Hi to all,
I'm catching up on the missed mails atm.
I must say that this is a most interesting subject.
As far as my opinion goes:
The organization an roles are already split up quite well.
Be aware that there can't be too many groups in a small pool of
(currently) active members!
What the ubuntu-be list is missing is transparency.
The information on who's doing what, when, where, how, etc.. are already
stockpiled somewhere on the wiki, ubuntu-be site, launchpad or the
mailing lis archives.
You can even find a history of the financial status somewhere out there.
The problem in the first place is that it's hard to find the things
you're searching for.
As a result, it's harder to have a global overview.
This makes it not only harder to find required information, but makes it
also harder to contribute to it.
It's also holding back the growth of the active members.
It's hard for a "new" member to find it's way trough the piled
information on the internet.
When using the wiki, mailing list or launchpad one tend to feel
himself/herself inside a chaos.
If the information would be gathered in one place, this feeling would
become a feeling of order, which still creates peace of mind, resolving
in a more stable community.
I have to note here that order does not necessarily need some kind of
leadership or individual responsibility.
I can't see any advantages of starting a 'vzw', or something similar.
The only reason that has came up till now to do so are to put people in
positions where they would be 'responsible'.
That's not what a foss community should be like.
So now I've told what, according to my humble opinion, the problem
I suppose the solution I suggest is quite obvious.
Gather all the information together on one point.
According to me, the ubuntu-be website would be the perfect spot.
There can be links to the wiki pages and launchpad items can be
integrated. (I guess there are api's for that?)
So that's all folks!
On Sun, 2009-07-12 at 09:10 +0200, Jurgen Gaeremyn wrote:
> Hi all,
> it's a long mail here...
> Jan Claeys wrote:
> > Op zaterdag 11-07-2009 om 21:07 uur [tijdzone +0200], schreef Matthew
> > Deboysere:
> > The only "mandatory management" in a "vzw" is about the legal
> > obligations, it won't change much in the day-to-day management
> > necessarily.
> Well... if some person(s) would be held responsible (legally) for the
> malfunctioning of the VZW, I assume they would be more prone to see that
> operational stuff would happen correctly too - as they would be
> addressed if there would come complaints... (not talking about "getting
> sued" or "having to pay for stuff" ... just in being the official name
> under it)
> Furthermore, having your name under a VZW not working at all... isn't
> something that lifts you up in the meritocracy...
> >> En daar loopt het fout. Een beetje structuur kan geen kwaad. Die
> >> lijst ken ik, maar 3/4 van de mensen daarop ken ik niet, hoor ik niet
> >> en doen anderen hun taken. Een vzw hoeft daarom niet, maar een
> >> verandering in structuur doet zeker niets fout. Integendeel.
> > Like I said, the wiki might be outdated... ;)
> > If needed we can change that page; we just need other people to stand up
> > and say they want to take over a responsibility.
> Mmmm... this sound as if the big problem is "updating the wiki" and the
> small side-issue is "to find new people".
> We are really having trouble finding people that commit.
> And I believe one major reason for that, is the organic structure of
> Ubuntu-be (to say it nicely).
> Let's start off with an example: when I joined this mailinglist (few
> weeks before the Intrepid release), I got here because I was looking for
> a LUG to join. Some people suggested me to join this group and ask for
> this. So I did. At the same time, the release parties were being
> organized. In the line of this discussion, I discovered HCC Mechelen,
> and said that I would be glad to come over and check out HCC. I also
> landed on the list of Ubuntu-be volunteers (my own words: but I'm new,
> I'll just look). I got on the list - I got no response on others. Jan,
> you were there too - and up to present, in the perception of the other
> members: I'm still "the spokesman" of Ubuntu-be and "an Ubuntu expert"
> in HCC Mechelen. Actually, I'm neither one of them. If they ask me: "who
> should I address if we want to organize something?" the only answer I
> can give is: "the mailinglist". Now, that's not a very friendly "person"
> - it might be, but it can be very ignorant too if accidentally nobody
> has time. As new persons joining this list are not aware of our headless
> state, I really believe they can go out very frustrated. This resulting
> in a very bad publicity for the "Ubuntu community", which is promoted as
> one of the pilars of Open Source Movements.
> Bottom line here: we need some clarity on who's taking what
> responsibilities. It's better to have a "vacant" spot, than having ghost
> names on certain responsabilities.
