11:00:57 <jsmith> #startmeeting FAmSCo town hall meeting #1
11:00:57 <zodbot> Meeting started Sat Nov 19 11:00:57 2011 UTC.  The chair is jsmith. Information about MeetBot at http://wiki.debian.org/MeetBot.
11:00:57 <zodbot> Useful Commands: #action #agreed #halp #info #idea #link #topic.
11:01:11 <jsmith> #meetingname fedora_townhall
11:01:11 <zodbot> The meeting name has been set to 'fedora_townhall'
11:01:27 <jsmith> #topic Quick introductions by the candidates
11:01:38 <jsmith> Candidates, please take a quick moment to introduce yourselves
11:02:06 <jsmith> (and for members of the public, if you have questions for the candidates, please post them in #fedora-townhall-public)
11:03:01 <cwickert> Hi, I'm Christoph from Germany. Fedora contributor since 2005, proven packager, packager sponsor, proven  tester, ambassador and community monkey.
11:03:17 <cwickert> I'm also the spins wrangler and EMEA media wrangler. I was member of FESCo from F12 till F16.
11:03:19 <cwickert> EOF
11:03:58 <mbuf> is Shakthi Kannan From India - a Fedora packager for electronic software and for the Haskell SIG; also organize hands-on Fedora workshops in India, regularly; at present helping with FAMA tickets as well; EOF
11:04:18 <igorps> My name is Igor Soares, I'm from Latin America and I'm running for reelections. I've been contributing to Fedora since 2006 and would like to keep improving things in FAmSCo.
11:04:26 <igorps> EOF
11:04:28 <zoltanh7211> Zoltanh7211 - Hi, my name is Zoltan Hoppar, Hungarian ambassador, and local community leader, swag designer, l10n translator and coordinator in HU group. EOF
11:04:48 <jsmith> OK, thanks for the introductions!
11:05:00 <jsmith> Let's go ahead and dive into the questions.
11:05:19 <jsmith> I'll ask a question, and indicate the order I'd like people to answer the questions in, so that we don't step on each others' toes
11:05:43 <jsmith> Q: What is the biggest challenge FAmSCo faces over the coming year?  Why? (igorps, mbuf, zoltanh7211, cwickert)
11:06:26 <igorps> IMHO FAmSCo has the big challenge of improving budget management
11:06:42 <igorps> specially regarding the community credit cards
11:07:21 <igorps> learn how to use them better in a transparently and responsible way
11:07:25 <igorps> EOF
11:08:08 <mbuf> getting good candidates to participate actively in Fedora sub-projects
11:08:17 <mbuf> EOF
11:09:04 <zoltanh7211> I think the biggest challenge will be to improve and stabilize the processing/managing methods. Because this is the cornerstone of all. EOF
11:09:57 <cwickert> I don't think there are any big challenges. The ambassadors as a project are mostly working fine, only FAmSCo is not.
11:10:05 <cwickert> So FAmSCo members just need to start getting things done (tm) again.
11:10:24 <cwickert> One thing that needs to be improved is the budget management, we need better controlling and quicker reimbursements.
11:10:37 <cwickert> But IHMO this is not FAmSCo's job
11:11:06 <cwickert> I propose that either the Finance SIG takes it over or a (yet to be founded) Fedora Council with delegates from all groups
11:11:08 <cwickert> EOF
11:11:29 <cwickert> (Finance SIG is yet to be founded, too)
11:11:33 <cwickert> EOF, really
11:11:40 <jsmith> Q from gomix: How would you promote budget use beyonds ambassadors group frontiers? (mbuf, zoltanh7211, cwickert, igorps)
11:13:04 <mbuf> marketing can get some help with the budget to specific avenues
11:13:43 <mbuf> like reaching out to the public for some of our events; publishing in newspapers, for example
11:14:14 <mbuf> yes, there are people who still read newspapers, and it spending money here will help us reach out
11:14:16 <mbuf> EOF
11:16:18 <jsmith> zoltanh7211: You're up next :-)
11:16:23 <zoltanh7211> Marketing is a must inside-out. We need more printed stuff, and that will support us back.
