Re: Questions for the candidates
- From: Brian Cameron <Brian Cameron Sun COM>
- To: foundation-list gnome org
- Subject: Re: Questions for the candidates
- Date: Fri, 29 May 2009 15:13:09 -0500
I will leave the answers to the original 24 questions on my Wiki in
case anybody wants to read.
Following are my answers to the abbreviated list of questions:
> 1. For outgoing board members: what have been the upsides/good things
> from your previous stint at the Board which you would like to see
> carried forward into this term ?
Working with the Foundation CEO, Stormy Peters, has been the most
exciting development in the past term of the GNOME Foundation. As Stormy
learns her way around the GNOME community and the board further adjusts
to having more employees, I think there will be a lot of opportunities
to get things done in the next term. A lot has been done to develop a
stronger Foundation, especially in the areas of marketing and travel
planning. We need to continue to develop strong teams of volunteers to
help with getting tasks done and getting people more involved with the
> 2. If you are a new candidate: what specific SMART
> (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SMART_(project_management)) goals would
> you like to put for yourself? Or, in other words, how would you like
> to measure yourself and, let others know how you are doing ?
I think the most important goal is to make myself available to get tasks
presented to the board completed in a timely fashion, and to take
responsibility for enough tasks that my contributions adds value to the
process. Goals include:
* I would like to fill the role of an officer in the next term,
perhaps as treasurer or secretary.
* Continue working in a management capacity with Stormy.
* Work to improve the transparency of board activities and to help
develop a stronger Foundation which provides more significant
services to members and the overall GNOME community.
* Getting the Foundation more focused on process improvement so that
we deliver the highest quality desktop with minimal effort.
* Continue making GNOME events successful.
* To foster a stronger community of volunteers to help with making
GNOME the best desktop for users needs and to better encourage new
people to get involved with the community
> 3. What part of being a board member do you think will be most
> difficult for you? How do you plan to compensate for that?
Although I have had some experience in the past term with organizing
events, it is something that is new to me. I plan to focus energy on
getting more involved with event planning in the next term. Since many
events are annual, I think that my experience on the board for the past
term will help.
> 4. Do you have any experience on management teams or boards at
> non-profits? If so, can you give an example of a change you affected
> in that role? If not, what makes you think that you will be a good
> board member? What single change do you want to affect during your
I have served in the past term on the GNOME Foundation board. I think
the single-most important change I want to affect in the next term is to
revitalize the Foundation by helping to build a stronger marketing
community and to enhance what it means to be a part of the Foundation. I
frequently brain-storm with Stormy about these topics, and there has
already been discussion about these ideas on the marketing-list.
However, there is much more to do. Adding additional structure to the
Foundation so that it is easier for members to gain recognition for
their work, and to develop new opportunities for volunteers to engage in
> 5. What are the specific areas of the Foundation's focus and strategy
> where you think you can contribute as a change agent ?
I think that developing a stronger marketing and usability communities
is a critical area of work right now within the GNOME community. As we
approach GNOME 3.0, a lot of our focus and strategy should be based on
input from the marketing and usability teams. With new technologies such
as clutter, it is important to focus on things like the GNOME Human
Interface Guidelines (HIG) and make sure GNOME has a solid base.
> 6. Do you think we need to make the being a member of the Foundation
> feel more valuable, and how do you think we should do that? What would
> you change about the Foundation to make it more useful to members.
I think that it is important for the Foundation to explore new ways to
provide services and value to Foundation members. The Foundation needs
to ensure the community is provided with the tools that people need to
further improve the community. For example, marketing materials so that
community members can get more directly involved with marketing.
Likewise, there are opportunities to develop teams of volunteers to get
things done, such as system administration. Developing such teams and
providing volunteers with ways to gain recognition in the community are
important. Also, we need to improve process and infrastructure so that
board activities are done in a transparent fashion so that everybody in
the community can participate and help where it is needed.
> 7. Do you have any plans on how can the board help bring the GNOME
> platform and desktop in the top of opensource desktop and mobile
> application development?
To do this, I think it is important to explain how this benefits end
users. Free software inherently has numerous benefits, though there are
real challenges in explaining these benefits to users. Promoting the
humanitarian aspects of free software is an important part of getting
the message across. Developing better communication with governments and
organizations which can benefit from choosing free software, and who can
help contribute (e.g. via grants) is another important part.
> 8. Do you think the GNOME Foundation and the GNOME projects get
> enough representation at events? If not, how would you fix that?
I do not. I believe that when people receive travel subsidies from the
Foundation, more of an effort should be made to ensure that those people
promote the Foundation and encourage people to get involved, perhaps by
donating to the Friends of GNOME program. We should, for example,
provide presentation templates and slides that ensure that more
promotion of GNOME and the Foundation happens at events. People who
receive travel funding should be expected to include such slides in
> 9. What, in your view, are the top 5 requirements (from a strategic
> perspective) for the GNOME communities world-wide ?
* To make sure that GNOME communities are getting the word out about
the advantages of free software, and the GNOME desktop.
* To provide forums to help grow stronger GNOME communities.
* To plan and participate in local events and make sure that GNOME is
represented. Providing people in the community to develop
face-to-face time is important.
* To approach local organizations (government, educational,
corporate, clubs, etc.) to help develop and promote new
opportunities for GNOME and free software.
* Effective communication skills.
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