Re: Sponsorship for hackfests

On Tue, 2009-03-31 at 09:37 +0200, Dave Neary wrote:
> Hi Philip,
> I agree with you that when the foundation has spent money on
> initiatives, the people who have benefitted have not always done
> everything they might have to publicise the support and ensure that
> people could see a clear value to the spending. The difficulty that
> Lucas has had getting articles & reports about events for the annual
> report testifies to this, as does the long lay-off in GNOME Journal
> editions.

> I believe that the foundation board at least does request things like
> this - they've asked people to blog about events where they're funded to
> attend, and (as you say) I've seen proposals that attendees do
> interviews during co-ordinated events like the hackfest.

Push for it, in a much more formal way. Don't just request them. It's
the foundation's money: you can request things like this. We voted for
you people so that you can.

And if people don't like how you guys handle things like this, they
should just vote different next year.

You are already planning to start paying a sysadmin. In a similar way
I'm guessing you can pay a journalist writing the articles and editing
the interviews. I must say I have few experience with what is involved
in this, so I can't comment myself on how this should be planned and
executed exactly. I'm sure we have people who do in our group.

> But we don't have a whip, and we don't have a full-time editor to go
> around and constantly remind people of the things they promised they'd
> do. In a volunteer organisation, the members need to take personal
> responsibility for things like this, more often than not.

Sure you have a whip: flight tickets.

Don't pay them unless you have your interviews. You can even make a
contract that says that. I also don't see what would be wrong with
making clear agreements with participants. Especially not if every
participant knows why the agreement is made. If the context of the
agreement is reasonable, most of them will (I think) agree.

I must note that when I participated myself I did note a sense of
responsibility among the developers participating. Nobody was trying to
be on a free holiday, everybody worked hard. But in their passion and
being busy they wont all remember that they should also help with the
interviews and writing blogs unless you make this as a requirement for
the foundation's help.

Clarity is I think the keyword. 

Philip Van Hoof, freelance software developer
home: me at pvanhoof dot be 
gnome: pvanhoof at gnome dot org

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