What Should We Change About the Next GroupBy?

The first event is over, the recordings are out, the podcasts are being downloaded, and now it’s time to take a deep breath to think about what we wanna do next.

Here’s a quick rundown of how the April event will work:

  1. Speakers submit sessions. Anyone can submit a session on any topic. The deadline is February 28th.
  2. Readers collaborate. Anyone can leave a comment on your session abstract to suggest changes or ask for clarification. The deadline here is also Feb 28th, which means you could theoretically submit a bad session on that day, and not get enough feedback to improve your session. That’s what you get for procrastinating, ha ha ho ho.
  3. Everyone picks the top 10. On March 1-15, the home page will show the list of submitted sessions, and you can check up to ten of them. You’ll have to be registered & logged in to vote, and a live leaderboard will show the current vote tallies.
  4. On March 16th, the winners are announced. It shouldn’t be a surprise – we’ll just be showing the top 10 folks from the leaderboard. The winners start working on their slide decks if they’re not already done.
  5. The live event will happen April 21 & 28. This time, the sessions will be spread a little further out (every 2 hours instead of every 90 minutes), giving folks a better chance to do bio breaks and set up. During the breaks, presenters can have their webcams & audio on, take questions from the audience, and have an open mic discussion. (We’ll likely record this as outtakes and throw it into YouTube just for fun.) In April, we’ll also have the Brent Ozar Unlimited team on during the breaks – we’re used to running GoToWebinar sessions, and it gives Brent a chance to run out and do bio breaks.
  6. Afterward, recordings go out. They’re uploaded to the GroupBy YouTube channel, the session detail pages, the podcast feeds, and BitTorrent. Our transcriptionist goes to work writing out the text, and our volunteer editors put in section headings and screenshots.

Now, how can we kick this up a notch? What should we change or add to the next round? We’ll take your feedback for the next couple of weeks, and based on that, announce a list of changes on Feb 21.

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Brent Ozar

Managing Director at Brent Ozar Unlimited
I make Microsoft SQL Server faster and more reliable. I'm the guy behind BrentOzar.com, Ozar.me, DBAreactions.com, SQLServerUpdates.com, and GroupBy.org.
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5 Comments. Leave new

It’s been a whole day and no one has made any comments? Alright how about a random brain dump from me.

Structured feedback guidance for abstracts. I love the idea of people evolving their abstract based on feedback. Unfortunately, most commenters may not have the experience to give constructive, critical feedback. One way of solving this would be to have 5 simple questions for commenters to try to answer (Is it clear what pain this solves? Is it clear who the audience is? Is it clear how you will benefit from watching this talk? etc.) Another option would be to have official reviewers to make sure each abstract at least recieves some basic critical review.
Retrospective posts by presenters. This is probably pie-the-sky but it’d be really cool to have guests posts after a groupby talking about how their talk went, or what they would change or part of their prep process or something behind the scenes. Referring back to item 1, I feel this could be a tool to help new speakers learn about presenting. One way to do this could be to simply source a paragraph or two from each presenter and put into a blog post.
Sort upcoming abstracts by date. I think you are already working on this as an option.


While I’m at it, I had no idea that Bert or Daniel even had blogs! In retrospect it’s probably obvious and certainly you can dig around in profiles to find them.

That being said, it’d be nice to have a blogroll / rss aggregation / opml file for all the previous speakers. I’m always looking for new blogs to toss into feedly.


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