[Ambassadors] Broadening how we empower community action - opening a dialog for change
ppapadeas at gmail.com
Tue Feb 15 21:01:12 UTC 2011
On Tue, Feb 15, 2011 at 9:06 PM, David Nalley <david at gnsa.us> wrote:
> On Tue, Feb 15, 2011 at 1:03 PM, inode0 <inode0 at gmail.com> wrote:
>> Fellow ambassadors,
>> As one of a large group of ambassadors and non-ambassadors who is
>> committed to empowering Fedora contributors to achieve their goals and
>> who has been working to make budget available to them to help them in
>> their endeavors I think it is time to rethink how we are trying to
>> accomplish this.
>> During the time I've been involved what might be thought of as
>> discretionary Fedora budget has been the province of the Red Hat
>> Community Architecture team and FAmSCo as portions of those funds have
>> been delegated in the past. There has been a consistent and I think
>> very positive direction of pushing budget decisions closer and closer
>> to those who need the funds throughout my years with the project.
>> There are still issues involving paying for things (who can, what is
>> needed, getting reimbursed, etc.) and those issues are being worked on
>> currently. I want to be clear those aren't the issues I am now
>> concerned about.
>> After much discussion with new and old friends from around the world
>> at FUDCon Tempe I've concluded that FAmSCo probably isn't going to be
>> the best place for non-ambassador budget decisions to happen as we
>> expand our efforts at increasing funding of various new events (FADs
>> with explicit work product to be achieved for example) as well as
>> non-event funding of efforts as they might arise.
>> While FAmSCo has done a superb job with budget issues and I expect
>> will continue to do so, as more budget decisions move from the Red Hat
>> Community Architecture team into the Fedora Project proper, to many
>> people it just feels wrong for it to flow through an ambassador group
>> to the rest of the community. As an example, for a packager who isn't
>> engaged with the ambassador community but who wants to organize a FAD
>> asking FAmSCo makes no more sense than asking the Documentation team
>> or QA. Some people are quite offended by this and while I don't think
>> they should be the reality is that they are, it just doesn't feel
>> right to them.
>> There was a subtle suggestion at FADNA last year that we consider a
>> new organization. I was resistant to this, I thought FAmSCo has stuff
>> in place and has experience dealing with budgets, etc. Now after
>> talking to more people, especially non-ambassadors, I think I was
>> wrong to be resistant. Now I think that if we can modify our structure
>> a bit to encourage more engagement from more contributors and have
>> those contributors be comfortable asking for funds we should do it.
>> There are lots of ways this could be done, I'm going to suggest one
>> possibility here.
>> We could create a budget or finance specific group but I think we
>> might want to consider one with a broader community mission. I'm
>> tempted to suggest a Fedora Community Architecture group, but I'm not
>> sure that really captures what I want. I don't want another elected
>> body and would like to see this group grow in a way similar to the
>> packaging committee (if my understanding of that one is correct).
>> Perhaps the Red Hat Community Architecture team (who will necessarily
>> be working with whoever is making budget decisions) could seed the
>> team with one or two people from wherever in the project. Those folks
>> could expand the team to include representatives from various areas
>> within the project. They or a subgroup they designate can be tasked
>> with helping solve funding issues for the Fedora community at large (I
>> think of this as non-ambassador event/swag/media sorts of things).
>> The benefits I see of doing this are that it helps the Red Hat
>> Community Architecture folks continue to move more funding decisions
>> into the Fedora Project proper. It gives contributors a place to go to
>> get funding for their events or other needs that isn't tied to a
>> specific group within the project, having a neutral nature by its
>> composition. If and when we get to the point that hard decisions need
>> to be made about whether to fund FAD X or FAD Y, I hope this body as
>> constructed will have diverse enough understanding of the issues
>> related to the work proposed to make informed decisions for the
>> benefit of us all.
>> Projects grow, sometimes that natural growth leads to problems no one
>> intended. It just happens. I think this is an opportunity to fix one
>> problem by taking a small step back and empowering others.
>> Flame away :)
>> ambassadors mailing list
>> ambassadors at lists.fedoraproject.org
> Hi John:
> *takes out his flamethrower* :)
> So several thoughts strike me.
> I would like to see FAmSCo should evolve here to fill the void that
> you are talking about, and towards the end of the year 2010 I sent a
> few emails to various lists to that effect. When FAmSCo was first
> formed there really was a lot more management overhead. Ambassador
> were also one of the first groups to have large scale autonomy within
> I agree with you that I can't see FAmSCo-as-it-is-today taking that
> role without some level of consternation (and also questions of
> constituency.) I also think it's a problem I'd prefer to not see the
> Board or FESCo solve (my personal opinion only, even though I am a
> board member). At the same time I have a hard time justifying a
> completely separate leadership body when FAmSCo will continue to
> manage the vast majority of Fedora monies.
> If a separate body were to be formed, I think It'd like to see it take
> over FAmSCo's current fiduciary role now, and deal directly with
> people doing the work. I have said for a couple of years that I think
> the role of FAmSCo as it was originally defined, is largely outdated,
> and that FAmSCo.
> You mention a packager who wanted to organize a FAD and I think that
> points out a failure within the Ambassadors. Ambassadors should not be
> insular. I'll even go so far as to say that as a general rule,
> Ambassadors shouldn't be your only point of contribution to Fedora. If
> we as ambassadors aren't well known and contributing in the other
> areas of Fedora, how do we expect to be able to acclimate new
> contributors? or even be able to represent the project as it is?
> FAmSCo, I love to hear your opinion! I think this type of
> transformation could be very interesting. I also think it means
> thinking way outside of the Ambassador-playground. I'd also urge you
> (and others since the FAmSCo archives are open) to go back and read
> the conversation the last FAmSCo had
So happy to see this discussion rolling :)
I have to say that on my behalf, I would welcome this transformation
on FAmSCo side. Three reasons for that:
1. Ambassadors and FAmSCo in specific is the only Fedora group
directly in contact with Community Architecture, so that means that we
can get things happen efficiently.
2. We already have the infrastructure to process budget requests. (It
might only need minor modifications on login)
3. Most Ambassadors (and especially FAmSCo) have experience in other
groups within Fedora, so it is easy for them to acknowledge the needs
of other subprojects.
Now on the "concerns" side :
"It is weird for someone non-Ambassador to ask FAmSCo sth" :
Indeed it seems not the ordinary thing to do, but we are talking about
an event, and Ambassadors are specialized on those. We can (and will)
help by all means for an non-Ambassador event to happen. Also I am
absolutely sure that we will not decline any reasonable request for
budget or help on any kind of event that grows Fedora (we never did)
"FAmSCo is not ready for that" :
FAmSCo is a group of 7 passionate Fedora Contributors (Community
Elected) that meet on weekly basis and deliver results to the
community weekly. We have monthly reports, and feedback procedures,
and I can say that thanks to previous FAmSCos we are today in a point
to say that FAmSCo is one of the most smoothly running SCos and
decision making module within Fedora :)
FAmSCo *is* ready for that, as long as the rest of our community is OK
with that. I am not saying it is going to be a joy-ride but we are
ready to own this task.
Of course in order for this transition to be done, some things need to
change. We need to re-write some principles on the wiki and also
establish some more frequent communication channels (town-halls, face
to face meetings etc)
I am more than willing to move forward the process as this will help
and enable all the Fedora sub-projects grow more in terms of events
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