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#1
http://wiki.maemo.org/Task:Community_Council

I keep reading Maemo Community Council page, and I am trying to understand a few things. This is meant to be an informative discussion on what a community council member does, and how communication can be improved and more members can be reached.

Purpose (Mission)

To represent the Maemo Community's best interests to Nokia, and to act as a community conduit for Nokia-generated information.
This seems straightforward, but what is meant by Nokia? Is this internal to the maemo organization. Is this Nokia? I guess I could use a refresher on the Relationship between Nokia and Maemo.

Also what does the "community's best interest" mean, as defined by the elected members? I am much prefer this wording
"The Council's primary purpose is to represent the views and opinions of the Maemo Community to Nokia" taken from the top of the council page. Even with this wording, how do council members go about getting the views and opinions of the community at large?



Communication


Open communication is one of the core values of the Community Council, both to serve as an example to Nokia and because it's the right thing to do. All communication is open by default.


* All Community Council oriented conversation will happen either on the maemo-community mailing list, or over IRC in #maemo.
* Community and Council issues will be distilled and summarized in the Council blog (which is also syndicated to Planet).
* If you use Twitter, Community Council tweets can be followed using the hashtag #m.occ.
* Council members' tasks will be allocated the same as maemo.org staff, Nokia community liaisons and community members' committments through the sprint process.

Council Work


In addition to being committed community members (and all that entails), some of the specific responsibilities of the council include:

* Facilitation: making sure that one portion of the community knows what is going on in another

* Chairing the maemo.org sprint meetings, and representing the community
* Hiring of maemo.org staff
* Pushing to expand the community through organic growth
* Being able to speak authoritatively on behalf of the community when Nokia need a question answering (such as "would it be good if we did x & y" or "do you think Nokia should sponsor another summit")
* Backup mentors for the Google Summer of Code participation.
This process seems to me to be counter-productive to
1) Lets start by saying that the two items in red seem to contradict each other. Seems the most logical place to have these discussions is in the forums, since they are the most visited place on maemo.org? Additionally while the IRC logs are available and perhaps maybe the mail logs are too? It does not provide an easy way for people to follow. There is also council blog and it does provide information. Often this is information about things that have happened, like changes were made somewhere.


2) What does the council do on a day to day basis? How much of your time a week is spent on council activities? If someone else is considering running, what should they expect.


There are two things I hope to come of out his discussion,

Everyone will understand the roles council plays and what is expected from council members.

Additional thoughts on how to improve communication to the entire community, since this this the main role council plays.

------------------------------------------------------------------------

On top of all this, accomplishments. TOOT YOUR OWN HORN. Seriously you don't know how many times have I seen the guy that was holding the whole company together get fired because he was quietly sitting in the corner doing his job and three other peoples, but nobody knew what he was doing. Don't be that guy...



....
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#2
Originally Posted by penguinbait View Post
This seems straightforward, but what is meant by Nokia? Is this internal to the maemo organization. Is this Nokia? I guess I could use a refresher on the Relationship between Nokia and Maemo.
Nokia is Nokia; Maemo is Nokia. Maemo SW is a product division within Nokia (much like Qt SW) that develops Maemo (which is the software platform for Nokia tablet devices). The relationship is between Maemo SW and the community.

Originally Posted by penguinbait View Post
Also what does the "community's best interest" mean, as defined by the elected members? I am much prefer this wording
"The Council's primary purpose is to represent the views and opinions of the Maemo Community to Nokia" taken from the top of the council page. Even with this wording, how do council members go about getting the views and opinions of the community at large?
By paying attention to what the community is saying. A large part of a council member's work involves watching Talk, watching the mailing lists, watching IRC, watching Planet, and generally watching any place where Maemo things are happening. In order for a council member to do their job, they need to be as informed as possible (since this it isn't realistic for one person to be completely informed about everything going on in Maemoland, this is why we have five).

Now, let's make two things absolutely clear here:

First, maemo.org is not Nokia. Nokia pays the bills for the servers and the personnel, but maemo.org is community owned and run. This means maemo.org staff members generally set their own agendas with input from the community (which is primarily filtered through the council) and other maemo.org staff members (you saw this process in the sprint meeting yesterday).

