July 5, 2013

It’s NTC Community Voting Time!

It’s 14NTC Community Voting Time! The submissions are closed, the steering committee has met, and the module is in place. No hanging chads here, my friends. It’s time to raise your voice and let us know which sessions have the mettle to be included in the 14NTC breakout agenda. We have more than 350 sessions for you to choose from and only 80-100 session slots. So, bring us your opinions.

For those who are new to this process (or just need a refresh), you can find all the tips needed below:

Q: How do I vote?

A: Go to http://www.nten.org/ntc-session-list.

Each page displays 20 session proposals. Under the box with session details (“Track” and “Theme”) is a voting widget that says “Vote this session up or down”.

Click the up arrow if you would want to attend this session, the down arrow if you would not. Easy! You can always change your vote later.

Q: There are so many sessions. Do I have to vote for them all?

A: There are more than 350 session ideas this year. While we’d love it if you could review and vote for all of them, we know you’re busy. This year, you can use the multiple filters in the righthand sidebar to find only the sessions you’re most interested in.

If, say, you’ll be focused on improving your website in 2014, you should go to the “Tags” filter and click “Websites”. That will get you down to fewer than 100 options. You can continue to filter – by “Track” or “Theme” – to find only the sessions you’d be most interested in attending.

You can always remove filters by clicking the “X” next to it, under “Current search”, to re-expand your options.

Q: Okay. What if I have something to say about the session idea?

A: Click the session title or the “Leave a Comment” link to be taken to the session’s detail page. You can leave comments there. Try to be nice, though. Our comments are moderated, and mean and/or inappropriate comments will be laughed at by NTEN staff, then promptly deleted.

Q: Why can’t I vote?

A: If you’re unable to vote a session up or down, or it looks like one of the voting options isn’t working, it’s likely that somebody else in your office has already voted using a shared IP address. We allow only 1 vote per IP as our rudimentary security against ballot stuffing. Try voting from home or using your mobile’s 3G connection.

Q: When I change my vote, why does it seem to change by two?

A: You can vote a session “Up” or “Down”. If you vote, then subsequently change your vote, the count will increment by 2. It’s supposed to: when you change your vote from an “Up” to a “Down”, for example, the system takes away your initial +1 (from your “Up” vote) and then tacks on the -1 (because now it’s a “Down” vote), for a net change of -2 to the total vote. If you’re voting on a shared IP address, and somebody from your office has already voted, you may change that vote, which will appear to change it by 2. It makes sense, we promise.

Q: How long will voting be open?

A: Until Midnight Eastern Time on July 31, 2013.

Q: Why does it take the pages so long to load?

A: We had to disable caching on our site so that the average votes would show up for you as the votes rolled in. This has dramatically increased the load on our database server during the session voting period.

Q: Will the highest rated sessions or the ones with the most votes be the ones featured at the 2014 NTC?

A: Probably not all of them. If we did it that way, we’d have 70 sessions on social media, 37 on websites, and a score on e-mail. Yes, we’re “How can you have any pudding if you don’t eat yer meat?” folks, so the community voting will count for 33% when we sit down to determine the final agenda.

Q: My session isn’t on the first page. Doesn’t that give all the other sessions an unfair advantage?

A: Every night at midnight, the sessions are resorted automatically, so no one session will stay on the first page for very long (barring some very unlikely mathematical happenstance). Besides, most voters come in through direct links to sessions instead of plowing through the entire list.

Q: I wanted to submit a session idea. Is it too late for that?

A: I’m afraid so. We closed session submissions on June 30, so it’s too late to get in on the voting. If you have an unprecedentedly awesome idea, you should still let us know about it. The agenda will be firm by November 1st.

Q: I’d be a terrific speaker at [x] session. How can I get added to the panel?

A: If you’d like to speak at a session, leave a comment (by going to the individual session page) and let us know. We don’t promise you’ll get to join the panel, but we’ll certainly consider it.

Q: When will I find out if my session made it in?

A: Session designers will be contacted no later than October 31, 2013.

Q: This takes a really long time. Will you hate me if I don’t vote for every session?

A: We could never hate you. We appreciate that you’ve taken time at all to help us out. In fact, may we just say, “You rock.”

Q: What happens next after community voting is over?

A: We take the community input and give the input and all of the sessions to the 14NTC steering committee and the NTEN staff. During the month of August, we review and vote internally, and we look for holes for content that we’d like to see on the agenda that might missing, so that we can recruit for those speakers. The first week of September, we do what’s called Selection Week, where we take community votes, steering committee votes, and staff votes, and talk it out, weighing the quantitative and qualitative points of each submission. From there, we come up with the 14NTC breakout agenda, which we’ll post on November 1, 2013 at www.nten.org/ntc/agenda. You can see the full review calendar here.

Tags: Community, NTC