Re: Sponsorship for hackfests

Although it is disappointing that the GTK+ Hackfest was canceled,
the GNOME Foundation still plans to support many projects and other
events.  Considering the economic times, it probably is not surprising
that some of our plans will be affected.

To help address this, the GNOME Foundation has been active recently in
developing new sources of revenue.  The "Friends of GNOME" website has
been enhanced, and I encourage people to consider contributing to the
projects that the GNOME Foundation supports.

Also, we are working on making GNOME branded merchandise available.
So, these sorts of efforts should help.

There are probably other additional avenues that we could explore to
augment our budget.  Perhaps, for example, we could be more active in
seeking grants.  Or perhaps we could be more aggressive in finding more
sponsors.  Currently most of GNOME's sponsors are technical
organizations which use GNOME software.  Perhaps other types of
organizations, like humanitarian ones, might be interested in some
level of sponsorship if they were approached in the right way.  Though,
exploring new avenues of funding would probably make more sense to
discuss on the marketing-list.


Philip Van Hoof says:
In Behdad's mail on gtk-devel-list, Behdad explains on why the
foundation has decided to cut back on hackfests. This is a fair and
reasonable reason, by the way (his last mail in the thread explains the
financial aspect of it pretty well).

I think that during those hackfests people work on problems that
companies, who donate sponsorship-money, are interested in.

I fear that we have done a bad job at explaining them what the things
were that we worked on. Maybe we didn't make the scope of those
hackfests broad enough.

I for example remember that in Berlin we had the idea of putting
interviews with the hackers online. I never found those.

This should be something the Foundation pushes for (given that they
funded many hackers' flights I think it's fair that the Foundation gets
at least some interviews with the hackers, to put online, in return).

I think that if we'd include a few of the young projects into the
hackfests, while explaining clearly to companies who are interested in
these projects that our hackers work on these projects and that their
sponsorship-money is used to for example pay for those hackfests, that
we'll get at least some of those 90% sponsor offers back.

That way they'll know that their sponsorship has a return of investment
in code too (not just advertisement at conferences and on the website).

Right now I can imagine that it's not always clear for sponsoring
companies to estimate what they get in return. In economic hard times
that means your sponsoring gets slashed from their budgets, indeed.

Candidate projects that come to my mind include: GObject-introspection,
Vala, Clutter, Tracker, GeoClue, Poky, DConf,  WebKit, ...

I'm sure I'm forgetting about a few hundred projects and I know gobject-
introspection has been among the hackfest projects.

To decide the projects we need a group that decides on how our "horizon
towards the future" should look like. Which is also something we lack at
GNOME in my humble opinion. (for many years)

I don't think waiting for better economic times is even an option.

Let's instead solve this.

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