11:17:17 <zoltanh7211> Also interviews from community will greatly improve our reputation.
11:17:23 <zoltanh7211> EOF
11:18:41 <cwickert> I am not sure if I understood this question right. As far as I understood the problem is that only ambassadors know how to get fundings
11:19:10 <cwickert> Just an example: We sent Gerd to YAPC in Riga. Gerd is a packager, not an ambassador. And YAPC is a developer's conference, not an event that ambassadors would attend.
11:19:25 <cwickert> and if I did not tell him how to get funding and managed all this for him, he would never have gotten to YAPC
11:19:54 <cwickert> So the problem is: Only ambassadors know how to get funding *because* only FAmSCo manages the budget
11:20:07 <cwickert> this is exactly the problem I am trying to address with the Fedora Council
11:20:44 <cwickert> If we have one person from every group in the council, every contributor has somebody he can ask about funding
11:20:55 <cwickert> and we make sure that the people who make decisions know the person and his work
11:20:56 <cwickert> EOF
11:21:18 <igorps> Laiasons with other subprojects are really important. FAmSCo should comunicate better how to file tickets and make requisitions to the committee, making clear that everyone can make requests.
11:21:40 <igorps> We have been funding contributors from a variaty of subprojects to attend to events over the years. If they also want to produce swag for a specific FAD, for instance, FAmSCo should make clear that this is feasible by communicating in subprojects mailing lists and other appropriated channels.
11:22:09 <igorps> In the long term a new body could address this issue
11:22:34 <igorps> but in the short term good communication will be crucial to address that
11:22:38 <igorps> EOF
11:22:57 <jsmith> Q from EvilBob: With changes happening with the handling of the community's financial resources to being more open and friendly to the greater community, what do you see as the future of FAMSCo and really ambassadors in general. Is now the time to roll the ambassadors back in to the marketing group? (zoltanh7211, cwickert, igorps, mbuf)
11:27:01 <cwickert> zoltanh7211: still with us?
11:27:49 <jsmith> cwickert: Go ahead and answer, and we'll catch back up with zoltanh7211 if/when he's able to answer
11:28:31 <cwickert> No way! I think that ambassadors are still something different than marketing and there are enough reasons to continue the project, even if they were no longer responsible of the budget.
11:28:50 <cwickert> They are the people who go out to the people and preach Fedora while marketing is more about PR in the press, social networks etc.
11:29:08 <cwickert> Ambassadors is a 'real world' thing while marketing happens on the internet or in the media
11:29:28 <cwickert> The ambassadors are alive and kicking
11:29:55 <cwickert> and many other distributions like OpenSUSE have taken over our model because we are so successful
11:30:02 <cwickert> we should not risk that
11:30:08 <cwickert> but we need to have both groups working closer together.
11:30:17 <cwickert> EOF
11:31:20 <igorps> Maybe zoltanh7211 can answer now
11:32:06 <jsmith> Sorry, had to give zoltanh7211 voice again
11:32:34 <igorps> I'll go after him then
11:32:45 <zoltanh7211> Well, basically we do marketing - and merchandising around Fedora. One way in future we should re-connect with other groups. I don't think that must be neccessary to integrate back. Ambassadors are the heart of the community, and not only marketing/promotional people. Most of us are participating in many other projects too, and that's why no reason to degrade the FAms.
11:32:51 <zoltanh7211> EOF
11:33:23 <igorps> I do think that FAmSCo can and should manage the budget or at least parts of it. Depending exclusively on an external body might slow things down, so if we go by that way, some delegation will be necessary, what is perfectly feasible.
11:33:48 <igorps> Well in my opinion Ambassadors and Marketing are very alike, but they are not the same thing. Ambassadors is more related to HR and marketing to promotion. Of course there are intersections, but in my opinion Ambassadors use marketing or design more as tool to reach new contributors and organize activities.
