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Am I the only person who thinks the session voting is an inaccurate representation of what the attendees are really interested in seeing? The list on this site is clumsily presented (e.g. cannot effectively search by tag or author, lack of navigation between sessions), but worse, the list is sorted by votes.

Sorted by votes means the most popular always appear first, and by virtue of being first, tend to get more votes. How many people wade through all pages of sessions? More recently proposed sessions also get better visibility.

Nothing prevents people from actually finding and viewing all of the sessions, but human nature being what it is, the way the sessions are presented is distorting the voting process.


I asked about a similar issue in the site issues forum here, but never received a response.

That said I believe the greatest problem with "skewed votes" is probably due to the number of active visitors over time. I speculate that the site probably received more visitors during the first week of the site's announcement, then in the past 3 weeks combined. The greater number of active voters in the first week allowed sessions added first to accumulate more votes with no hope for sessions added in latter weeks to even come close.

I don't believe that the current tally of votes is precise enough as a general poll. Instead, at this time, is to categorize the sessions, wipe out their votes, and request that all attendees vote again within 1 week.

I would not go that far. But it would be nice to see a session list sorted by most recently submitted, at the very least.

I echo your concerns but want to point that votes on a session are only a portion of how sessions are chosen. A human committee wades through all of these sessions trying to pair up presenters with similar topics (to reduce duplicates), eliminate too much of the same (i.e. diversify the session lineup) as well as to contact presenters and make sure they are prepared to do the session they said they would. Voting is used as one of many methods to get a sense for what the attendees of the conference want.

Unfortunately due to time constraints we can't ask people to submit their session and then ask them to vote at a later time. Experience has shown that we need at least 2-3 months for session proposals and then, most likely, another 1 to 2 months to allow folks to vote on these sessions. That is a 3-5 month process. We need a bare minimum of 2 months to put the whole session in front of the general public (ideally this should be 4 months) so that other attendees can decide if they will attend or not (uncertainty of what a person will learn/encounter is a big decision factor for people). This draws us out to 7 months. For Drupalcon 2010 (which we are accepting proposals on right now) we are attempting to start the process one year out but right now we're only six months out leaving us with little time.

in short.. you have valid concerns and we'll work on improving this in the future. If you have idea please let them known, we'll all ears.

Thanks for the response. I understand the constraints, and realize it's a challenge. It would have been nice to handle the voting a bit differently out of the starting gate, e.g. randomized, etc. Maybe next time!

On a related note (and I'll post a new topic regarding this as well) -- we're getting to being just a bit over a month away from the DrupalCon and those of which proposed sessions would probably like to know if our session will be selected or not so that we start preparing. I know I would, anyway. Maybe it takes me more time to prepare a talk than others. :-)