Archive for July, 2009

Stormy’s Update: Week of July 20th

Monday, July 27th, 2009

Thanks to everyone who helped get things done this week!

I think we could have a bunch more roles in GNOME. We could have someone in charge of customer case studies, someone responsible for GNOME presentation materials (slide templates, business cards), someone in charge of potential sponsor identification, etc.  If anyone sees a common thread of tasks and thinks they are up to, suggest an appropriate title and let the Foundation know you are interested!

We now have a donate section on the right hand side of the GNOME home page thanks to Andreas Nillson, Paul Cutler and Andre Klapper.

Touched base with John Carr about how the system administration team is doing. They have a team formed that’s been hard at work and have posted minutes from their last meeting. New requests can be logged in bugzilla now.

I emailed Hackerthreads about our GNOME store plans but didn’t get a response. (I’ve never gotten a response from them about anything I’ve emailed them but they email Rosanna every once in a while and they send us a percentage of all the proceeds they get from GNOME merchandise.)

Added June numbers to Friends of GNOME spreadsheet and posted a Friends of GNOME update to the Foundation blog. (June numbers weren’t great but it was good to see the subscription revenue hold steady. We are almost at our initial annual goal of $20,000! Thanks to all our Friends of GNOME!)

Asked all GNOME teams for Q2 results for the Q2 quarterly report that will come out in a couple of weeks.

Pinged a couple of times about GUADEC 2008 finances and heard that Baris is working on the tax situation in Turkey.

Prepared slides for my OSCON talk on the role of users in free software projects.

Paul Cutler set up a microblog@gnome.org email address so the identica/twitter team can post from email. (Let us know if you’d like to help identica/twitter or set up a plan for how best to do that.)

Went to OSCON in San Jose for two days.

  • Gave my talk on users in free software projects – it started some good discussions.
  • Met with potential GNOME partners like FOSSFA.
  • Met with a GNOME Mobile member who would like to get more involved.
  • Put lots of faces to names. Hopefully I can remember them all.
  • Attended Open Source for America launch party. The GNOME Foundation is a founding member!
  • Met Stefano Maffulli very briefly in person and discussed where to advertise Funambol sponsored GNOME related projects (that they are willing to pay for)
  • Interviewed with Paul Hudson from TuxRadar. He posted some snippets. Full interview to come later.

Met with another advisory board member to get their feedback. (And to encourage them to pay their way overdue advisory board fees.)

Met with a large financial company who is trying to move to GNOME/Linux desktops. Talked about ways to get their issues in front of GNOME developers for discussion. Look for blog interviews or GNOME Journal articles or something similar!

My priorities for this week:

  • thank all the Desktop Summit sponsors (Still hoping someone from the marketing team will help compile a list of all the press and blogs that came out of the Desktop Summit.)
  • Identify someone to lead case study activity:
    • Publish case studies/success stories from the foundation (This was an idea that came up on the marketing list and Novell has already sent us a great GNOME customer story that we can use.)
    • ask other sponsors to help Sun, Red Hat, Canonical for customer stories
  • find someone to help Dave Richards with the usability hackfest he’d like to hold in the City of Largo (Lucas Rocha is helping to find someone.)
  • summarize advisory board feedback for foundation list
  • summarize advisory board feedback for advisory board (close to ready)
  • fill out Google Adwords Grant Application
  • apologize to invited journalists who didn’t make the Desktop Summit because there travel wasn’t booked
  • get feedback from advisory board members on advisory board meeting at GUADEC
  • create wiki page for GNOME press team
  • get agreement signed by GNOME folks for the work Canonical is funding on bugzilla for GNOME
  • Find speakers for the Desktop panel I am now chairing at OpenSource World. (In addition to my talk.)
  • Meeting with Paul Cutler in person to talk about updating GNOME marketing wiki pages.
  • Speaking at a Colorado Springs Linux User Group.

