[Linux-aus] Voting is open!

Sridhar Dhanapalan sridhar at dhanapalan.com
Tue Jan 20 00:58:58 EST 2009

Hi all,

I'm a candidate for Ordinary Committee Member (shouldn't that be
Ordinary Council Member now?). Before I repeat the spiel I made on the
Elections page, I'd like to talk about what I feel LA represents in
out community. There's the obvious linux.conf.au, which proves
year-after-year to be a world-class conference. Linux Australia
represents the FOSS community throughout Australia (and going by
LCA2006, perhaps also New Zealand in a way). It brings together the
disparate groups throughout the country/region and gives them one
voice. The community is thus able to be more influential as whole.

This leads into my original spiel, where I extoled the values of
scalability in our community. Through enhanced support of grass-roots
groups, Linux Australia will be able to grow the community in a more
sustainable manner..

One pattern I discovered when examining previous LA elections is the
low voter turnout. On most years the total number (not percentage) of
votes was around 65-70. Why is this the case? Do we need to be doing
more to engage the community? Are we not well-known enough? Are we not
transparent enough? These are issues that we should be addressing.

My original spiel from the Elections page follows:


I have been participating in the FOSS community for over ten years. I
have managed Linux Australia's presences at CeBIT and the Education
Expo. I have also represented LA at other events such as the Moodle
Conference in 2006, and was the lead video encoder at the A/V Team at
linux.conf.au 2007.

For the past two years I have been serving on the SLUG Committee
(including one term as President), organising most of its meetings in
that time and running events like Software Freedom Day.

A key focus of my efforts in the community over the past few years has
been to foster co-operation between groups and contributors. As an
Linux Australia Council member, I feel that I would be even more
effective in this endeavour.

The wonderful thing about free software code development is that it
can scale so well. I would like to see a similar level of scalability
with the wider community outside of the coding realm. LA is uniquely
positioned to provide the resources and support to enable community
members and groups to achieve great things. The benefits of this are

* it makes it easier to engage, hence breaking down separations
between contributors and users;
* it grows the community of contributors;
* it allows us to do more and better things on the whole; and
* it aids to reduce dependence on a small group of actors, thereby
addressing the ever-present danger of burn-out amongst contributors.

We must remember, however, that the 'community' is much larger than
the membership of LA and LUGs. I have come across many people who are
interested in some aspect of 'Linux' or 'open source' but know very
little about LA or their local LUG. In many cases, their interests are
more directly served by other groups, such as:

* industry associations (e.g. OSIA)
* language groups (Java, Python, etc.)
* other operating systems groups (OpenSolaris, Mac OS, etc.)
* standards bodies (IEEE, W3C, etc.)
* computer clubs
* groups devoted to a field (education, embedded, etc.)

LA has a fantastic community, but in the grand scheme of things it is
but one of many. I hope - in an official Linux Australia capacity - to
improve networking with these other organisations to grow the overall
community and extend the reach of free and open source software to
more sectors of society.



Bring choice back to your computer.

More information about the linux-aus mailing list