Re: 11 Questions to answer
- From: Tim Ney <ten gnome org>
- To: Ghee Seng Teo <Ghee Teo sun com>
- Cc: foundation-list gnome org
- Subject: Re: 11 Questions to answer
- Date: 25 Nov 2002 17:25:48 -0500
> 1) Why are you running for Board of Directors?
I like the people who make up the GNOME Foundation - bright, dedicated,
hard-working and fun :-) While running the organization as a democratic
membership organization may not always be the most expedient, I prefer
it to having policy dictated by a single person or small group. While,
as a board member I would receive a vote at board meetings, I support
the way in which the foundation board has functioned by consensus.
> 2) Do you have leadership and committee experience? If so, please explain.
I have worked with several non-profit organizations as a founder, board
member, volunteer and staff person. I enjoy working on committees and
am comfortable acting in a leadership or coordinator capacity.
> 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?
As Executive Director of the foundation, I now interact with hackers,
companies, governments and other .orgs. I also come in contact with
press and individuals interested in learning about, supporting and using
GNOME. I subscribe to some lists and watch others in the archives.
> 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?
This is something I already do as a foundation employee. I've gotten
good feedback. There is a spectrum of philosophical, political and
commercial interests in the GNOME community. While this would be a
challenge for any organization, it is rewarding when individuals and
groups can work toward the goals of GNOME development and deployment.
The tremendous strides made in accessibility is an example. GNOME
Foundation is still a very young organization and there is a lot more to
do and to perfect.
> 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
We are fine tuning the committee structure (witness the release and
membership process this year.) The .org chart was helpful in getting
people on the same page. However, we can use more new volunteers
(gnome-love) and need to pay attention to keeping a friendly, open door
for new folks. This will make the organization stronger by distributing
the work load from the shoulders of a few. I think the organization has
been done a really good job.
> 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?
Consensus is the glue of the GNOME Foundation. It has worked really
well for the first two boards. I feel comfortable with it and committed
to keeping decisions being made in this way.
> 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.
It's beneficial if one of the board members serves on each committee.
This was true with the release committee and could help with other
projects like the website. Nat, Jody and Federico have already pointed
out that one of the responsibilities of a non-profit board is to work on
fundraising. As Jim showed, in getting a machine for CVS, an important
role for the foundation is to obtain resources for GNOME. The work that
has started with the lawyers on copyright policy is an important topic
for next year's board agenda. Personally, I think the foundation needs
to be very proactive in promoting development and localization around
the globe. Enterprise is a grateful recipient of a free desktop.
However, it is also the foundation's mission to develop ways of growing
development and deployment on the other side of the digital divide - in
developing countries and poor inner city and rural areas of North
America. Finally, there is no substitute for face-to-face interaction
and holding smaller GNOME events, like the Summit, in addition to
> 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?
Yes, I find being diplomatic works.
> 9) Will you represent the interests of GNOME and the GNOME Foundation over
> all other personal or corporate interests you may represent?
It is really important to build and protect (in marketing parlance)
GNOME's brand with the same effort that goes into creating the code.
Companies will put their own brand and bottom line first. I'd like to
keep GNOME and the foundation's interests first.
> 10) Will you be willing and have the available time to take on and
> complete various tasks that the Board needs accomplished?
> 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 ]
As others have said, I don't think that the quantity of memberships is
the primary measurement of GNOME's success. That said, the discussion
about what is membership and who should be a member needs to continue.
Should there be more benefits to membership? The more presence the
foundation can have promoting GNOME at universities, the better to grow
our developer and membership base.
Happy holidays & don't forget to vote!
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