More stuff that needs to be done:

  • finalize 401K plan with attorneys (pinged attorney again – I know she’s been traveling as I saw her at OSCON. :)
  • blog about travel committee – they did an excellent job with the Desktop Summit
  • follow up with people who had good ideas at GUADEC that they mentioned to me
  • Talk to Jim Zemlin about Moblin & Linux Foundation and relationship to GNOME Foundation
  • GNOME 3.0 launch plans? Include advisory board companies
  • follow up with OIN – they list GNOME as a partner (Dave Neary met with them at OSCON and followed up with an email)
  • Follow up with someone who had ideas for a GNOME project and wanted to know how to go about it
  • talk to Mozilla about their  Accessibility Strategy
  • figure out how to work with Spanish government (Janjo Marin sent me some ideas.)
  • Fill out paperwork for 401K insurance
  • continue to ping about automating Friends of GNOME data input process (paypal to gnucash to webpage)
  • Finance stuff (waiting on a treasurer):
    • add checks to Friends of GNOME spreadsheet
    • Work on budget with new treasurer
  • Figure out how to get product news from News Foundation blog to press and advisory board (will probably give to press team when it is created)
  • find someone to help create a GNOME slideset template
  • Find out how to review new gnome webpage content so I can help
  • Amazon mp3 download uses GTK – contact them about sponsorship
  • write up blurbs about why companies sponsor GNOME (or find people to help) – for our website (Maybe someone would like to help with sponsors?)
  • find someone who can help create a list of recommended desktop apps that OpenLogic would put in their library for enterprise customers
  • GNOME Foundation sponsorship plan like premium sponsorship – put in wiki
  • follow up with sys admin team about installing a CRM system for the GNOME Foundation (It would really help the board, Rosanna, myself and others working on contacts, sponsors and finances.)
  • follow up with the sys admin team on setting up better analytics for gnome.org so marketing can make better plans. (They are working on this one.)
  • follow up with International Cooperation group from the university where the Desktop Summit was housed (They’d like to work with us to promote free software in developing countries.)
  • send finance update out to advisory board (I’ll be doing this once a month.)
  • Figure out who could attend a conference in Saudi Arabia to discuss potential financial support for adabizing programs
  • write up notes from marketing BOF at the Desktop Summit
  • Help Rosanna recruit someone to help automate some more of the Friends’ process – like getting Friends of GNOME donor names on the website as they come in

Friends of GNOME Update

Tuesday, July 21st, 2009

In the month of June we raised $1,585, for a total of $18,953 since January 1, 2009. We’ve almost reached our goal of $20,000 for 2009! However, donations in June were down significantly.

While donations have been increasing for the past four months, June saw a return to February levels.  What June does show us is how important the Friends of GNOME subscription program is. We were able to count on those monthly donations which held steady when the one time donations dropped.

Here are some graphs that show some of the data visually.

Subscriptions held steady but overall donations dropped in June:

0906monthlysubscriptions

June 2009 was still better than previous Junes, thanks to the subscriptions to Friends of GNOME!

0906bymonth

And year to date we are very close to our goal of $20,000 for 2009!0906yeartodate

Help GNOME and sign up for Friends of GNOME‘s monthly subscription. (You’ll also get a set of stickers and a tshirt to help spread the word about GNOME!)

Stormy’s Update: Week of July 13th

Monday, July 20th, 2009

First thing Monday morning I went to the doctor who determined that I had a sinus infection. (For fellow travelers, if your cheekbones ache and your teeth feel like they are going to fall out every time the plane takes off and lands, you may have a sinus infection. Not only did I have the scheduled 3 takeoffs and landings on my trip home from the Desktop Summit but when our plane got hit by lightening, they threw in a bonus landing and takeoff in Wyoming!)

Followed up on some Desktop Summit stuff:

  • Sent co-locating survey results to both KDE and GNOME boards. Attended GNOME Board decision meeting about co-locating in the future. (You’ll have to wait for them to say what the decision was …)
  • Pinged sponsor companies about banners that were left behind.
  • Helped draft co-located press release.

Pinged attorney about 401K plan. (Our attorney did meet with the plan’s attorney.)

Trying to help figure out a board meeting time – with seven board members around the world with jobs and school, it’s hard to find a time that works. Our current time doesn’t work very well for folks in India, like Srini. (He did stay up until 3am last time though to dial in!)

Read the GNOME Annual Report 2008. Nice job, Lucas, writers and photographers! It was a good year for GNOME.

