Devcon is coming in 2022 (along with something new
Meet the new Devcon Archive
Devcon’s impact goes beyond just the physical event, and with that in mind, we’ve completely revamped the Devcon archive. Changes include an improved UX, better discoverability of content, reduced reliance on YouTube, more decentralized content via IPFS, and community involvement in curation.
Through all of this, we hope Devcon can continue to be an unparalleled educational resource to learn about the past, present, and future of the ecosystem. Read on to learn more about what’s new (and to try to earn a POAP), or check out the site for yourself now.
A Curated Content Hub
Based on preliminary user research with the original archive implementation, users found it difficult to navigate the hundreds of Devcon videos from each edition. Content discoverability and guidance were lacking, and talks were provided with little to no context or metadata.
One common thread that we heard from the feedback sessions was that specific talks were instrumental in understanding critical concepts. People re-visited those talks regularly through the archive, but only because they had been initially exposed to the session on the event schedule, or had actually attended the session.
And as much as the live sessions are core to the Devcon experience, the influx of parallel content makes it very difficult for attendees to participate in all the sessions that they wish to attend. For that reason, other people rely on video playbacks to catch up on the content after the event.
Additionally, curated content was repeatedly mentioned as a way to help expose users to new ideas and fresh perspectives that would have otherwise been largely ignored. One of the most consistent positive pieces of feedback that we continuously receive related to the Devcon in-person experience is the serendipitous learning and ideas that the attendees experience when they engage with content they had not previously planned on attending. We wanted to capitalize on this opportunity and allow the community to help craft this moment of delight through suggested playlists on niche areas of content expertise. If you are interested in helping with this, please check out the Road to Devcon Quest ahead for community curated playlists.
Making Content More Discoverable
From a user-perspective, our goal was to make the Devcon archive be as easy as possible to navigate, filter, and access content based on your specific interest and skill level.
The new archive has been rebuilt from the ground up with a mobile-first implementation, allowing you to access your favorite Ethereum developer content on any device. Due to the comprehensive amount of metadata now available on the archive, you are able to search and filter videos with a variety of inputs. Easily search content based on the speaker, talk descriptions, devcon tracks, keywords, level of expertise or the Devcon event editions. You can also access a wide array of curated and suggested playlists to help discover interesting and engaging content.
Note: If you are a speaker featured on the Devcon archive and would like to help improve the content description (or wish to edit your speaker biography) please make a PR directly on the archive github page, or contact us via email.
Decentralize It All!
One of the core objectives of the Devcon team this year is to help dog-food and integrate core web3 technologies that provide clear benefit to attendees and online participants.
Internally, our reliance on centralized platforms was a concern, due to the risk of deplatforming and censorship of services and websites becoming more prevalent, we wanted to make sure that all the Devcon content was censorship resistant, accessible globally, and persistent at all times for interested individuals to engage with.
For this reason, we decided to fully integrate IPFS as a part of the Devcon archive experience. IPFS is a distributed system for storing and accessing files, websites, applications, and data. Learn more about IPFS here. You can now find all the past Devcon content hosted on IPFS, and easily accessible through the archive via the IPFS video player tab. We also hope to see users pin their favorite content on IPFS to make it more accessible, and to signal their preference around the type of content they enjoy the most and wish to share with others.
Special thanks to Andrew and Carson from the Textile team, and to Dietrich, Adin and Molly from Protocol Labs for their continued guidance around IPFS and Filecoin. We also owe gratitude to the EF Devops team for taking the heavy load of managing and uploading the large amount of videos on IPFS.
Road to Devcon Quests
To mark the continuous journey towards Devcon, and to encourage community involvement, we will be adding two additional quests related to the Devcon archive and the great content that exists on the Road to Devcon quests.
Pin the Archive
To help make accessibility to the content more censorship resistant and decentralized, we hope to see a lot more of the Devcon content pinned by the users utilizing the archive. To ensure that content persists on IPFS, and is not deleted during garbage collection (a process to remove stale content), data can be pinned to one or more IPFS nodes. Pinning gives you control over disk space and data retention. Users can use that control to pin any content they want to remain on IPFS indefinitely. If you are one of the first 100 people to pin your favorite sessions to IPFS and reach out to us on our Road to Devcon Discord, we will issue you a unique, limited run POAP. Learn more about pinning, and about participating in the Road to Devcon Quest here.
Community participants should be provided an equal opportunity to help curate the content on the Devcon archive. We are encouraging all interested parties to submit curated playlists that provide insight into a core subject area or craft a historical narrative that can be easily discerned by newcomers or individuals looking to dig deeper into a specific topic.
Here are some examples of curated playlists: The Emergence of Smart Contract Languages, Execution Layer. Please craft your playlists and submit a PR on the Devcon archive github. If your playlist is chosen, you will be granted a unique POAP as a part of the Road to Devcon Quests. Learn more about participating in the Quest here and or access the github here.
We continue to see opportunities to improve the archive, but want to hear your feedback on what would add the most value. As Devcon approaches, we will continue to integrate user accounts to help you create your own custom personalized playlists, favorite talks and much more. We also plan on integrating the Devcon live-streaming process closely to the archive to ensure that the content is easily accessible immediately after the next Devcon, with the relevant supplementary information.
If you have any additional ideas to help improve the Devcon experience or the archive, please check out the Devcon Improvement Proposal Process to learn how you can be an integral part of the Devcon planning this year.
Kudos to the Devcon and Web teams for pushing the project forward