[Members] Goals for the XSF Board

Kevin Smith kevin.smith at isode.com
Mon Nov 24 15:40:36 UTC 2014


On 24 Nov 2014, at 15:33, Will Sheward <will at willsheward.co.uk> wrote:
> 
> 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 think that XSF membership rate isn’t a very interesting metric. The number of people actively engaged in the community (whether members or not) is what we really (or I really) care about. I think there may be metrics that are interesting here. Unique contributions to technical or business discussions on the mailing lists may be one.

Padding the membership numbers without reference to engagement isn’t only not actively helpful, it’s actively unhelpful as the members are the folks who have to elect the Board and Council - a very difficult job at the best of times, and pretty much impossible (I’d have thought) for anyone not actively engaged in the community and able to judge merit.

/K


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