Created a Zazzle account for the new GNOME Store. (Got permission to have a 5 letter login and store name, gnome.)

Set up a press interview about my talk at OpenSource World.

Wrote my Friends of GNOME post cards. They went to Finland, Australia, Cyprus, and Canada as well as several US states! Sign up to support GNOME with a Friends of GNOME monthly subscription and get a postcard from your favorite hacker!

Created some Amazon affiliate accounts in US, UK, Canada and Germany so that Jaap can set up stores and a Firefox widget that will enable people to direct Amazon referral fees for their purchase to GNOME.

Talked to a couple of sponsors (Canonical, IBM) about things they’d like to see done and things they are willing to sponsor.

Met with Sally from HALO Worldwide. She helps the Apache Foundation with their press and marketing and teaches a class every year at ApacheCon. We talked about how she could help with GNOME marketing and pres. I’d love to have a marketing hackfest and have her come teach a press class.

Met with Paul Cutler about all the things we’d like to get going on GNOME marketing, following up on all the conversations from the Desktop Summit.

Went through all my email and notes from the Desktop Summit and created an enormous todo list.

For next week:

  • Create slides for my OSCON talk, the Role of Users in Open Source Projects.  It will be based on [Correction] The Role of Consumers in an Open Source Community. Speaking of OSCON, I really like the system they have set up for identifying which talks you want to see, what other talks people interested in those talks are interested in and identifying who will be at the conference and who you’d like to meet. It would be great to have something like that for GUADEC.
  • Attending two days of OSCON. (Short trip this year to save on hotel stays and to minimize time away from home as I’ve already spent 10 days away from home this month.)
  • Tackling as many items from the rest of my todo list as possible.

The rest of my to do list. (Let me know if you’d like to help on any of the projects!) These are not in any particular order here.

  • thank all the Desktop Summit sponsors (Hoping someone from the marketing team will help compile a list of all the press and blogs that came out of the Desktop Summit.)
  • finalize 401K plan with attorneys
  • blog about travel committee – they did an excellent job with the Desktop Summit
  • ask all teams for input on Q2 report
  • follow up with potential sponsor who was at GUADEC
  • follow up with people who had good ideas at GUADEC that they mentioned to me
  • Talk to Jim Zemlin about Moblin & Linux Foundation and relationship to GNOME Foudnation
  • GNOME 3.0 launch plans? Include advisory board companies
  • publish June Friends of GNOME data
  • Publish case studies/success stories from the foundation (This was an idea that came up on the marketing list and Novell has already sent us a great GNOME customer story that we can use.)
  • ask other sponsors to help Sun, Red Hat, Canonical for customer stories
  • find people to help with the customer testimonials (case study article, quotes, slides, sidebar)
  • find someone to help Dave Richards with the usability hackfest he’d like to hold in the City of Largo
  • find sponsors for GNOME foundation booth in 2010 CSUN
  • apologize to invited journalists who didn’t make the Desktop Summit because there travel wasn’t booked
  • talk to OIN – they list GNOME as a partner
  • Follow up with someone who had ideas for a GNOME project and wanted to know how to go about it
  • summarize advisory board feedback for foundation list
  • summarize advisory board feedback for advisory board (close to ready)
  • fill out Google Adwords Grant Application
  • talk to Mozilla about their  Accessibility Strategy
  • figure out how to work with Spanish government (Janjo Marin sent me some ideas.)
  • Fill out paperwork for 401K insurance
  • add checks to Friends of GNOME spreadsheet
  • continue to ping about GUADEC 2008 finances
  • continue to ping about automating Friends of GNOME data input process (paypal to gnucash to webpage)
  • Work on budget with new treasurer
  • Figure out how to get product news from News Foundation blog to press and advisory board (will probably give to press team when it is created)
  • find someone to help create a GNOME slideset template
  • get back to Funambol on where to advertise GNOME related projects that they are willing to pay for
  • Find out how to review new gnome webpage content so I can help
  • Amazon mp3 download uses GTK – contact them about sponsorship
  • write up blurbs about why companies sponsor GNOME (or find people to help) – for our website
  • find someone who can help create a list of recommended desktop apps that OpenLogic would put in their library for enterprise customers
  • GNOME Foundation sponsorship plan like premium sponsorship – put in wiki
  • follow up with sys admin team about installing a CRM system for the GNOME Foundation (It would really help the board, Rosanna, myself and others working on contacts, sponsors and finances.)
  • follow up with the sys admin team on setting up better analytics for gnome.org so marketing can make better plans.
  • follow up with International Cooperation group from the university where the Desktop Summit was housed (They’d like to work with us to promote free software in developing countries.)
  • get feedback from advisory board members on advisory board meeting at GUADEC
  • send finance update out to advisory board (I’ll be doing this once a month.)
  • Figure out who could attend a conference in Saudi Arabia to discuss potential financial support for adabizing programs
  • write up notes from marketing BOF at the Desktop Summit
  • get identica@gnome.org email address so identica/twitter team can post from email
  • create wiki page for GNOME press team
  • get agreement signed by GNOME folks for the work Canonical is funding on bugzilla for GNOME
  • Make sure we get donate button on gnome.org front page
  • Find speakers for the Desktop panel I am now chairing at OpenSource World. (In addition to my talk.)

