Re: Questions for the candidate

> 1. Judging from the comments posted here
> ( comments
> area), it seems as though most people are confused
> about the purpose of
> the GNOME Foundation and its board. How will you, as
> a member of the
> board, try to clear up confusion and outline a clear
> direction and
> purpose for the Foundation?

There has been an assumption that by publishing the
minutes of the board's meetings, that we are
communicating to the membership the things we are
working on.  The fact that this question got asked
points to a need to communicate more. So that would be
one item to address.  This is an important enough
issue, that I'd hate to make some off the cuff

I would like to see this issue opened for discussion
with the membership and then make a plan from there. 
One critical thing is to get more people involved in
the workings of the GF.  It's not practical to think
that 12 people are going to make everything happen on
their own.

2. What do you see as the most important thing that
the board accomplishes, and what do you think is the
area of the board's activity where you could improve

The board acts as spokespeople and point people for
sponsoring corporations, government, media and other
fundraising items.  We do that at least competently. 
It acts as guiding body for the direction and
activities of the foundation.  We've been able to make
some big decisions in the past year.  

The board is falling into an expectation gap - We
expect ourselves to do more and others expect more. 
But really, what I outlined above is the most
important thing the board can do.  In most
non-profits, the board helps with fundraising and to
make major decisions affecting the direction of the

I'd like to see two things:  1) the board
concentrating on fundraising.  If we could raise
enough funds to hire two extra people, one marketing
and one government relations/grant writing - we could
gain some real ground.  

2) We need to get more grassroots with the
organization.  I think the membership needs to be the
primary participators/leaders of committees in charge
of marketing, attracting new contributors, etc.  Board
members would take part in the committees, but not run
> 3. What is the number one priority for the GNOME
> project now, in your
> opinion? What do you think you can do as a board
> member to work towards
> that goal?

There has been a lot of work behind the scenes in
government relations - and we're seeing a real payoff
in that.  I've helped out in this area, doing
conference calls, meetings etc.  I'd like to see the
board concentrate on really being the face(s) of the
GF and doing more in the way of fundraising, business
and government relations. Also, see above.

4. What do you think is the most important market
> for GNOME over the
> next year or two, and what do you feel you can do to
> help get GNOME
> better penetrated into that market?

Clearly, we're gaining real toeholds in government,
education, emerging markets.  I'd like to see that
continue.  I'd like to raise enough money to hire
someone to handle this area full time (Tim has done a
great job, but he has other responsibilities as well).
I'd also like to see a committee formed that will help
in this very important area.

5. What unique aspect will you bring to the job? 
I'm a marketing dweeb, with good instincts for this
stuff.  A lot of what I've done for the GF has been in
the background, talking with media, sponsors,
government, etc.  

6. How would you feel about moving to a system of
 Preferential Voting?  

I'm not sure what that would buy us.  We should always
go for the option that is both the simplest and the
most effective.  If preferential voting is that
option, then fine.  If it isn't, then we need to
either stick to the current model or find one that is
simple and effective.

7. How do you think you could motivate the rest of
 the board, if and when the other directors have other
time pressures? 

We all have time pressures.  I think next year we
should apply the basics of project management to the
board.  Set clear objectives in the begninning (write
a plan) and break it down into a timeline.

8. What one problem could you hope to solve this year?

Capitalizing on the talents and manpower of the
membership to rapidly move GNOME forward.  Also, raise
some money for marketing, etc.

9. What would you do to increase community
participation in the GNOME community and GNOME

My idea for committees has been discussed on the
foundation list.  That would increase community
involvement and I think then trickle into the
elections.  The other thing we as a whole group need
to get better at is recognizing the hard work of
people.  The elections committee does an awesome job,
as do a number of other groups (GUADEC committee,
> 10. Should Gnome be marketed as a separate
component? Or should it be actively promoted as a part
of the offerings in a commercial software
> stack ?
> (Separate component in the sense *a DE in its own
> way and with its own
> ecosystem*)

Both.  Being part of commercial offerings lends
credibility to the technology.  But we need to make
sure that GNOME does not disappear into these, but
keeps its own identity as well.  

> Let the debate begin...
> -thanks-
> Sayamindu
> _______________________________________________
> foundation-list mailing list
> foundation-list gnome org

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