Second, paying attention does not mean doing whatever the loudest and squeakiest wheel says whenever it says it. When you elect people to the council, you're picking people who you think will best represent your views. This means that you're essentially telling these people that, "Yes, I generally agree with your opinions and I'd like you to represent me." You're enabling them to make decisions without running a vote on every issue that comes up. This reduces bureaucratic overhead (not having to run a community-wide vote every time a small issue comes up) and lets the people who are making it their job to be informed about what's happening in the community make those smaller decisions.

If your views and the views of the council members you voted for begin to drift, then you're free to try to vote them out next election (this is why the terms are relatively short) or try running yourself.

Originally Posted by penguinbait View Post
1) Lets start by saying that the two items in red seem to contradict each other.
No they don't. What it means is that if you're interested in following everything that the council is up to, then you need to be following -community and IRC as, by default, that's where council-related business will be discussed. Council-related business, however, is not anything and everything vaguely community-related.

Originally Posted by penguinbait View Post
Seems the most logical place to have these discussions is in the forums, since they are the most visited place on maemo.org?
This is a technical issue, and the vBulletin integration will solve it. For now, -community will be the default place for council discussions. There aren't really any compelling reasons to change the existing arrangement in the short term and several disadvantages to such a change.

Originally Posted by penguinbait View Post
Additionally while the IRC logs are available and perhaps maybe the mail logs are too? It does not provide an easy way for people to follow.
General #maemo chatter, no, but the really important stuff always goes on in #maemo-meeting and always gets a log on the website. mgedmin kindly provides logs of #maemo.

The mailing list archives are all available online (in at least 3 different formats, I might add). They're quite easy to follow if you subscribe to them (easier than the forums, actually), and no different from forums if you're following them on Gossamer Threads.

Originally Posted by penguinbait View Post
There is also council blog and it does provide information. Often this is information about things that have happened, like changes were made somewhere.
I'm not sure if you've noticed my Community Highlights column, but it covers everything that I believe to be relevant to community interests (unfortunately it's on hold for thanks to real life requirements). Of course this sort of thing will never be absolutely complete (what one person thinks is relevant is not what another person may think is relevant, but that's one thing about a community you have to understand—your own opinion isn't necessarily everybody else's opinion).

Originally Posted by penguinbait View Post
2) What does the council do on a day to day basis? How much of your time a week is spent on council activities?
Me, personally, a lot (there's some additional detail—and a lot of really classy comments—in my Mobile Tablets! interview). I consider staying on top of what's happening in the community to be a council activity, and I do a lot of that (there really isn't much Maemo-related that gets past me). Facilitation activities basically involve being involved in discussions and sometimes contacting certain people directly, which is also something I do a lot of. Sprint activities as chair will take between 3-6 hours of your time per month (this is Jaffa's job this time around, though) and about 2 hours of your time as a regular council member.

Anything else Maemo-related I do (Bugsquad triaging, wiki editing, and such) take a lot of my time, but aren't really council activities.

Originally Posted by penguinbait View Post
If someone else is considering running, what should they expect.
A lot of work. It's not an easy position. Expect to invest a lot of time and effort, and expect to deal with unpleasantness on a pretty regular basis.

Originally Posted by penguinbait View Post
On top of all this, accomplishments. TOOT YOUR OWN HORN.
The a council member's role in the community is one of facilitation, this means that a lot of council work will take place in the background where it's not highly visible. A council member's job is to help make the community to grow and run smoothly, and make sure things are happening by connecting the right people and removing roadblocks where possible.

There's very little (really, nothing, in fact) that can be attributed singularly to the council's efforts, but almost nothing that it hasn't had a hand in helping along. The best sign of the success of council efforts is a community that is producing new things and growing. If you want examples of the council's success, I'd recommend asking around a bit to find out where the council's been helping.

Really, people on the council are already highly involved individuals and much of what they do they'd be doing regardless of whether they were on the council or not. Council-related activities are neither glamorous nor highly visible, and they really shouldn't be—a strong community is not one that's entirely driven by one five-member body.