Stormy’s Update: Week of July 5th

Thursday, July 9th, 2009

Spent the week at the Desktop Summit/GUADEC.

Met with a ton of people. Putting lots of faces to names. (Some people need new hackergotchis, identi.ca and twitter icons. Me included.) Managed to see a couple of talks too. :) I have to admit I was most interested in the questions and discussions that the presentations generated. I was very excited that many people reported interesting KDE/GNOME conversations.

Realized that while this year I don’t have several hundred GNOME people to meet for the first time, I suddenly have several hundred KDE people to meet … I met quite a few at the Nokia party as I was one of the first (if not the first) GNOME person to show up.

Igalia sponsored the GNOME party and didn’t forget our traditions: ice cream death match and jam session. It was a great time! (The whiskey thing happened another night. I decided it was wisest not to attend that party. :)

The board of advisors meeting went well. We had a round table in the morning followed by a finance update and a call for help with hackfests. (Almost all the sponsors would very much like to see us do more hackfests we just have to figure out how to get the funding.) We also got some great commitments to help with Friends of GNOME, GNOME customer success stories and hackfests. After an excellent lunch in a Persian restaurant that Rosanna, Owen and Blizzard found, we returned for a discussion with the GNOME 3.0 projects. (All those projects involved in GNOME 3.0.)

I had breakfast with some local government and university officials. I sat next to Jose Miguel Santos Espino, the director of the computer science department, and I happened to tell him about the GNOME and KDE folks in Nigeria that couldn’t get visas to come. A couple of days later he contacted me with an excellent proposal. He suggested that we work with their International Cooperations Department to find ways to bring free software to countries in Africa as well as Latin America and Asia. We had a good conversation with Josefa de la Rosa Cantos and we will work with them during their next conference of Spanish and African universities.

I also got a chance to talk to Antonio Jose Saenz Albanes who is working a project to deploy 2 million laptops to students in Andalucia. His main problem is accessibility so I introduced him to the GNOME accessibility team.

The GNOME Mobile BOF started out the same way that so many GNOME Mobile BOFs do trying to define what is GNOME mobile but we actually progressed during this one which was awesome. GNOME Mobile is a place for people using GNOME Mobile technologies to collaborate. However, we’ll build on the GNOME brand, not the GNOME Mobile brand. We also brainstormed quite a few ideas, like inviting the maintainers for key GNOME technologies to join the GNOME Mobile mailing list.

AGM. The AGM went really well even though we competed with many other attractions. All the teams gave an update. We’ll be posting minutes and slides but in the meantime you can check out the GNOME identi.ca feed where the AGM was broadcast live: http://identi.ca/gnome.

The marketing BOF was late Thursday afternoon in a really hot room but people had some great ideas. (We were hot! :) We discussed things like marketing campaigns, audiences (existing GNOME users, not developers), having regional presence on the to-be-formed press team. and we decided we’d put together 4 case studies (GNOME success stories) by the end of the month. Anne Ostergaard suggested the Andalusian school project. Guy Lunardi provided a Novell customer story. I took notes and we’ be publishing soon.

