[Linux-aus] Re: [LACTTE] Vision for LA

Pia Waugh greebo at pipka.org
Mon Oct 31 20:33:06 UTC 2005

Hi Stewart,

Some interesting ideas here :)

<quote who="Stewart Smith">

> "umbrella org" can be scary for some people - it can bring images of
> taking over. But anybody that's actually spoken to us won't get that
> idea... but we don't want to scare. even though "umbrella org" is
> possibly the best phrase.

the upside down umbrella image has actually worked really well I think. Most
people I've spoken to have understood and appreciated that concept. We
provide resources and a structure to achieve awesome things. LA is by and
for the community, not a small group of self-appointed dictators :) I think
people realise this, and they always think about it when voting.
> i like to think of them as teams rather than SIGs or sub-cttes. As
> really what we're wanting is groups of doers.

I think giving the "teams" the sub-ctte structure is useful because it gives
them a name, an organisation officially behind them, there can be a formal
but simple process that outlines what powers the sub-cttes have to give them
as much support and ability to speak as LA and ensure solidarity in the

> i think we've come a long way in the past 18months especially in getting
> the "ctte aren't here to do everything" message across. It is still
> absent a lot in some LUGS - i don't know how we get that message out
> there as well though.

I think that we've slowed down a bit, but that is inevitable when an
organisation is growing and changing.
> as Andrew has pointed out "outsourcing" may be the wrong word here. But
> there's certainly things we just aren't good at but still need to be
> done. How we deal with these is going to be a big test of our org.

Heh, see I don't understand your or Andrews point here about outsourcing
when you have both been keen to hire someone as an executive director or
something, which i have no problem with if there is a need, but i simply
don't see a need right _now_.  Why would we employ a single person to do all
the things we don't do well in a mediocre fashion, when we could pay for a
few hours of an accountant here when needed, a few hours of a lawyer there
when needed, and so on and so forth. If the main "activities" of LA start to
be run by sub-cttes then all the ctte has to do is keep the org running and
support the sub-cttes. We certainly can't afford to pay someone full time as
an accountant, or a lawyer, and it makes no sense to just pay someone to
"manage" LA when they'd have to outsource a bunch of what they do to lawyers
and accountants anyway ;) Let's get this new system working of a supporting
ctte rather than a doing ctte before the idea of "let's just hire someone to
manage the org" comes up again please.
> Reconciling this with the "Shouldn't vendors be doing this" feeling is
> an interesting one. As well as my rather intense distaste for preaching
> and people trying to convert me to $whatever. I am interested in
> discussing these things - it's an interesting one.

Wow, how on earth could you possibly trust a vendor to get the message of
Free Software out there, when they would far prefer to be selling the idea
of "pay for our support". I have no problem with the approach of vendors,
not at all (well mostly anyway), but the message we are conveying on SFD is
not just about using Open Source, it is about the values of our community,
and who better to take that to a broader audience than our community. It
also gives our community a chance to share what we do, to give others the
freedoms and benefits we take for granted daily, to even grow our
communities. LUGs have had issues with growth and decline of numbers
forever, SFD becomes a yearly reminder and opportunity to grow our
communities in a qualitative fashion.

> How much advocacy should we be doing? it's a tricky one. My thoughts are
> full of contradictions - but I do encourage discussion and debate. I am
> certainly not going to hinder or discourage enthusiasms though.
> Facilitating enthusiasms is the name of the game!

I think our community needs a megaphone to broadcast issues, and LA is a
brilliant mouthpiece. I think we need to be looking at protecting and
promoting our community, and any advocacy which falls within that would be
fine. Obviously if anything was suggested that was too out there, this is
where the LA main ctte becomes a sanity test, and the community is also a
sanity test (as ironic as that may be ;)

I think the advocacy team would probably work very closely with the press
team, so anyone interested in either of these projects, please put your hand
up! :)


Linux Australia                                         http://linux.org.au/
                "Women hold up half the sky." - Mao Tse Tung

More information about the linux-aus mailing list