Tony did a very nice job moderating our closing discussion on “CITRT: Where do we go from here?” Some conclusions:
1. When we get together in future, vendors will be invited and allowed to speak during the roundtable sessions. However, we strongly encourage vendors to send IT, engineering, product development, or consulting people – not sales people. We want to relate as peers with the upper managers who run the data centers, lead the software development, and manage the engineers. Regardless of title, we will start throwing things at vendors if they start getting “sales-y” and they won’t be invited back. We know when we’re being pitched, and it will make us very cranky! Also, when we’re talking about a vendor or competitor, that’s the time for them to just shut up, listen, and take a ton of notes. That seems fair enough. We absolutely require the ability to speak openly in our sessions without worrying if we’re saying the wrong thing or hurting someone’s feelings. As far as I’m concerned, people like Dean Lisenby, Curtis Simmons, and Nick Nicholaou (and others) have demonstrated that they understand our community and know how to be a vital and healthy part of it. Any vendor who patterns their behavior after those guys will be on very safe ground.
2. Our next CITRT will be in connection with MinistryTECH in April 2008. Can’t wait!
3. We will plan on two national CITRT events per year – spring and fall. Budget accordingly. Plan to come to at least one of these events each year. If you have multiple staff, you can send some to one and some to the other in order to keep things running back at your home church while others are away at the RoundTable.
4. The CITRT events might be hooked on to other conferences (such as MinistryTECH), but they will be in churches, not convention centers or hotels. A big part of the experience for us is seeing and being in the host church. Let’s not lose that.
5. Rather than starting yet more groups, associations, websites, etc., let’s look for technical ways to aggregate and leverage existing structures (tagging, blogrolling, feed aggregating, etc.). Eric Busby’s talk on Thursday morning spoke directly to that idea. I couldn’t agree more. See also the thoughtful post from Jason Reynolds on this topic.
To those of you who honored us by coming to Church of the Resurrection, thank you. It meant more than you can know. God is in this my friends. Let’s keep it going.
I disagree with allowing vendors to speak during the roundtable. I don’t want to hear from vendors during this time. I want to hear from my peers. And believe me my peers have plenty of things to say. Most of the time I can’t get a word in :)Any vedor who is present at CITRT is going to be a sales person.I hope “hooked on” to other conferences doesn’t mean replaced by them. CITRT is uniqely Church IT focused and IT 🙂 needs to stay that way.There’s no reason why we can’t have the home page of citrt.org be the aggregate of all the other CITRT blogs out there along with a space to provide centralized posting of messages.–Jeffrey Thompson <email@example.com>http://itdiscuss.orgCITRT 24/7 irc://irc.freenode.net/citrt