Stormy’s Update: Week of May 18th

What are these updates?

Here are some of the things I worked on during the week of May 18th in no particular order of importance.¬† I’m focusing more on just letting people know what I’m working on in these updates than giving a complete update on any issue – that happens in the different forums I’m working on. A few things don’t make it to this list for confidentiality reasons.

If you have questions, please ask them in the comments!

So what did I work on?

Had an email discussion with a few people from FOSSFA. We will meet at OSCON to discuss how the GNOME Foundation and FOSSFA might collaborate.

Helped promote Friends of GNOME badges. Marketing list came up with a schedule for people to help promote it on a regular basis via blogs.

Had lunch with Jonathan Corbet from LWN. I asked him how projects like GNOME could work best with him. He’d love to get more regular updates of future plans – technical, product plans. It’s really hard to follow all the project related lists to keep up on what’s going on. They are also willing to pay people to write articles on GNOME. (But if you are willing to write articles on GNOME, please also remember GNOME Journal!!)

Worked on my GNOME Journal article – an interview with Laszlo Peter from Sun on how Sun works with upstream GNOME. We’re on the final touches.

Started a discussion on the agenda¬† for the GUADEC Advisory Board meeting. We’ll be focusing on GNOME 3.0. We’ll want community members to come talk about GNOME 3.0 roadmap, marketing and projects like Zeitgeist and GNOME Shell. We’ll also have time for the advisory board members to update us and each other on their GNOME plan.

Google adsense vs adwords. We had a discussion on the GNOME Marketing list about adding ads to (A discussion, not a proposal nor a plan!) I followed up with a conversation with Google and discovered that Google has an AdWords grant program. If we get it we get $300/day worth of free ads. (And we can’t have an adsense account which I don’t believe we really wanted anyway. If we ever do ads, we’d want to work closely with the company and approve the ad itself.)

Booked travel for GUADEC. Staying at the Hotel Fataga with hopes of being close to board of directors and board of advisors. (If you are at GUADEC, please remember that some of the board of advisors members are new to our community and include them in your happy hour and dinner plans as appropriate!)

Attended great nonprofit seminar. Tuesday I went to a local nonprofit seminar and learned about board of directors responsibilities, subcommittees, marketing and finances. I will share in the appropriate lists and on my blog as I digest the information and make it useful. (For example, this week I plan to add some info/graphs to the 2009 budget to make it easier to read based on some of the things I learned in the finance talk.)

Discussed sponsorship levels for companies – active discussion on the marketing list. Things like should we have more granulation based on company size? Should we have different levels of sponsorship with different benefits?

Signed up another corporate sponsor for the Desktop Summit. A couple of more to finalize!

Created a survey for Friends of GNOME donors. Will test this week with marketing list. I really would like to know why they donated, what they appreciate about what the Foundation is doing, what they’d like to see in the future, and what GNOME products do they use.

Pinged about website ruler for Friends of GNOME. There’s a ruler in progress to track Friends of GNOME donations and goals we have for that money.

Pinged about analytics for website. Not an urgent issue but something I’d like to see added to the (very long already) sys admin to do list. We could do much better marketing, fundraising and *meeting people’s needs* if we knew why they came to our website and what they looked at. We have some data now but it’s not nearly as much nor as useful as it could be.

Made appointment to talk to attorney this week about pending issues. Yeah!

Discussing GNOME Mobile plans at OSiM 2009. Several people have been working on GNOME Mobile plans for OSiM and we are now talking together about them.

Finalized OSBR article about GNOME Foundation. The goal of the article was to tell people what open source related foundations/organizations look like – or rather tell them how the GNOME Foundation works as an example of what they might look like. (And it’s in an issue with all women authors which is how I ended up writing it. I was recruited to write an article because I was a women in open source and I choose to write it on the GNOME Foundation.)

Looking for a desktop deployment cases study (and presenter) for OpenSource Word.

Agreed to keynote at UTOSC (they are paying travel even though I can only go for one day – it’s a very short flight from my home) and asked for volunteers to run a GNOME booth. Christer Edwards expressed interest.

SFScon 2009 would like to know if we’d like to have another hackfest there. It’s being discussed with last year’s planners and the board.

Sent a few GNOME related announcements through identica/twitter GNOME account. If you’d like to help twitter, let me know!

Had a few discussions (seperately) with projects, companies and the board about how people might use our Amazon Affiliate account. If it’s built in to a project and the proceeds go to the GNOME Foundation, how much credit or control could or should go to the project or to the maintainers of that project? That type of conversation.

Had a discussion with the OpenLogic CEO about recommending some GNOME desktop applications to add to their library. If you’d like to help decide on a short list of enterprise ready desktop applications, let me know. (These would not be supported applications at first. OpenLogic would add them to the library and eventually certify them. If/when added, their customers could download them and use them.)

There’s probably a few other threads in my email that I missed but I think that’s a most of what I did last week.

