[Members] getting active

Peter Saint-Andre stpeter at jabber.org
Wed Aug 16 15:02:20 CDT 2006

Traditionally, JSF members haven't done much (in fact their only
responsibilities are to vote once in a while). I hope to change that.
While thinking about it after today's member meeting, I realized that
ideally the relationship between JSF members and the Board of Directors
would be something like the relationship between the Standards JIG and
the Jabber Council.

If you're subscribed to both the standards-jig list and the council
list, you know that the former is busy whereas the latter is quiet. We
work out our technical issues on the standards-jig list and for the most
part the Council exists to officially vote on the protocols we develop
and to act as a last line of defense regarding specs that don't meet our
standards (we expect that the Council can do a good job of this because
they've been involved in our community for a long time, have more
experience with JabberXMPP technologies than most developers, etc.). I
don't know whether this is good or bad -- should the Council be setting
more technical direction rather than leaving it up to JEP authors to
propose new ideas? -- but it has worked well for us over the years.

I think we can establish a similar relationship between the membership
and the Board -- i.e., most of the organizational and "business"
discussion would happen on the members list whereas the Board would
mostly ratify initiatives that bubble up from the membership. Therefore
I think we want people on the Board who have more organizational
experience than most but preferably in the context of the Jabber/XMPP
community or allied technology areas (e.g., people like Marco Palombi of
Tipic and Tony Bamonti of Jabber Inc. have provided positive leadership
as Board members, and current chair Carl Malamud does that as well since
he is well-connected in the collaboration space). Therefore I also think
we want JSF members to be more active in formulating or commenting on
our organizational initiatives, building our websites, providing our
various services, etc. We have an "infrastructure team" to do some of
this (with Peter Millard's passing that's mostly me, Jonathan Siegle,
and emeritus members Jeremie Miller and Dave Smith), but I think it
makes sense to provide more opportunities for JSF members to contribute
by keeping our IM and web servers running, maintaining our websites
(including database updates for software releases and news items), etc.
In addition, this will make the JSF less of a one-man band, since it's
not good that I do so much (it's not good for me and it's not good for
you, either). Naturally we need accountability to make this happen, as
well as better tools (e.g., a real content management system such as
Drupal), but we have a lot of smart people here so I'm sure we can
figure that out.

I realize this is a bit abstract, but feedback and comments are welcome
on the general approach as well as specific ideas you might have to
improve our services, our web presence, and in general the support
functions we provide to the community.



Peter Saint-Andre
Jabber Software Foundation

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