[Members] Goals for the XSF Board

Will Sheward will at willsheward.co.uk
Mon Nov 24 15:33:24 UTC 2014

On Fri, Nov 21, 2014, at 03:58 PM, Dave Cridland wrote:
> On 21 November 2014 15:35, Laura <laura.gill at surevine.com> wrote:
>> If anyone would like to contribute ideas, we want to hear them! What
>> goals would you like to see set for the Board for the year ahead?
> So I noticed that someone (Will?) had suggested increasing membership
> numbers. I like this because it's an quantifier of interest, but I
> worry that if we're too fixated on simple metrics we might miss the
> broader picture. That is, while doubling our membership would probably
> be a good thing, if the additional members are "silent partners" in
> the community it won't really help us.

I suppose that it is theoretically possible that the current membership
size is precisely right for an organisation of the XSF's type and goals.
It is true to say that bigger is not always better but it's also true
that the XSF has been bigger in the past and personally I'd like to know
in a bit more detail why people take the decision not to re-apply.
You'll see from the notes to this card that I've explained:

"We seem to be OK at getting new members (16 new in the 2014 list
compared to the 2010 one) not so good at retaining existing (34 names on
the 2010 list don't appear on the 2014 list)."

.. and I think that's really the focus. Finding out why people leave and
what/if we can learn from that in order to make the XSF more successful.
I think this might lead to a bigger, more engaged membership but I'd be
happy with a more engaged one as would you (below)....

> I'd like to see the Board increase member participation. I'm not sure
> how one would measure the metric, nor precisely what constitutes
> participation - perhaps it's best if it's left as a vague thing, but
> we could also use quarterly surveys to find out both how people want
> to help the community, and how they have.
> Dave.

As you've pointed out, measuring this is hard. I'm keen on goals that
can be measured and aren't open to interpretation. Perhaps "increase
re-application rate" would be better than "increase membership"?

  Will Sheward will.sheward at gmail.com


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