[Members] 2013 Board and Council Elections - questions for candidates

Dave Cridland dave at cridland.net
Wed Oct 16 19:00:25 UTC 2013

On 16 Oct 2013 12:12, "Kevin Smith" <kevin at kismith.co.uk> wrote:
> On Mon, Oct 14, 2013 at 10:26 PM, Dave Cridland <dave at cridland.net> wrote:
>> I am a candidate for Board, of course, but I have a question for the
members. Sorry for getting this all the wrong way around.
>> What do you expect the Board to do this year?
>  I'd like the Board to work out what would be of most value to the XSF
for them to do, and to do it.

What? Turning around my turnaround? That's got to be unfair...

> Which is not at all helpful, but I think a big part of this is working
out what needs doing it. Ashley's later suggestion of SWOTting would be one
way of doing this. There are some things I'd like, for example regular
meetings so we (the membership) always know there's a Board meeting coming
up we can suggest topics for, and can plan to listen in on these things. In
the past there have been plans for this (was it this year that it was going
to be fortnightly after the Council meeting?), but it doesn't seem to
generally sustain itself.

I was thinking about meeting frequency, actually, and wondered about the
following plan:

Every other week, have a proper Board meeting, in which we run through the
agenda, take semi-formal reports on progress of various projects [of which
more later], and so on. Members welcome, but in the same way as they are
for Board and Council meetings now.

In the mid-weeks, use the same slot for "Office Hours", and just make it a
good time to turn up and chat. No quorum required, and the intent would be
to largely lead by the members with questions or comments. It's here I'd
expect the topics to arise. We're a chatty bunch when we get together - I
actually think we've got a pretty good community, if small - and lots of
good ideas tend to get thrown about when we're idly chatting.

The sustainability is a different matter, and I think we should give some
thought to staggering the Board elections (and possibly Council, too), so
that we "stir up" the Board with fresher faces every six months. I think
that'd help somewhat with continuity, as well as energy levels.

> I'd like Board to look at what we can do in terms of developer engagement
from outside the members, but I don't know what. It'd be great if Board
could (delegate?) find out what direction we're going to need technical
work to be going in. IoT stuff pretty much came to us with Peter Waher et
al., but needn't have.

I had a long chat with Arc on Monday night about this kind of thing. He
suggested actively writing code - that is, the Board initiating open source
projects - to demonstrate XMPP capability. Some of these were quite large,
others were smaller in scope. He also thought - and you have to accept I
may be putting words into his mouth here - that we could target specific
organisations to ensure they're aware of these projects, and the work the
XSF does as a whole.

I'm a little wary about actual code projects, but I have to say this does
seem like a way to push more experimental ideas to a new, wider audience. I
need to think about this some more before I commit to total support, but
I'm leaning to suggesting we start off with a smaller project and see if we
can get some traction.

> So I'd quite like Board to tell us what Board can do for us.
> Turning it back on the Board candidates, I'd find it very useful to have
a summary of what they expect to achieve next year if elected, because
right know I know I want something but don't necessarily know exactly what
it is.

My primary goal is somewhat meta. :-)

I'd like to raise the expectation of what the Board, and by extension, the
XSF as a whole, does.

So while I'm totally fine with the London XMPP Meet-ups organized by
Surevine, I'd like the expectation to me that such things are run with
active support from the XSF and its Board. The up-coming Summit seems to
have been organized almost single-handedly by Peter; this is an XSF
activity and not just Peter's.

I'll feel like I had a successful year if:
- We have at least two well-attended Summits.
- We gain at least 15% membership. (Arbitrary figures are us).
- Our social media output gains at least 100% followers.
- Mailing list posters increases by 20% (ie, we see 20% new faces on the
standards@ etc lists).
- Funds do not decrease. (Though ideally, I'd like to raise more and spend
- 50% of the membership have actively taken part in helping some of the

As bonuses, I'd like to see if we can get at least one large service
provider switch to open-federation XMPP. I doubt it's possible in a year,
but it'd be nice to get the ball rolling. Maybe we could organize a
conference and get representatives from the big ones all around the same
table. (And lock the doors till they federate).

As even less metricky things, I'd like to get XMPP into the minds of the
browser developers, and web developers. That's a huge market that would
really benefit from XMPP. On this, I have no real clue - but I know that
Lance, Fippo, and Arc all have ideas here.

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