11:33:56 <igorps> EOF
11:34:12 <mbuf> I see every contributor to a Fedora sub-project who promotes the same as an ambassador to the project, and such people will continue to work irrespective of structural changes
11:35:08 <mbuf> EOF
11:35:27 <jsmith> Next question:
11:35:30 <cwickert> !
11:35:40 <jsmith> cwickert: Go ahead
11:35:47 <cwickert> One think I'd like to add
11:35:55 <cwickert> I see the ambassadors not as a starters group
11:36:05 <cwickert> s/starters/beginners
11:36:13 <cwickert> Ideally all ambassadors are long standing contributors and members of other groups already
11:36:25 <cwickert> Marketing on the other hand is and should be open for "newbies"
11:36:35 <mbuf> !
11:36:39 <cwickert> and this is a reason to not merge them back
11:36:41 <cwickert> EOF
11:36:44 <zoltanh7211> !
11:36:52 <jsmith> mbuf: Go ahead, and then zoltanh7211 after you
11:37:18 <mbuf> even a professional marketing course requires many years of experience
11:37:43 <mbuf> while we can encourage newbies to help with ambassadors/marketing, it will take them many years to gain the experience
11:37:58 <mbuf> that others have in order to represent a project like Fedora
11:38:30 <mbuf> EOF
11:39:55 <jsmith> zoltanh7211: You're up.
11:40:31 <zoltanh7211> Doing marketing is only one perspective, but teaching and sharing experiences is another. +1 cwickert -> That's why long term ambassadors must have the opportunity to be a mentor. EOF
11:40:58 <igorps> !
11:41:03 <jsmith> igorps: Go ahead :-)
11:41:29 <cwickert> !
11:41:42 <igorps> I agree with cwickert in a large degree. It's good that ambassadors also contribute to other projects. This is essential to guiding new contributors.
11:41:43 <jsmith> (and then cwickert after igorps)
11:42:39 <cwickert> my turn?
11:42:45 <igorps> having a wider know of the Fedora Project is even better, so they can have a better idea of what are ideal profiles for each subproject.
11:42:48 <igorps> EOF
11:43:06 <jsmith> cwickert: Now it's your turn.
11:43:24 <cwickert> Even if you have a master in marketing and PR, you still don't have a clue about Fedora.
11:43:54 <cwickert> If you are on an event and somebody approaches you: "How can I do ..." in Fedora, then you should know the project or at least be able to tell him somebody to get in contact with.
11:44:10 <cwickert> If somebody asks you "Why should I join Fedora and not Debian/OpenSUSE/whatever?" you need to have *very* good arguments.
11:44:21 <cwickert> So marketing can be done by people who have joined recently, ambassadors not really.
11:44:33 <cwickert> This is what I meant about "beginners group". I do not say that I wont let new people in, I am just talking about the ideal.
11:44:35 <cwickert> EOF
11:44:52 <jsmith> OK, next question
11:45:00 <jsmith> Q: Tell us a bit about your favorite work in Fedora, and how it has prepared you to serve on FAmSCo. (igorps, mbuf, zoltanh7211, cwickert)
11:45:37 <igorps> Is hard to tell what is or was my favorite work in Fedora
11:45:57 <igorps> I use to enjoy best what I'm doing right now
11:46:36 <igorps> So I would say that FAmSCo is my best preparation to FAmSCo
11:47:16 <igorps> Writing the reports was a nice experience and I have learned how to improve a sort of things
11:47:57 <igorps> But I also would like to mention one of my first works in Fedora
11:48:20 <igorps> when I used to coordinate the Brazilian Portuguese translation team
11:49:21 <igorps> working on a more regional level gave me experience to learn how to deal with our deadlines, schedules and people in general
11:49:59 <igorps> so it has been a long way and all experiences have their value
11:50:03 <igorps> EOF
11:50:18 <mbuf> I conduct lot of hands-on Fedora sessions to students, and help them get started with the tools we use, supporting them whenever required; there were quite a number of them who have started work on Fedora;
11:50:53 <mbuf> they even organized sessions this FUDCon Pune 2011, which to me was a rewarding experience to the effort put in over the years
11:51:37 <mbuf> experience in working in both high-context and low-context cultures has helped me guiding students into Fedora
11:51:51 <mbuf> and also help with the FAMA tickets
11:51:52 <mbuf> EOF
11:52:14 <zoltanh7211> There is no favourite work inside Fedora, I feel the passion every time - and I'm happy to feel this in every bit. With this passion to creating something useful, or binding disconected parts, rearranging, translating, building the community. help each other that make me feel that I'm prepared to do the right ting in Famsco.
