[Foundation] membership, money, and meritocracy

Robert Norris rob at cataclysm.cx
Tue Apr 1 22:36:04 CST 2003

> 1. Charge representatives of commercial entities some modest yearly 
> fee for JSF membership. $200 sounds about right to me. Because such

Sounds reasonable.

> other contributions might help. Or if your company's products are
> significant to the growth of Jabber (so far undefined) and you are 
> a key contributor to those products (validated how? I don't know yet),
> then we'd accept you (as long as you pay your $200). But we need to

If a company has a Jabber-related product, and is paying for the person
to be a member, then presumably they'd just nominate the people they
want involved. I can't see a company spending money on membership for a
person who has had no involvement with Jabber, or isn't likely to
contribute anything.

> institute a hurdle of merit here. (BTW, if companies are paying to
> have their employees be members, they may want some proof that 
> "membership has its privileges" -- I'm not sure how to address this
> yet either.)

T-shirts? ;)

If the Council, Teams (Marketing/Compliance) and/or the Board are
drawn/elected from the membership, then becoming a member is the first
step in participating in the "core" activities of the Foundation -
protocol development, marketing, compliance, etc. Maybe thats enough?

(Though I would like a t-shirt .. )

> 2. If a company is a sponsor of the JSF, waive the fee. Perhaps
> institute a sliding scale: sponsors at the $1k level may have 1
> membership fee waived, $5k sponsors may have 5 fees waived, $10k
> sponsors may have 10 fees waived (or whatever, perhaps fewer than 
> that for the larger sponsors). All companies would still be subject
> to the limitations in the Bylaws regarding the percentage of members 
> who may be accepted from any one company. No one is buying influence
> here (it's that whole meritocracy thing again -- each member whose
> fee is waived would still need to prove merit).

A cap on large sponsors would probably be best. Not sure free
memberships are good if the member doesn't have to prove merit (as with
the "company nominates person" scenario above).

> 3. If a representative of a company meets any of the criteria in #4
> below, their fee would be waived.

Perhaps. If they're speaking on behalf of their company and not on
behalf of themselves, the JSF, or a open-source project, then should
their fee be waived?

> 4. Membership is free for Jabber Council members, leaders of JSF work 
> teams (e.g., Compliance and Marketing), and leaders of active Jabber 
> open-source projects (how we define "leader" and "active project" is
> open to debate, but CVS checkins and release schedules, and maybe 
> protocol compliance / JEP support, should help us create objective 
> measures).

I'm not familiar with the workings of the ASF, but you mentioned that
leaders of Apache projects are made members of the Foundation. Do we
need to bring certain projects under the JSF umbrella?

There could be processes involved with this - you can propose that a
project be moved under the JSF; the Council or some other group would
vote on this (based on some criteria - does the project further the
goals of the Foundation, for example). JSF projects could be actively
reviewed and the dead wood culled.

> 5. All members must be actively affiliated with a company or an
> open-source project. If you like Jabber but don't contribute, we
> still love you but you can't be a member. If you once led a project
> but dropped out, you can't be a member. If your project is dead,
> you can't be a member. If you are a corporate member and your company 
> goes out of business or fires you or whatever, you can't be a member 
> (unless you meet the criteria in #4).

Seems reasonable.

> As I said, this is controversial. I'm not wedded to everything I 
> suggest above, but I *am* committed to making JSF membership an 
> honor and a privilege. And I wouldn't mind raising a little money 
> from corporate members of the Jabber community in the process. 

I think this is yet another step in the right direction. JSF membership
certainly needs to mean something, otherwise there's not alot of point.

Nice work on this Peter.


Robert Norris                                       GPG: 1024D/FC18E6C2
Email+Jabber: rob at cataclysm.cx                Web: http://cataclysm.cx/
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