. And last but not least, we should really have taken pictures!! Unfortunately, I have absolutely no pictures to post here, so you will have to believe just in the words I write...

But well, nothing is perfect, and hey, the event happened!. So let's talk it :-).

The Event

DFD 2013 occurred on Wednesday, March 27th. After some discussion, we decided to schedule the event from 13h (1 p.m.) to 17h (5 p.m.), with 4 presentations of 50 minutes each, approximately. The venue chosen was CCUEC, the Center of Computing at the University of Campinas, UNICAMP. This center has some great people working on it who are involved with Free Software since the beginning of the movement, particularly Rubens Queiroz de Almeida, a very nice guy (very famous in the Brazilian Free Software scene) who helped us a lot with the organization of this event.

We understand that doing the event on a Wednesday afternoon was something that made it very hard for most people to attend, and that is probably the main reason for the low attendance: only 8 people in the audience. I have to say I was a little frustrated in the beginning, but hey, what really matters is that we spread the word about Free Software to 8 brave souls there, who will hopefully spread the word again to more people, and so on :-). So, it was time for the show to begin!

Our schedule was (presentation titles translated):

  1. "What is Free Software?", by me
  2. "Free Documents or the End of the World", by Rubens Queiroz de Almeida
  3. "HTML5: all the faces of the new standard", by Ricardo Panaggio
  4. "EPUB3: The book in the XXI century", by Raniere Silva

So my presentation was scheduled to be the first one, and I really liked it (surprise!). It was virtually the first time I gave a "philosophical" talk, and a very important one: a general presentation about Free Software, its history, the present, and a little bit of the future. In my opinion, what I liked about my talk is that I focused less on the "freedom" part, and more on the "respect" part of the philosophy. This is something I did because I wanted to use a different argument that was on my head for a long time: that the main thing behing the Free Software is the respect towards others, and only with that one can achieve freedom.

I watched Rubens too, who gave an excelent presentation about why we need free documents and standards. Rubens is very talkative and warm, which makes the audience feel relaxed. People liked his presentation a lot, from what I noticed.

Unfortunately, Ricardo Panaggio had a problem with his computer before his presentation, so we decided to switch: Raniere Silva would take his place as the third presenter, while Ricardo tried to fix the problem. I helped him with his problems, and because of this I was unable to watch Raniere's talk. In the end, we could not solve Ricardo's problem and he decided to give his presentation without any slides. In my opinion, he managed to catch everyone's attention (also because HTML5 is such a hot topic today), so I guess the missing slides were not so important after all!

At 17h o'clock, we declared DFD 2013 finished. I still had time to distribute some Free Software stickers (from FSF), and talk a little with two or three people there, who were satisfied with the presentations! It made my day, of course :-). And just because of that I now feel motivated to organized another DFD next year!

Acknowledgements

I would like to thank Rubens Queiroz for helping with the promotion, the location, and the presentation during the event. DFD 2013 would have been impossible without his help. Thanks, Rubens!

The LibrePlanet São Paulo team, specially Ricardo Panaggio, were also deeply involved with me in the organization. And I hope we manage to make a bigger event next year!

Finally, I would like to thank everyone who attended the event, even for watch only one talk. Your presence there was really, really important to all of us. See you all next year!

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