At DebConf10, there was a BOF entitled "DebConf & Debian", discussing about the similarities and differences of Debian and DebConf. At times this became a little bit heated as people wanted more integration and transparency.
I don't think the differences are that great. I don't even see them as separate. I see DebConf as a Debian team, one that has to release every year on a short time frame. Things are rushed, things are not perfect, but we welcome anyone who wants to help.
It's my goal to start a series of posts on DebConf, in the spirit of other teams documenting themselves and calling for contributors. I hope to let people know what's the current state of things, how you can get involved.
If you want to get involved, join #debconf-team on OFTC, or subscribe to the debconf-team mailing list at http://lists.debconf.org/ . There are many people who would like to help you get involved. Right now (post-debconf) is a bit of an idle time, but one of the few times that big changes can be made. DebConf is a do-ocracy, if you'd like there to be a change, the best way is to help implement it. There may be some resistance, but we (at least I) will help to find a solution.
These posts are my take on things, I can't claim to speak for the DebConf team. I don't know all of the history of DebConf, and I may get things wrong. I'll run these posts by the rest of the DebConf team for suggestions/corrections, but there may still be things wrong. You should consider anything useful to be thanks to the DebConf team, and anything wrong to be my mistake.
I've only been involved in DebConf for two years. I first got involved as part of DebConf10, but spent most of 2009 working on global management things for DebConf9. This year, I spent more time with local on-the-ground tasks. I'd like to keep being involved next year - and hopefully keep improving, with your help.