[maemo-community] Defining the role of the Community Council

From: Andrew Flegg andrew at bleb.org
Date: Fri Mar 27 19:50:20 EET 2009
On Mon, Mar 23, 2009 at 18:19, Qole <qole.tablet at gmail.com> wrote:
> At the moment I get the impression that nobody's exactly sure what we are
> supposed to do, not even the Council members

IMNSHO, I had intended the primary role of the council to be
representing the views and opinions of the Maemo Community to Nokia,
and vice versa.

I define the "Maemo Community" as anyone sufficiently enfranchised in
the tablets to be discussing things on ITT, ranking downloads on
maemo.org, developers, power users, bloggers etc.

On a practical level, this includes:

  * Highlighting things like "a, b and c would be possible if
    Nokia did x & y - and here's why that's useful to Nokia and
    the community".

  * Recruiting for the debmaster position, and any other maemo.org
    roles (I hope!)

  * Representing the community in the monthly maemo.org sprint

  * Pushing to expand the community through organic growth.

  * Ensure that one part of the community is aware of what's going
    on elsewhere.

  * Being able to speak authoritatively on behalf of the community
    when Nokia need a question answering (such as "would it be good
    if we did x & y" or "do you think Nokia should sponsor
    another summit")

> Most of the things that the Council members did were the things that
> committed members do in a community.
> Perhaps that's how we want it to be? Membership on the council is a reward
> for past service, a recognition of a person's standing in the community?

It's hardly a glamorous role. As you say, many committed members of a
community do these things anyway (a good example would be sjgadsby
doing the bug jars: there's no requirement he be on the council to do
them, and - despite having not been elected - he will continue to do
them into the future).

"Reward" is *definitely* the wrong term. It's basically a commitment
to carry on doing what you were doing before in your hobby, but now
you've told people you'll be more active, more helpful, and more
involved than before!

Obviously, one would hope that being a council member would favourably
tip oneself in the direction of a successful device programme
application (if there is another one), or sponsorship to the summit.
These are rewards. As is the very nice dinner Ari took us to on the
Wednesday of OSiM :-)

> Please chip in with your thoughts. When you elected me and the other
> Community Council members, what are some of the things that you thought you
> were electing us to do?

I'll get on to Quim's suggestion in a moment, but this is a
representative council. The *main* decision the electorate should have
been making is "do I think this person will represent my views when
speaking with the louder voice the council bestows".

On Tue, Mar 24, 2009 at 07:52, Quim Gil <quim.gil at nokia.com> wrote:
> If instead each candidate would present candidacy with a prioritized
> list of tasks s/he is willing to push forward if elected, things are
> quite different. You vote more that backlog, and the fact that you think
> that person can really push it forward.

This could be useful for some candidates, especially one who isn't
already a big "rockstar". However, some caveats:

  * I see the best work the council doing is ongoing (and possibly
    reactive). Project-oriented tasks don't necessarily fit well into
    that mold.

  * This is still a volunteer position. The one defined role
    (chair) having an ongoing and specific task is enough; let's leave
    6 month specific commitments to people getting paid or people
    scratching itches. By standing for the council, you're already
    making a commitment to being more involved in the wiki,
    planet/news, bugs and talk than before. Making promises on
    specifics (and tasks in the backlog /should/ be specfic)
    is just likely to lead to disappointment, I think.



Andrew Flegg -- mailto:andrew at bleb.org  |  http://www.bleb.org/
Maemo Community Council chair

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