If you want an example, though, I think HAVAPlayer is a fairly good one (demonstrating both the behind-the-scenes and unglamorous nature of the role). If you recall, HAVAPlayer for Maemo was initially distributed as a .deb through their website, but Niels and I worked to convince them that putting their application into Extras would be a benefit to them and their users, then Niels assisted them with getting it into Extras and now it's available for all tablet owners with Extras enabled on their devices.
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#3
IMO the council could stand to try listening without a ready rebuttal sometimes. It's difficult, but often necessary.
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#4
WOW GA, that was the best post I have read from you in a while, not that I follow

There was some slight snarkyness. But very nice input.

I still think telling people to go read IRC logs doesn't seem to me to make sense? Especially when #maemo is 24 hour channel with people discussing all kinds of things in different timezones, and some of those logs can be very long.

I just clicked on the mail archives, and that is definitely not easier to follow than a forum. And I don't see any reason these couldn't be put to the forum, where more people would participate?

Seriously thank you
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To all my Maemo friends. I will no longer be monitoring any of my threads here on a regular basis. I am no longer supporting anything I did under maemo at maemo.org. If you need some help with something you can reach me at tablethacker.com or www.facebook.com/penguinbait. I have disabled my PM's here, and removed myself from Council email and Community mailing list. There has been some fun times, see you around.
 

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#5
Originally Posted by penguinbait View Post
I still think telling people to go read IRC logs doesn't seem to me to make sense? Especially when #maemo is 24 hour channel with people discussing all kinds of things in different timezones, and some of those logs can be very long.
I'm not telling people to read the #maemo IRC logs, I'm telling people to read the meeting logs which are rarely more than a few hundred lines long.

The bigger point, though is that the council is active on IRC, so we tend to do a lot of things on IRC. It's real-time, which is helpful for discussion and understanding (you don't end up with people misunderstanding you and carrying that festering around for hours or days), it's easy to get a hold of a lot of core people quickly, and it's low-overhead. This doesn't mean you have to read the logs, only that you need to be aware that stuff does happen there.

Originally Posted by penguinbait View Post
I just clicked on the mail archives, and that is definitely not easier to follow than a forum.
Which mail archives? The ones on maemo.org, or the Gossamer Threads ones (which are set up just like a forum)?

Originally Posted by penguinbait View Post
And I don't see any reason these couldn't be put to the forum, where more people would participate?
Different people would participate.

If you make it an either or proposition, you get a different set of people participating in either place. There is some overlap between the mailing lists and Talk, but it's not complete (we have many more Nokians on the mailing list for starters).

If you cross-post between the two then you end up with the same problem cross-posting always causes, the same discussion taking place in two different places.

Neither of these things is desirable, which is why I'm pushing a technical solution, the vBulletin integration. Until that comes together, though, council stuff is going to -community (don't worry, it shouldn't be too long).
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#6
Originally Posted by GeneralAntilles View Post
Neither of these things is desirable, which is why I'm pushing a technical solution, the vBulletin integration. Until that comes together, though, council stuff is going to -community (don't worry, it shouldn't be too long).
So can you talk more about what you mean by "vBulletin integration"?

Oh, and yes neither mailing list archive is optimal to me.
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To all my Maemo friends. I will no longer be monitoring any of my threads here on a regular basis. I am no longer supporting anything I did under maemo at maemo.org. If you need some help with something you can reach me at tablethacker.com or www.facebook.com/penguinbait. I have disabled my PM's here, and removed myself from Council email and Community mailing list. There has been some fun times, see you around.
 
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#7
Originally Posted by penguinbait View Post
So can you talk more about what you mean by "vBulletin integration"?
Exactly what it says. Integrate the lists into vBulletin so you basically end up with each mailing list looking like a forum (like General, maemo.org, Applications, etc.).
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#8
I think penguinbait has a point here:
Communication

Open communication is one of the core values of the Community Council, both to serve as an example to Nokia and because it's the right thing to do. All communication is open by default.


* All Community Council oriented conversation will happen either on the maemo-community mailing list, or over IRC in #maemo.
* Community and Council issues will be distilled and summarized in the Council blog (which is also syndicated to Planet).
* If you use Twitter, Community Council tweets can be followed using the hashtag #m.occ.
* Council members' tasks will be allocated the same as maemo.org staff, Nokia community liaisons and community members' committments through the sprint process.
Proposing some changes:

Open communication is one of the core values of the Community Council, both to serve as an example to Nokia and because it's the right thing to do. All communication is open by default.
  • News and calls for participation are summarized in the Council blog (RSS).
  • Council micro-updates can be followed at [new thread to be created in this forum] (watch)
  • Council oriented conversation happens in the maemo.org Talk forum (archive) and the maemo-community mailing list (archive), in threads identified with the [Council] tag.
  • Also, Council members are usually present over IRC in #maemo, happy to chat with you.
Comments:

- Why Twitter when we have Talk.