11:52:57 <zoltanh7211> EOF
11:53:14 <cwickert> One of my favorite work is organizing, that is events, swag, media, meetings, giving talks and all this
11:53:37 <cwickert> I feel I am prepared to work in FAmSCo because I already do a lot of things that FAmSCo is supposed to do, e.g. I make announcements that FAmSCo is supposed to make
11:53:47 <cwickert> and now people seem to think I was some kind of community manager paid by Red Hat
11:54:12 <cwickert> I get mails every day (yes, really) and they ask me for budget, swag, media, help with visa affairs, book them flights or hotel room and much more.
11:54:22 <cwickert> I do what I can but some things I cannot, e.g. approve budget
11:55:01 <cwickert> I could go on like this and just do stuff without being in FAmSCo, but there is -at least- one thing I can only do as a member of the committee
11:55:35 <cwickert> I'd like to change the FAmSCo election guidelines to have a stronger and more active FAmSCo
11:55:48 <cwickert> I have drafted something at https://fedoraproject.org/wiki/User:Cwickert/Proposed_FAmSCo_election_rules
11:56:09 <cwickert> but it's not yet finished, just to give you an impression of what I have in mind
11:56:11 <cwickert> EOF
11:57:29 <jsmith> Q: While FAmSCo has traditionally focused on regional events and conferences, it has not spent a lot of time focusing on FUDCon events.  Do you think FAmSCo should or should not take a more active roll in FUDCon planning and coordination? (mbuf, zoltanh7211, cwickert, igorps)
11:58:24 <jsmith> (by the way, this will be the last question for today's town hall meeting)
11:59:06 <mbuf> in India, there is a close interaction amongst the members in organizing events
12:00:04 <mbuf> yes, it helps when groups work together in promoting a common cause
12:00:48 <mbuf> the recently concluded FUDCon Pune had lot of FAs helping with the FUDCon planning
12:01:15 <mbuf> I hope it is the same everywhere else too
12:01:17 <mbuf> EOF
12:03:35 <zoltanh7211> I think FUDCon is a good opportunity to build new ways within the community and inside Fedora - and the central european region needs more life, and perhaps this is the point where FAmsco aid is neceessary.
12:04:40 <zoltanh7211> EOF
12:05:13 <cwickert> Ambassadors have an excellent track record of organizing events, and this makes them a good choice for FUDCon planning
12:05:27 <cwickert> so yes, I think that should be involved in FUDCons and AFAICS they are already.
12:05:44 <cwickert> All FUDCons here in EMEA are mostly organized by ambassadors and often many of them are FAmSCo members
12:05:58 <cwickert> However FUDCons are not a typical ambassadors event, they are not for promotion of Fedora and target all groups in Fedora
12:06:15 <cwickert> When we have a FUDCon, we must have visible results, that means we need hackfests and barcamp sessions
12:06:24 <cwickert> Ideally a lot of code and features fill come out of this
12:06:52 <cwickert> So we need to have the right people there and I always felt like ambassadors are not the in the position to approve funding for event attendees
12:07:04 <cwickert> This is where the council should come into play again
12:07:06 <cwickert> EOF
12:07:26 <igorps> I believe that FAmSCo members presence in FUDCon organizational meetings are more than welcome, specially if FAmSCo has members of the specific region where the FUDCon will be organized. FAmSCo members are usually experienced in organizing events so exchanging experiences with FUDCon organizers can be really helpful.
