[Linux-aus] Candidacy Support Statement - President or Ordinary Council Member

Russell Coker russell at coker.com.au
Sat Dec 3 00:21:44 AEDT 2016

On Friday, 2 December 2016 7:46:18 AM AEDT Anthony Towns wrote:
> On Sat, Nov 26, 2016 at 02:45:10PM +1100, Kathy Reid wrote:
> > Response #1: Transition from MemberDB to CiviCRM at a cost of approx
> > $23k AUD, with ongoing opex of around $2.5k AUD annually and have a
> > custom voting module developed to facilitate Elections (cost not yet
> > estimated).
> That seems kind of gold-plated, especially if the $23k doesn't include
> the custom development that will actually let it do the one thing memberdb
> actually does... Why so much?
> Is the admin team not happy to maintain an instance of civicrm directly?

It is a lot of money and Linux sysadmin is something that many volunteers can 
do.  But there aren't many people with CiviCRM skills and such projects can be 

> > Response #2: Develop and execute a formal recruitment program aimed at
> > younger potential members, [...]
> I'm not sure if this actually makes sense to me -- trying to get new
> members only makes sense if being a member is actually valuable to people;
> and if being an LA member is valuable, then word of mouth is probably
> the best way of getting people involved anyway.

People speak to other people in a similar situation to themselves.

For example there's some interesting stuff going on with CoderDojos and 
helping school IT teachers.  Probably few people here hang out with school IT 
teachers so word of mouth isn't going to work too well.

> I kind of think that in practice that 95% of the reason LA is valuable
> to anyone these days is that it helps people *run* events; and if so,
> that isn't really valuable to that many people -- the pool of people
> running open source related events in Australia (and maybe NZ) just
> isn't that big.
> Personally, I think of LA as an organisation run by/for open source
> developers/admins/power users -- so, by and large, it doesn't make

I think the problem here is that LA was traditionally an organisation for such 
people, but the LA council is focused on running events etc.  This isn't a 
problem as such, changing the name to "council" with the aim of having lots of 
subcommittees was a good idea but it unfortunately didn't get followed 

We need subcommittees for things such as Linux advocacy.  I will consider 
volunteering for such a subcommittee.

> Personally, I think of LA as an organisation run by/for open source
> developers/admins/power users -- so, by and large, it doesn't make
> sense to me to out source things like running a website or developing a
> voting module or whatever: that's our wheelhouse, those are the skills
> our members have at their fingertips. Sure not everyone knows how to do
> SQL queries or create a drupal module or whatever, but that just means
> learning new skills and asking for some help when you need it. And isn't
> that approach *exactly* the collaborative spirit of free software in
> the first place?

Yes.  For most things that's the case.  But CiviCRM is a little unusual.

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