- I don't think the sprint tasks are actually Council related. Or better said, I don't think that council members taking tasks there take them because they are council members. All those tasks can be pushed by someone with the will, the time and the skills. Being elected changes nothing. It's actually the other way around: skilled people investing a lot of time in community tasks might end up easily being elected in the Council.

The latter is an important detail. The role of the council is more of facilitation than actual work. Of course council members take a lot of work, but they would take it anyway without being elected, am I wrong?

This goes for

Originally Posted by GeneralAntilles View Post
A lot of work. It's not an easy position. Expect to invest a lot of time and effort, and expect to deal with unpleasantness on a pretty regular basis.
If that would be true then we should change something in the council's mission and objectives. Anybody with the skills and the support should be able to be a good council member without having to set aside job, family, friends or even their current community activities. Otherwise it's not sustainable.

Luckily, I think what you say is only partielly true. Being a Council member has its obligations but (at least as I see it as humble community member and voter) they are more in terms of qualitative contributions rather than volume of work. Still the qualitative contributions do take time and are not easy to handle (agreed!) specially when your head and your voice is more visible for time-consuming questions and criticism (that are part of the work, true).

But you guys were already investing a lot of time following maemo.org & ITt and doing community related stuff (GA's thousands of posts, timsamoff's UI Guidelines, Jaffa's http://www.maemopeople.org , qole's Debian advocacy, Kees' support in maemo-developers and Mamona... these are just a % of all what you did). And you keep being busy now that are council members, which is good.

But is all this busy-ness tied to the council membership? I don't think so, and this is why I think it's important to separate maemo.org sprints (where everybody can join and commit to a task) from pure council work (that only you 5 guys will do).

I claim 3-4h a week as an average is enough to be a good council member. Some weeks you get more work, some others there is less happening. [The number comes from the 1001 discussions in the GNOME Foundation board and other organizations where active and busy people are elected and can't avoid being more active and more busy...]
 

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#9
As long a qgil has brought up the subject of changes (and they all sound like a good idea to me), I'd like to propose a new referendum.

The latest rules that I can find for voting are the last referendum:
Which of the following criteria do you want applied to future Maemo Community Council elections?

129 members voted for this referendum. The repartition of the votes is:
10 karma and 3 month old account (48 votes)
25 karma and 3 month old account (status quo) (46 votes)
10 karma *or* 12 month old account (22 votes)
No karma or account age requirement - everyone with a maemo.org account may vote (13 votes)

The automatic result of this referendum is thus:
10 karma and 3 month old account
I propose this is amended to include anyone with with a talk.maemo.org (previously ITT) account or maemo.org account that is 3 months old with 10 karma.

It is only fair now that ITT is part of maemo.org (but currently requires a separate login) to grandfather these members in on the requirement of a 3 month old maemo.org account if their talk.maemo.org account is older than 3 months. They would still need a maemo.org login for karma and to prevent multiple voting (from both accounts).

I think that this is necessary to be explicitly stated to avoid confusion in the next council vote in September (potentially some members of talk.maemo.org might not register in time on maemo.org, the deadline for a 3 month old account is the end of May). This could prevent anyone who registers late on maemo.org from being prevented from voting.

Could one of the council members raise this issue, or direct me to when/where I can raise it officially?
 

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#10
Originally Posted by lemmyslender View Post
I propose this is amended to include anyone with with a talk.maemo.org (previously ITT) account or maemo.org account that is 3 months old with 10 karma.
This would be a topic for a new thread... or perhaps not if we can resolve it here in less than 3 posts.

Do we need a referendum for this? talk.maemo.org accounts ARE maemo.org accounts now. The only reason why they are not the same today is technical (complex, but purely technical).

Instead of pushing one referendum for such a basic question why not putting the brain and muscle in getting Task:Single sign-on for maemo.org done. Please discuss the details about this SSO in that thread.
 

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