Survey. If you haven’t already, please take the co-locating survey. We’ll be deciding next week whether we are co-locating again or not next year. One thing I’ve noticed about the respondents so far is that of the people that collaborated with a KDE person, 95+% think the co-located Desktop Summit was a success. Among those that didn’t collaborate with a KDE person, only 35% think the Desktop Summit was a success.

Starting the 20+ hour trip home tomorrow at 4am.

Stormy’s Update: Week of June 29th

Tuesday, July 7th, 2009

Answered several sets of email interview questions for articles about the Desktop Summit.

Interviewed several more advisory board members. Tried to get the writeup out before GUADEC but didn’t quite manage.

Wrote one last invitation letter for the Desktop Summit/GUADEC attendee who needs it for visa/work reasons. (Sadly a couple of Nigerians and an Iranian didn’t make it for visa reasons.)

Wrote a press release that was delayed for a while … hopefully it’ll come out in a couple of weeks.

Booked travel for OSCON. Short trip to save on hotels and because doing two long trips (GUADEC and OSCON) in one month is too much for my family, especially during the summer.

Looked for other GNOME speakers, especially in Europe, to help out with events where GNOME is invited to speak. (Let me know if you’d like to nominate someone to be added to the list.)

Traveled to the Canary Islands – a long trip. Almost missed my connection in Madrid but thank fully I didn’t and I got to see Chema in the airport.

Attended the press interview for the local Spanish press at the Desktop Summit on Friday. They had questions like what is free software, is it as good as proprietary software, could our government be using it, why isn’t our government using it? The local politician we’ve been working with, Roberto Moreno, is a computer science professor at the local university.

Worked on agenda and location for GUADEC board of directors and board of advisors meeting. (Didn’t finalize board of advisors location until the day before with Rosanna’s help. It was all “mañana.”)

Went to the board of directors meetings. It was productive even if we were all a bit jetlagged. We welcomed Germán and Diego to the board. (Also, because of flight delays, Diego wasn’t able to join us until later.) We talked about logistical things like minutes and roles as well as things like an agenda for the AGM and other things. Minutes will probably come out shortly after everyone gets home from GUADEC.

Went to the opening party sponsored by Canonical. It was good to put faces with a lot of people I’ve met over the past year. (Including a few faces I met last year but didn’t remember since I met so many hundreds of people in that first week on the job …) Also talked to the keynote speakers, Walter Bender and r0ml, about their keynotes …

Pinged about a lot of last minute Desktop Summit details. Most of them are turning out well.

Attended the first day of the Desktop Summit. Went to the keynotes in the morning and then spent the afternoon in the press room. Walter Bender and r0ml’s keynotes were great. Walter has a great project and cause and r0ml is a very entertaining speaker. Richard Stallman’s keynote caused a lot of controversy. (It also had  a lot of old content and when keynoting, it’s generally understood that you show something new unless specifically requested to regive an old talk.) The local media was extremely interested in speaking to Stallman and I think he probably helped promote free software in the Canary Islands quite a bit.

Had lunch with the board of directors and Richard Stallman. He reminded us to use free software instead of the term open source software in order to show support for the free software movement. He also wanted to discuss C#/mono. (This was before the latest Microsoft announcement. I don’t know if the conversation would be different now or not.)

I have a very long to do list. This is only part of it. (Anyone is welcome to help out too!) I’ll publish the entire list in an update after the Desktop Summit.

  • Attend the Desktop Summit!
  • Apply for Amazon accounts in other countries so people can direct referral money to the GNOME Foundation.
  • Fill out Google Grant Adwords application with data from Claus Schwarm.
  • Send out summaries of the meetings with Board of Advisor folks.
  • Work on 2009 finances with nonprofit workshop and Jaap’s feedback in mind. Hopefully with the new treasurer.
  • Update Friends of GNOME spreadsheet data with the checks we’ve received. (It’s currently Paypal data. We don’t get many checks.)
  • Work on the new GNOME Foundation sponsorship plan, like premium sponsorship.
  • Work with marketing list to figure out how best to report and act on Friends of GNOME survey data. (John Williams is looking at it now.)