[maemo-community] Election process referendum

From: Ryan Abel rabelg5 at gmail.com
Date: Mon Feb 2 22:12:29 EET 2009
On Feb 2, 2009, at 9:12 AM, Graham Cobb wrote:

> On Monday 02 February 2009 12:02:01 Andrew Flegg wrote:
>> I certainly *wouldn't* be happy if - at the last minute - the karma
>> requirement was dropped again.
> Eh????  I am not happy that the karma requirement, which was dropped  
> after
> protest the last time around, is being raised again at the last  
> minute!
> I obviously had exactly the opposite assumption from you: I had  
> assumed that
> in the absence of a proposal to the contrary, the same rules as last  
> time
> would be in place.

Dave covered everything I was intending to say on this point nicely  
this morning. (Thanks, Dave! :D)

>> I also strongly disagree with those who say that karma shouldn't be
>> used for this...
> Karma has moved from just measuring developer contribution to a  
> wider measure
> of contribution to the Maemo community.  That certainly makes it more
> suitable to use as a basis than it was, but it still effectively  
> excludes
> users of the Maemo community (consumers rather than contributors).   
> Maybe
> that is the way it should be: maybe the council **should** represent
> contributors rather than users, but we should at least get the  
> opinion of the
> users on whether they care.

Dave also hit the nail on the head here, but I'll elaborate a bit.

The Council isn't in place as a consumer activism group. We're here  
for the *community* and its members (i.e., contributors), which is  
only a subset of all users (i.e., owners). Users are better served by  
Nokia Care, Nokia's consumer research efforts and Nokia's various end- 
user sites (like maemo.nokia.com). *Our* job is to see to the  
interests of the people who participate in the community and invest  
time in the platform. Some of these interests overlap with the  
interests of users, and many of them indirectly benefit users, but  
users aren't our constituency, and their interests aren't the  
interests we're here to forward.

This may sound harsh to some, but what user interests can we really  
serve? "I want a cheaper tablet.", "I want a Maemo cellphone.", or "I  
want a PIM suite." These decisions are largely up to Nokia, and I'm  
quite certain Nokia is well aware of them through their various  
feedback channels, and consumer research efforts (why do you think the  
N810 has a keyboard?). Additional requests from a council wouldn't be  
particularly useful or effective—there isn't much the Council can do  
for *users*.

Now, *contributors* on the other hand have interests well-served by an  
active "advocacy" group. "What can we do to help move the platform  
towards open source?", "How can we improve the approachability of the  
platform for developers?", or "What sort of collaboration can we  
foster between the community and Nokia?" These are issues we can  
address and make progress on, these involve more than just telling  
Nokia what we think they should do, they involve working with both the  
community and Nokia and making real progress. These are the interests  
we can address and these are the people who will vote to elect their  

Ryan Abel
Maemo Community Council chair
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