Effective communication in the Fedora Community

David Nalley david at gnsa.us
Thu Nov 18 01:47:09 UTC 2010

On Wed, Nov 17, 2010 at 7:57 PM, Christofer C. Bell
<christofer.c.bell at gmail.com> wrote:
> There is no alternative because "let's just ignore the vision
> statement and not worry about implementation" is not an option that's
> available.

Sure it is. Admittedly it's an ugly option but it's an option.
The Fedora Board, as an entity, has no authority over resources other
than the Fedora trademarks. What that really means is that it's up to
the Board to either inspire/convince the community to follow the
vision that they set forward, or discover that the community has a
vision it would like to achieve and works to achieve that.

If the board 'mandates' something that the community feels is
undesirable, it has no way as an entity in and of itself to compel the
community to do something. The danger there is that eventually the
board could make itself irrelevant because the community ignores it,
or equally bad, the community leaves.

I should add, I am not saying that Mo's ideas are bad, ill considered,
or contrary to the wishes of the community, or that I don't even like
them. (I know I have actually worked on accomplishing at least one of
them) But Josh's point is well made IMO, in a volunteer organization,
unlike that of business or government, those doing the work tend to be
the decision makers. If there are vastly divergent views by those who
would be doing the work, it's very hard to lead them down that road.
Community leadership is less about what we traditionally think of
leadership as, and more about maintaining focus, seeing the bigger
picture, keeping up morale, and removing roadblocks to contribution.
Community members, paid or volunteer, are generally pretty smart about
their area of contribution, and motivated to keep moving forward. all
on their own.

In saying all of this, I am not necessarily saying you crowdsource
your vision, or the goals to get there, and honestly I doubt the
ability of surveys (does anyone really care what I and the other 12k
fedora contributors think the color scheme should be, and more
importantly, are we qualified to make it). At the same time, you have
to know what Fedora is today, the people who are doing the work. I'd
fully expect the Board, and FPL to lay out the vision for Fedora,
probably even grab a few contributors who work in specific areas and
say 'We have this vision, what step can we take in area $foo to move
things further along?'


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