What is the SouthEast LinuxFest (SELF)?
The SouthEast LinuxFest is a community event for anyone who wants to learn more about Linux and Open Source Software. It is part educational conference and part social gathering. Like Linux itself, it is shared with attendees of all skill levels to communicate tips and ideas, and to benefit all who use Linux and Open Source Software. SELF is the place to learn, to make new friends, to network with new business partners, and most importantly, to have fun!
How did SELF get started?
The SouthEast LinuxFest was started in 2009 by members of the Upstate Carolina Linux Users Group. Having attended other awesome events like the Ohio Linuxfest (OLF) and Southern California Linux Expo (SCaLE), there was a desire to have such an event close to home so people in the southeast wouldn’t need a plane flight every year to attend such an event. Just like with OLF and SCaLE, the organizers wanted a community ran conference about Linux and Open Source that emphasized being fun, educational, community building, community oriented, and inexpensive.
There are a few important things when deciding where SELF is located. The cost of obtaining the venue must be reasonable to keep costs down for our sponsors and our attendees. There must be convenient interstate travel, preferably from a major north-south and east-west interstate. Lastly, there must be convenient air travel, meaning an air hub or at least highly competitive major regional airport. Within those requirements, the I-85 corridor makes the most sense. Just as I-5 is the spine of the Pacific Coast and I-95 is the spine of the Atlantic Coast, I-85 is the spine of the Deep South. SELF will be somewhere in or very near the I-85 corridor for the foreseeable future. Charlotte seems to be the best compromise location within the I-85 corridor. There are plenty of venues so pricing is competitive. It isn’t overly expensive to stay at or get there. There are family friendly attractions to go to such as Carowinds, the US National Whitewater Center, and NASCAR Hall of Fame since SELF occurs while school is out in the summer and many people take their entire family along. It is an easy day drive from Atlanta, Knoxville, Asheville, Greensboro, Raleigh, Durham, Columbia (SC), Charleston, and Greenville-Spartanburg. Charlotte-Douglas International Airport is a major air hub and top 25 airport worldwide in passenger volume. Particularly for those using US Air, it can be VERY cheap to fly to SELF. JFK to CLT is typically less than $150 round trip on US Air if booked early enough, for example.
Will the event ever be elsewhere?
Possibly, but probably not too often. SELF is open to being elsewhere once in a while so that people throughout the southeast can have a chance to easily attend an event. Alternative locations which make the most sense are Birmingham, Atlanta, Greenville-Spartanburg, and Raleigh. While other locations such as Myrtle Beach, Columbia, Knoxville, Greensboro, and Asheville aren’t out of the question, a very attractive package would necessary to offset making travel more difficult for SELF’s organizers, attendees, and sponsors.
Why don’t you have a Code of Conduct or Sexual Harassment Policy?
It is presumed that those attending the conference are of sufficient moral grounding and intelligence to be well behaved. If we have to explain how you should behave, you probably don’t belong in the first place. In addition, most Code of Conduct and Sexual Harassment Policies attempt to be all-encompassing (but never are) and are deliberately written so vague as to be wielded as either an iron first or so flimsy as to be non-existent. SELF’s policy can be summed up as this: if it becomes apparent you need a policy to know how to behave at the event, you’ll probably already have been ejected from the event.