12:08:05 <igorps> In addition, the presence of FAmSCo members in travel subsidy meetings for FUDCons can help to provide information about community members and what they are doing for Fedora. This gives more legitimacy to decisions since they can be taken considering more arguments and proper considerations.
12:08:13 <igorps> EOF
12:08:31 <cwickert> !
12:08:36 <jsmith> cwickert: Go ahead
12:09:12 <cwickert> igorps: why do you think that FAmSCo members have insight into say websites or engineering and know who is worth sponsoring?
12:09:16 <cwickert> EOF
12:10:25 <igorps> cwickert, I didn't mean that they have insight to decide if a specific member of a specific subproject should be sponsored or not
12:10:45 <igorps> but if a FAmSCo member know about something relevant
12:11:23 <cwickert> To be honest: I feel like sometimes we have too many ambassadors at FUDCons because too many of their sponsoring requests are approved by the organizers.
12:11:27 <igorps> he or she should say and give the proper information for decision
12:11:50 <cwickert> Ambassadors need to go out to the public and preach Fedora, but they don't need to preach to the already converted ones at a FUDCon :)
12:11:57 <cwickert> EOF
12:12:34 <igorps> Usually FAmSCo members have a good knowledge of contributions on other subprojects
12:12:57 * cwickert doesn't think so, but anyway...
12:13:28 <igorps> specially regionally speaking I believe that this is true
12:14:00 <igorps> I personally like to keep in touch with packagers, designers and developers from LATAM
12:14:00 <jsmith> OK, we're out of time
12:14:13 <igorps> so I know what they are doing
12:14:16 <igorps> EOF
12:15:02 <jsmith> Let's have each of the candidates give a quick closing statement?
12:15:21 <jsmith> (in the following order: zoltanh7211, cwickert, igorps, mbuf)
12:17:00 <jsmith> zoltanh7211: Are you still with us?
12:17:30 <zoltanh7211> I think it's necessary to improve many things inside Famsco, and I feel that we could do a lot together.
12:18:43 <zoltanh7211> Yet, we all know that Famsco processes has lot of flaws, but I'm ready to change it, or accept others suggestions, and build something new.
12:18:57 <zoltanh7211> EOF
12:19:24 <cwickert> I don't care if I get elected or not, as long as we have a lot of votes and get a strong FAmSCo.
12:19:36 <cwickert> I want a FAmSCo that is stong, active, transparent and visible to all ambassadors.
12:19:46 <cwickert> A good committee doesn't need to publish a report every month because everybody can see what there have achieved or not.
12:19:51 <cwickert> Please go vote for FAmSCo and the board!
12:19:56 <cwickert> Long live beefy Miracle! :)
12:19:57 <cwickert> EOF
12:20:59 <igorps> I've been contributing to Fedora since 2006 and has been great experience to me. I've been learning a lot and I would like to keep using on FAmSCo what I learned over the years. In addition I would like to keep learning with all Fedora ambassadors and contributors in order to keep building  a strong and healthy community.
12:21:25 <igorps> Thank you all for your attention!
12:21:34 <igorps> EOF
12:21:55 <mbuf> there is lot of work to be done, and it is very essential to stay focussed and get things done
12:22:15 <mbuf> thanks everyone for your time and patience
12:22:17 <mbuf> EOF
12:23:00 <jsmith> I'd like to thank all the candidates who were able to make it for today's town hall meeting.  As a reminder, the next FAmSCo town hall meeting is Tuesday, November 22 at 01:00 UTC.
12:23:17 <jsmith> Please join us then, or email me your questions directly.
12:23:23 <jsmith> Thank you all again, and have a great day!
12:23:27 <jsmith> #endmeeting