> >> Het idee van Jean om 'teams' op te richten die verantwoordelijk zijn
> >> voor bepaalde onderdelen vind ik een uitstekend idee en ik vind dat we
> >> daar zeker iets mee moeten doen.
> > But, officially such "responsible people" already exist (see that wiki
> > page); how will you guarantee the new responsibles will be (-> easy) and
> > remain (-> not so easy) better available?
> My previous analysis/rant aligns perfectly with this question. As we
> can't guarantee volunteers to remain in place, we could try creating an
> environment that stimulates and encourages it. In my short life on this
> list, I've seen a few solid values in this list who are very active -
> some of them with their own limitations.
> *Step 1*: Make a roster with the "jobs required" (and "jobs desired"
> next to them in a different color) crossing the available names
> (theoretically: this mailinglist or even the volunteers list). I really
> don't know if this kind of job can be done over IRC or mailinglist - but
> I don't know if a physical meeting is an option either.
> *Step 2*: Everyone can fill in the roster for themselves. Possibly
> people could also enter how long they could commit and/or their
> limitations in this (f.e.: not during exam period).
> *Step 3*: Fill out the roster and discover the gaps in actual (and
> ideally: their backup) positions. Analyse what spots don't get taken.
> What's the cause? How can we address this? For example:
> * too small actual volunteer base: we notice not enough people
> respond to this call - how could we recruit?
> * job desciption not very clear: (people will the reluctant if they
> don't know what's "in the package")
> * job load too heavy: Can we leave out these tasks? Can we reduce
> the package? Could this job be split up into subtasks?
> *Step 4*: A second "shout out" could now go to the list, asking for
> specific people to commit to the last open spots or at least to the most
> essential ones.
> But first things first: *Step 0:* get clarity in our mission and our
> means and check if they align. According to my findings on the mailing
> list and web pages I got to this result (correct me if wrong please):
> * *Mission*: Spreading awareness of Ubuntu by facilitating other
> groups to organize events, and organizing a stand at Dipro fairs.
> We're offering webspace (the wiki), promotional material (flyers,
> posters, ...) and volunteers.
> * *Means* (I'm putting some critical questions too)
> o Volunteer map
> + is there any means to know how often this map actually
> gets used? Maybe there could be a feedback system?
> + If we want the map to work, we need to promote it - if
> we want to promote it, we need to know for sure it
> works (the volunteers still are volunteers)
> o Wiki
> + what's the visitor stats on that one?
> o Mailinglist
> + I don't really remember - was there a welcome message
> briefly explaining what the list is about, and what
> it's not about?
> o Flyers and posters
> + how do they travel to their destinations?
> o Volunteers
> + how many do we actually have? How many "experts" and
> how many "regulars"?
> + Are the volunteers we have happy with their work load,
> or would they prefer a little less?
> o Some cash (is okay, this is rather facilitating - it's not
> something we have to offer to other groups, it's an internal
> * *Limitations*
> o Can we sufficiently cater the three language groups? (German
> part is painfully ignored - cause is lack of German speaking
> volunteers - Maybe just address this limitation on your
> German web page, and accept that we won't be catering that
> group. I have no eye on the French part of Belgium)
> o Do we reach our target audience (= groups) and do they reach us?
> o Are "end users" also our target? (troubleshooting and
> installing - do we have the experts? is the map alive)
> o And how about computer shops? (we're always talking about
> Ubuntu preinstalled as being the future... maybe another
> opportunity to highlight the volunteer map if it should
> work? But again: do we have the volunteers? Is the support
> map an option here?)
> o In my opinion, the volunteer map urgently needs to be
> revisited: filtered out and checked on signs of life.
> + a while ago, there was a discussion about some people
> not wanting to be spammed by being on the list. The
> opposite is true too: many people would probably want
> some feedback - just hearing from us every now and
> then would possibly spark their commitment. I'm
> greatly in favor of sending them all an "opt-in"
> e-mail and dropping all the volunteers on the list not
> responding. We might end up with only 10% of them...
> but at least we have real volunteers in that case -
> and not some impressive list with tons of volunteers
> that have more of a graveyard than of a support group.
> I very much like the step taken to create the work groups and try to
> populate them. But the underlying problems aren't addressed. Maybe this
> could be an issue on a wednesday meeting?
> As much as I like to think about this, I can't step up to take much
> responsibility here (try to do what I can) ... but I hope my thoughts
> inspire others to dig into it.
> So ... getting back on topic: becoming a VZW is not the priority right
> now. The priority is getting our structures right. Turning into a VZW
> right now could kill us.
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