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DC 14 Printed Con Program - Thoughts?

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  • DC 14 Printed Con Program - Thoughts?

    Every few years, we grapple with redesigning the con program - whether it be size or content. Now is the time to chime in.

    1) Does anyone really "read" the program? Just about all the information in there can be found on various websites... is it necessary to reiterate it in print?
    2) Are there elements/sections that should be added?
    3) Are there elements/sections that should be removed?
    4) Should the program be physically larger (in dimension) or smaller (in dimension)? We know that the "pocket" size has been well received but physical dimensions does at times pose layout issues.
    5) Additional comments?
    blackbeetle

  • #2
    size is terrific. pretty much everyone i know thought that the switch to a smaller, more portable program after DC11 was really, really excellent. i can see how layout issues can crop up, however.

    i personally enjoy how things are laid out. i do read some of the articles and other musings which are interspersed with the informative pages. for the most part, however, just about every con i've tended to get my hands on a second program, from which i tear out the few pages that have the speaking track schedules (and sometimes the DC movie channel lineup) and keep those in my pocket all the time, typically with lots of sharpie marker notes as to where i'm trying to be.

    i would really like it if the schedule pages had an extra column down the right side, next to the third speaking track, where people could either mark in notes to themselves about events and games... or have that column already populated with some of the time slots that we're working out here on the forums with converge's calendar. (i thought there was an info column like that in the past, but i can't find it in the pages of my programs from DC13, 12, or 11. don't know where i have my older materials from 8, 9, and 10)

    since the smaller program size makes fitting things in difficult as it is, perhaps there could be an additional printed sheet, standard 8½ x 11 size, with just the speaking schedule. there could be an additional column down the side listing events, contests, etc (those who are compiling the calendar here on the forums could take input from organizers and the community as a whole as to whether or not an event should be publicly listed on such a sheet)... and then there would even still be enough space to have an additional column just for people to note down their own additions to where they want to be at specific times.

    a two-sided 8½ x 11 sheet would more than handle this, i think. then many of us wouldn't have to swipe an extra program and rip pages out to keep a convenient schedule in our pockets.

    just an idea. it adds to the whole costs and logistics of printing, however, so i can see how it could be frowned upon.
    Last edited by Deviant Ollam; March 11, 2006, 08:38.
    "I'll admit I had an OiNK account and frequented it quite often… What made OiNK a great place was that it was like the world's greatest record store… iTunes kind of feels like Sam Goody to me. I don't feel cool when I go there. I'm tired of seeing John Mayer's face pop up. I feel like I'm being hustled when I visit there, and I don't think their product is that great. DRM, low bit rate, etc... OiNK it existed because it filled a void of what people want."
    - Trent Reznor

    Comment


    • #3
      I like the second sheet idea from Deviant, but it would be nice if it add a map on the back. With DC growing so much, and new avtivities/contests being added every year, it seems a lot of people have trouble finding them ( I guess flipping through the book is too difficult for some ). The new layout is going to confuse those who start the day with a .02 BA level.

      Probably have to ask FAWCR, but it seems like most of the questions they get are when/where related. People are always asking for programs too, a one page hand-out may help alleviate that too.

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by Kai
        People are always asking for programs too, a one page hand-out may help alleviate that too.
        you know, considering how many people ask for extra programs when all they really want is a map or schedule, printing up the two-sided info sheet might actually work out to cost less in the long run, since they can be mass produced quickly with no cutting costs or assembly. supplemental volume could even be produced mid-weekend at a kinko's or some shit if need be.
        "I'll admit I had an OiNK account and frequented it quite often… What made OiNK a great place was that it was like the world's greatest record store… iTunes kind of feels like Sam Goody to me. I don't feel cool when I go there. I'm tired of seeing John Mayer's face pop up. I feel like I'm being hustled when I visit there, and I don't think their product is that great. DRM, low bit rate, etc... OiNK it existed because it filled a void of what people want."
        - Trent Reznor

        Comment


        • #5
          I thought the DC13 program was superbly done. I enjoyed the creative layouts.

          Actually, I can help out with layouts for print matter if needed, I've used Adobe pagemaker and indesign. Not that I'm an expert or anything, just looking to lend a hand where needed.
          "All are gone, all but one"

          Comment


          • #6
            1)Use:
            I did not attend last year, but comments related to the other questions:
            I tend to only use the map, event/presentation descriptions, and the "schedule" (table of events with locations and times.)
            I've also used the DCTV schedule.

            Most other content I save for when I get back home. (I don't have so much time to read stuff at Defcon ;-)

            2) Additions:
            We will be more "spread out" in some ways this year.
            With B&W ball on a diffeent floor, skyboxes in a low-traffic area, the pool quite a ways away, we have spaces that are far enough away from each other so as to not get advertising through casual observation with foot-traffic.
            For all map locations, specify floor, or ground-level

            3) Removed:
            I would not be sad if the Stories, news, poems, contest winners for pre-con contests were removed.
            All of this could go on the web page or the CD.

            4) Size:
            To me, pocket size is more important than the extra content. It's not a good tradeoff to me if we get access to new content in a program at the cost of loss of the pocket size,

            5) Other comments:
            The programs get better every year. Good work.

            Comment


            • #7
              Smaller size is better- more portable, stores better, etc...

              I usually read the entire thing after con- just general info use while at con.

              LosT

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              • #8
                I love the program in its current form, but it could use a map on the back.

                Also, an index for the presentation abstracts would be handy. I always found myself flipping through the pages for a few minutes before I could find the abstract I was looking for.
                The dude abides.

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                • #9
                  For the most part, I read the program on the plane home. The articles are great and give me warm fuzzies as I leave friends behind til the next one. I generally print out a schedule before hand and highlight the talks I want to see based on the abstracts online. That being said, a "printable version" link that will print a nicely page-sized formatted schedule would be really nice, as would additional copies of the schedule and map being made available at various points around the con. That way, we don't have to mark up our nice program, which ends up being quite the keepsake.
                  the fresh princess of 1338

                  What did I do to make you think I give a shit?

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by TheCotMan
                    3) Removed:
                    I would not be sad if the Stories, news, poems, contest winners for pre-con contests were removed.
                    All of this could go on the web page or the CD.

                    I would be disappointed if this went away. I actually like the filler content. I usually appreciate having it around to read during downtime (waiting for a talk to start/decompressing from the day/on the plane ride home)

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                    • #11
                      !. The Map should be on the first few pages.
                      2. The material should be sturdier...by Sunday, my program has kind of worned out.
                      3. A little space to write mini notes, like an email or website...something.
                      Delicious Poison:

                      The difference between a nerd and a geek? Well a nerd does not wear Spider Man butt huggers.

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                      • #12
                        I read it cover to cover. I want more more more. My only issue was that the type was so small that if I folded the program the words were unreadable on the fold.

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                        • #13
                          I read the entire content of the program and thoroughly enjoy having one each year. And as OP stated it makes a nice keepsake.
                          "It is difficult not to wonder whether that combination of elements which produces a machine for labor does not create also a soul of sorts, a dull resentful metallic will, which can rebel at times". Pearl S. Buck

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                          • #14
                            The smaller books recently were an improvement (especially over the year we had a 20x10 sheet) but Id like to see seperate schedule sheets.

                            Same story, I keep the handout and read it later, end up printing the schedule before hand because I dont want to rip the pages out of my book.

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                            • #15
                              I really liked the books last year. They were full of information and you could keep them in your pocket. Perfect in my opinion, not to mention the kick ass cover :)


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