[Linux-aus] Should we change? Yes. To change is to grow.

Chris Neugebauer chrisjrn at gmail.com
Sun Apr 29 09:09:55 EST 2012

Hi maddog,

On Sun, Apr 29, 2012 at 05:20, Jon "maddog" Hall <maddog at li.org> wrote:
> I have been following this discussion for some time.  I have seen good
> arguments on both sides.

And thanks for following it, and providing your valuable input :)

> I would like to suggest an approach of having a parent organization that
> is "Free and Open Culture of Australia" or something as encompassing of
> your value statement as you can get.  This organization would lend its
> resources and "umbrella" to as many organizations as it feels fits that
> value statement.  This has been suggested before.

This paragraph does a pretty good description of the current role of
Linux Australia (with the exception of the broad, encompassing name).

> The fear that I hear some people voicing is the very real danger that
> "Linux Australia" (that has been doing a great job IMHO) in staffing up
> this new organization will lose focus or energy to keep either this new
> organization going or that the Linux part of "Linux Australia" will
> falter.  The value of the brand "Linux Australia" (which has both good
> and bad parts to it), might be lost.

> What if you kept the organization the same for right now but had a
> dual-name?  Or use the tag-line approach I suggested before:
> o "Linux Australia: Free and Open Culture of Australia"

This approach would probably mean that the post-colon bit gets dropped
in the vast majority of cases where it would be beneficial to have it displayed.

> o "Free and Open Culture of Australia: The organization formerly known
> as Linux Australia"

An approach like this one has the problem that it removes our ability
to have a useful byline -- having a name like _THE_ORG_: "Fostering
Free and Open Culture in Australia" in places where we want to display
a byline (e.g. at the conferences we run) -- would saying "The
organisation formerly known as Linux Australia" make sense to the
majority of PyCon delegates if it were on the pre-talk screen, or
their conference programme? I'm not certain they'd find it relevant.

> Then add the concept of "brands" or "trademarks" that are not
> necessarily tied to the name of the organization.
> [ snip ]
> In your case the Organizational name is the new one and "Linux
> Australia" is the brand of the "Linux".  linux.conf.au is the event put
> on by the "Linux Australia" brand.

This ties in well with Russell Coker's suggestion, and it's probably
the most sensible use for the LA name I've seen put forward.

> Then separate out the "mechanisms" that benefit Python, Drupal and the
> other organizations, including one for "Linux Australia".  Each
> organization has their own "brands", and perhaps their own conferences,
> with a "federated" conference every year for either new things (that do
> not have enough following for their own brand or conference) or things
> that are "winding down" and need a place for their users to meet.

This describes Linux Australia's current subcommittee structure.  The
"federated" conferences you describe strongly resemble the current
Linux.conf.au (and its associated miniconfs).

> I think if you took this strategy you would meet the needs of everyone,
> have a path forward and not duplicate a lot of mechanism.

In my own opinion, we very much have the structure you've described in
your mail already in place, with the exception of a broad-reaching
name, and an appropriate use for the "Linux Australia" name.

I feel your suggestion of associating the "Linux Australia" name with
Linux.conf.au is a good one, but there are probably other appropriate
uses for it that could be suggested by the membership and the council.

Thanks again, maddog, for your suggestions,


--Christopher Neugebauer

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