the second rate citizens of drupalcon
Today the Drupal association presented a new initiative for getting more students & grow the talent pool for the Drupal Project. This is done by setting x number the tickets for Drupalcon munich to half price of the 400€ - well that is if you're a student. This raises big problems about the future the event I see as the Heart & Soul of the Drupal Community.
This is not the first time this have been discussed - we had it up as an agenda point in Drupalcon Copenhagen in 2010 (which i was heavy involved in) At that point it was declined, The Drupalcon is already giving away Scholarships, & the event is already a cheap professional conference.
Everyone pays the same for thee ticket - what afaik have been the policy for the last 12. Drupalcon’s, its as much a signal to all participents as its a practial. Besides that 50% of the DrupalCommunity can claime to be a "Student" - so opening up that door could have dire consequences for ticket sales.
No matter who you are - if you're Dries, N00b or the local axe swinging Dane. We all pays the same, Its a part of the Drupal Culture: We are all Equal, were all here in the same boat - no matter who you are - we pay the same - well not anymore more...
But there is free Tickets
Last year it was decided that speakers got their ticket as a thank you for the preparation time - This is off course a nice gesture, I Usually put in about 60-90 hours for my session, so i can at least justify the first 5-6 hours of work ;)
It a nice gesture from the Drupal Association & not to mention without quality sessions: no conference (but without module developers, writers, designers,themers etc. there would be no Drupal...)
I would be Fine to pay for my own ticket - thats not the 400€ that makes my budget hurt, thats the Flight, food, hotel, beers & not to forget the week you take of work + the week after to play catchup with clients & pissed-of Family.
I'm a "Selected Speaker" this time in Munich so I'm coming in for Free, unless somebody pulls me off schedule now ;) I will be in munich anyway’s Cause thats where my geek posse are.
the 2. rate citizens
Now the Drupal Association have decided to have "2.Rate tickets" for Students. This will have some consequences for the Drupal Community as a whole, and is a dangerous path to go down.
I say 2. rate citizen ticket well lets look at the note's for the student tickets, which is well ... a little bit worrying:
"Note: DrupalCon Munich student tickets are € 200 each, do not include lunch, and are limited to full-time student applicants."
Will this mean that Students cant to go where the rest of us go, food, beverages etc ?!
Drupalcon is a highly a social event. Aren't we then making the Students to 2 rate citizens of the DrupalCommunity now?
If you wanna lower the ticket prices, this makes sense (i mean something have to be cut) to be honest I would personally love to skip 50% of the ticket price to drop the, always questionable Lunch (now coffee on the other hand...)
Now by limiting the student attendees from this part aren't we really sending a wrong signal - your not a part of cool crew
This attempt to try to get more new students to attend a Drupalcon will cost about XX.000€ - can't that money be used a little bit more fair throughout the Drupalsphere - besides of that i highly doubt this effect a Drupalcon is already an expensive event, is 200€ & the signal of 2.rate citizens worth that - and not to mention is the price gonna get new ones to show up?
If we try to support new & upcoming developers, or participants in the community, why on earth do you have to be a student?
How many school Dropouts, self educated, newly started, hackers, pirates and whatever else that comes into Drupal & could make good use of this economical help. Not to mention those that are not from the "rich part" of the world - in Europe theres an extreme difference in the taxes & salary's just if you go from Copenhagen to Prague.
This is in my eyes sending a signal that its all good if you a student - But if you're not - then you have pay for that student.
What about …
If we play this kinda discount thinking into our little world lets for fun take one step more that direction.
We wanna get more students into Druaplcon, but we also wanna attract more women.
There was about 17% female attendees last time in Denver, lets get that number up to 20%: To do that & to follow the logic from the student discount.
Its a known fact that females are underpaid So wouldn't it be fair that they got lets say 10% off the ticket?
we can off course take it further steps and find other groups, but this is just to illustrate the path that the DA now have taken (I wonder what have made them change their minds after what 12 Drupalcons have refused to do, besides of students complaining)
What I thought was a key point in the DrupalCon and in our Culture was that we were all equal - no matter who you are we pay the same for the basic entrence.
If the Drupalcon is making enough money that its not a problem to use 40.000€ - why isn't this discount given to all attendees, the last 4 conferences price raise have caused a good amount of noise.
Drupal Association can do whatever they want with the money & the ticket prices, I know this is probably fighting windmills
Now the door is open for differentiating in prices & that isn't a door we can close easely again.
This is not about beeing against Student discounts - this is about lowering the tickets for some selected & not for us all.
Just to make sure that is perfectly clear
Im a total un-educated school Dropout (9 years in public school) that by accident came into the web development in 1996 & figured out I aparently had badass skills. I have never looked back since & a still trying to figure out how to spell and be more articulate.
the times are a changing
Maybe its just me that must accept that the Heartbeat & Soul of the Drupalcommunity isn't anymore the Drupalcon.
That we now have open up the door to different level of tickets, that in its core divides us.
That Drupalcons are now Driven with another "professional" and more americanized agenda, where discounts & cupon codes (my bet is in portland we will see those) are a way the marketing machine to push Drupal forward.
We are are simply making a huge mistake here, that goes against the core value of our community.
We are all in the same boat, so Drupal Association Please Stop dividing us - thats not what you were put you into this world for. - I can see the intentions but youre doing it wrong, sorry but somebody have to say it now its clear that you didnt think this through.
Lowering the prices (for an allready cheap event) for everyone is the way you wanna go.
This will probably cause some comments so pretty please
Before you begin to scream that “its really hard to be a student & you only having x amount of money each month” then read my post again.
I was a little quick on the numbers & thought i read 200 tickets - the number is unknown thogh, so i have exchanged it with x'es instead.