Re: 11 Questions to answer

Forwarding this for Amy, Should have forward this earlier to the list.


Here are my answers to the 11 questions posted. Thanks for sending them so 

> 1) Why are you running for Board of Directors?

I am running for the Board of Directors because I am dedicated to, and 
personally invested in  the GNOME project. I feel that GNOME has the 
potential to be the real future of computing, and I can help make it the 
standard for today's and tomorrow's computer users.

> 2) Do you have leadership and committee experience? If so, please explain.

I have lots of leadership and committee experience, stemming both from my
personal and professional life. I am an Information Architect by trade, a
profession that traditionally takes on a management role. At the last
company I worked for, I manned and led many committes, all of which made a
major difference in how the company now runs. When I do freelance work, I
often manage teams of people with varying skills, creating documents that 
aid their communication with each other.

Regarding committee work on GNOME, I helped spearhead the guadec website 
redesign, and provided the documentation to unite the team. I am also on 
the GUADEC4 planning committee, and am looking forward to helping plan the 
next conference.

> 3) How familiar are you with the day-to-day happenings of GNOME?  How much
> do you follow and participate in the main GNOME mailing lists?

You bet I am! As many of you know, I married into Ximian, and thus am at
the office every day. Being at the office often grants me the opportunity
to listen to the grievances, concerns, and ideas of many of the core GNOME
hackers.  I am on #gnome daily (amy), have an advogato account (xkranda),
subscribe to gnome-web-list and participate often. I attended the Summit
this past summer, and am looking forward to attending GUADEC 4.

> 4) One of the primary tasks of the Board of Directors is to act as a
> liaison between the GNOME Foundation and other organizations and companies
> to find out how the two groups can work together to their mutual benefit.
> Do you feel you would be good at understanding other people and companies
> and finding ways that GNOME can collaborate with other companies and
> organizations to benefit both groups and their users?

A major part of my profession depends on my ability to relate to clients, 
partner companies, potential partners and users. One of my best qualities 
is my ability to communicate effectively with many different types of 
people, from computer programmers to users to corporate officials. I have 
training specifically regarding interviewing/observing users and analyzing 
data, and know that I can use that training and experience to benefit the 
project and its users.

> 5) One of the responsibilities and powers of the Board of Directors is to
> identify organizational weaknesses and needs of GNOME and to create
> committees, appoint coordinators of these committees, and act as liaisons
> with them.  What do you believe are the current weak points of GNOME as an
> organization, and if you were able to, how would you change the GNOME
> organization?

Perhaps the weakest point in the GNOME organization is the very newness of
the organization and the Foundation board; many people aren't clear about
the role of the Foundation board and what it can do for GNOME and the
hackers. I'd like to change the organization by focusing on communication
between itself and the hackers to create a united front.

I also believe that a weakness the organization has suffered is the lack 
ofrepresentation of the non-hacker volunteers. I seek to represent the 
needs of, and hear the voices of our designers, organizational and 
corporate volunteers, in addition to addressing the needs of the hacker 

> 6) The board meets for one hour every two weeks to discuss a handful of
> issues.  Thus, it is very important that the board can very quickly and
> concisely discuss each topic and come to consensus on each item for
> discussion. Are you good at working with others, who sometimes have very
> differing opinions than you do, to reach consensus and agree on actions?

I believe that I am great at working with others and coming to consensus 
quickly regarding heated matters where people don't agree. Many areas of 
my life depend on the ability to come to a compromise that would benefit 
both (or many) sides of a confilicting issue. In fact, on the last 
professional project I undertook, I was told by the creative director that 
without my direction and input the project would have taken months longer 
than it did.

> 7) Often Directors have to draft policies, form committees, find
> weaknesses or approaching problems of GNOME and work on solutions, and act
> as liaison with various groups (both within and outside GNOME) and
> companies.  Please name three or more areas which you feel are important
> for the Board to address over the next year and which you would enjoy
> contributing some of your time to help get things started and possibly act
> as a liaison between the Board and any other committees, groups, or
> companies if relevant.

The upcoming year is a very exciting one for GNOME. In order to send the 
project to greater heights, there are many issues that must be addressed. 
The issue that is dearest to my heart is GNOME and its user base. 
Usability for the GNOME desktop and its applications should be brought to 
the forefront, moreso than ever before.  As a usability professional, I 
would definitely enjoy acting as a representative for the GNOME usability 
front, and act as a liason between the Board and the hackers, designers 
and usability people, providing whatever research is necessary.

The GNOME documentation project is one that, especially now, needs extra 
attention. I am interested in not only ensuring that necessary 
documentation is available and useful, but that it is widely known where 
the documentation resides. I plan, if elected, to continue in the 
documentation effort, and use my skills to help the project with new and 
creative forms of helpful documents, and to aid the web committee in 
creating a better way to find required documents online.

Getting the message and the mantra of GNOME out to the public is going to 
be a very important focus in the coming year.  GNOME, Linux, and PC events 
are key places where GNOME can get out its message. Currently, I am a 
volunteer for planning GUADEC4 this June; I am looking forward to planning 
for GNOME events in the future, as well as establishing GNOME's place in 
wider conferences.

Now that GNOME is a serious product that is widely used in communities 
outside that of the core hackers, the responsibility of establishing a 
recognizable brand is a new challenge that must be addresed in the coming 
year. I plan to use my experience with brand management and promotion in 
order to establish the GNOME brand as reliable, innovative and smart. I 
would like to spearhead a project to promote GNOME as a brand on the 
Desktop as well as related software.

> 8) Do you consider yourself diplomatic?  Would you make a good
> representative for the GNOME Foundation to the Membership, media, public,
> and organizations and corporations the GNOME Foundation works with?

It's difficult to sound diplomatic while claiming one's self to be so, but 
I believe that I am a hard worker, a fair judge, an accurate 
representation of a GNOME community member, a pragmatic speaker, and a 
person who genuinely believes in GNOME and Free Software as the future of 
computing. I believe that, for the reasons stated, that I would make a 
great representative for GNOME to its members, partners, public, corporate 
sponsors and potential sponsors, fellow organizations and, of course, to 
the media.

I intend to fully and whole-heartedly represent GNOME to the world as the 
best solution for today's and tomorrow's computing problems. I am proud to 
be a GNOME user, for I know that every time I turn on my computer I am 
working to further the cause of Free Software and the GNOME project.

> 9) Will you represent the interests of GNOME and the GNOME Foundation over
> all other personal or corporate interests you may represent?

It's tempting to simply answer "Yes" to this question. However, I think it 
prudent to give an example of how dedicated I am to GNOME and the 
Foundation, over other professional projects and personal interests. For 
the past year, I did professional (aka: for pay) work for a foundation, 
designing and developing a website for them. During contract negotiations, 
though I came into the project as a freelance worker, I was concerned that 
I would not be able to tend to my commitment to GNOME and the web project 
while doing professional work. I negotiated to have a clause put in my 
contract that specifically cited the GNOME Foundation, so that I may 
continue my work on GNOME and while pursuing professional work.

If anyone wants to see that contract, I'd be happy to show it to them.

> 10) Will you be willing and have the available time to take on and
> complete various tasks that the Board needs accomplished?

Not only am I willing to accomplish tasks the Board needs doing, my last 
professional project has ended, leaving me unemployed. Thus, I have 
copious amounts of spare time, just waiting to be filled. I am looking 
forward to taking on the responsibility of becoming a part of the 
Foundation board.
> 11) One of the ingredient for success in an Open Source project such as GNOME
> is committed and dedicated memberships. How would you propose to promote new 
> membership, and encourage commitment of existing membership to make the GNOME 
> desktop the desktop of choice? [ Hints: the number of Foundation members have 
> reduced from 460 in 2001 to approximately 300 in 2002 ]

I feel that the best way to assure committed and dedicated memberships, 
improving our numbers and keeping the members we have is, in addition to 
having a great product, to promote GNOME, the desktop and the Foundation 
at every opportunity.  Many Linux users today are using KDE for their 
chosen desktop, but solely use GTK applications. Perhaps the reason for 
this is that GNOME is not traditionally the default desktop for many Linux 
distributions, and most users do not know that they can change to a new 
one, or how to go about doing so. Of the users that do use GNOME, many do 
not know about the Foundation or the activities that they may participate 

I say, let's get the word out!  Not only should the website be linked 
to in a prominent place on the Desktop, but the Foundation and its 
activities should be highlighted on We must let people know 
they have a choice, and that even if they aren't hackers, they can 
volunteer and become members.

Right now, it is not clear to the stranger to GNOME what membership in the
Foundation entails or what it even means. Communication, both on the
website and via word-of-mouth, is key here. I would personally like to 
volunteer my services in helping people understand what it is to be a 
member, and what members can do. Clearing up the confusion of mailing 
lists - helping new members understand what lists they should subscribe 
to - and helping our new members understand where they can go to talk to 
people about GNOME would certainly aid the Foundation in retaining and 
attracting new members.

The grassroots approach is just one piece of the puzzle, however. We 
should make it our mission to make GNOME the default desktop for all the 
major Linux distributions. We can accomplish this through corporate 
contacts, and most importantly, by creating the strongest and best desktop 
environment in the Linux arena. We should make it a priority to keep 
working to improve the GNOME desktop and its applications in order to 
create a consistent, quality product that we can all be proud of.

> The GNOME Foundation Membership & Elections Committee
>   Eric Baudais
>   Andy Tai
>   Ghee Teo
>   Vincent Untz

Amy Kahn

home: (617) 879-0064	1572 Beacon St, Apt 2
cell: (646) 234-8109	Brookline, MA 02446

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