Plans for this week:

  • Test Friends of GNOME survey with marketing list.
  • Contribute to levels of sponsorship discussion on marketing list.
  • Talk to attorney. Hopefully wrap up three outstanding legal projects.
  • Ping several of our existing sponsors on open issues. (One is very behind on advisory board fee payments.)
  • Prepare talk for keynote at Open Source Systems confernece next week. (They are paying for travel. Still a long trip but a good chance to talk to unversity folks about GNOME and many of our contributors start in university.)
  • Wrap up as many issues, projects and conversations as possible.
  • Get remaining pending Desktop Summit sponsors agreed upon and invoiced.
  • Work on 2009 finances with nonprofit workshop in mind.
  • Think about how GNOME projects, committees like the travel committee and teams like the sys admin team work with the nonprofit workshop in mind.
  • Apply for Google Adwords Grant program.
  • Board of Directors meeting.

Stormy’s Update: Week of May 11, 2009

Short two day week, as I’m off on vacation!

  • GNOME Advisory Board meeting
    • did roundtable
    • Asked who was planning to ship GNOME 3.0. Everybody was interested in shipping it but probably not GNOME 3.0.0. Still working plans about when they’d ship it.
    • Briefly discussed 2009 finances. One person said they’d have preferred a more positive message or a message with a call to support lots of new things. (I pointed out we are planning to use additional money for things like sys admin and hackfests.) Once again it was agreed that lots of subscribers would make for a strong GNOME Foundation and we need to figure out ways to make subscribers feel like they belong.
    • GUADEC advisory board meeting. Most likely the main topic of discussion will be GNOME 3.0 – the advisory board is interested in an update. We’ll also probably have presentations by members. Stormy will send out draft agenda.
    • Heard again that the Canary Islands is not a good destination for corporate travel, especially this year. Several people pointed out that it is cheaper than Istanbul was!
    • Hackfests. This was a short discussion at the end. We had a couple of ideas like hosting them at company sites and approving employee time to participate.
  • Replacing US event box is low on Rosanna’s priority until we have a need for the box. (Event box and some contents were stolen from a volunteer’s apartment after SCALE.)
  • Wrote an article about the GNOME Foundation for the next release of OSBR. (The next issue’s theme is articles written by women in open source.)
  • Pinged lots of people: attorney, travel agent for meeting rooms for board meetings at GUADEC, Google about adsense account, various sponsors about GUADEC sponsorship, …
  • Participated in several discussions on the marketing list on GNOME merchandise, audience themes, Friends of GNOME, …

Stormy’s Update, Week of May 4, 2009

  • Marketing
    • GNOME 3.0 Marketing
      • Working on a plan for GNOME 3.0 marketing with Paul Cutler. Paul sent out a plan to create a plan. We will use the discussion and feedback on the list to create a calendar. See thread on the marketing mailing list if you are interested in participating.
      • Planning GNOME 3.0 BOF at GUADEC with Paul Cutler.
    • Working on standard presentations for GNOME for people interested in speaking on GNOME.
    • Discussed whether we’d want to add ads to (Rumor has it they could be worth up to $145K/year.)
    • Agreed to approach Google about sharing revenue generated from search from aps like Epiphany.
    • Put together a draft for how to recruit sponsors for GNOME.
  • Legal stuff:
    • Agreement with SugarCRM for free use of their services being reviewed by attorneys.
    • 401K plan being reviewed by attorneys. (Setting up a GNOME Foundation 401K with SocialK. Plan costs, including matching funds for Rosanna and Stormy, to be covered by a paycut to Stormy.)
    • GNOME Accessibility Outreach program contract. Modified the contest contract to be a more generic contract so that we can continue to have people work on the tasks even though the contest is officially over. Sent to attorney for review.
  • Friends of GNOME
    • got feedback from several people, brought it up on the marketing list
    • published April data
    • discussed how to get data for a ruler on the webpage
  • Desktop Summit
    • On going: Looking for rooms for the adboard and board meeting. Looking for a local person to help work with two sponsors that want to host parties. (In addition to the two that are already connected.)
    • Pinged companies that have not finalized sponsoring plans. Finalized agreement with two of them. Still several outstanding.
  • Sponsors:
    • Exchanged email with three companies interested in signing up. (These have been on-going conversations for a while.)
    • Contacted two other companies I think might be interested. Had a phone discussion with one.
    • Pinged one that is way behind on payments.

What’s happening with the GNOME Foundation, April 2009

Sponsors and the Advisory Board

  • Our April meeting was about GNOME 3.0 and deprecation plans.
  • 2009 Funding.
  • In person Advisory Board meeting at the Desktop Summit will be Tuesday, July 7th.
  • Joe “Zonker” Brockmeier has joined the advisory board as Novell’s representative.

Conferences & Events

  • There was a GNOME Mobile meeting at the Collaboration Summit.
  • Upcoming events:
    • GUADEC & Akademy. Canary Islands, Spain, July 8, 2009. Website is live, general schedule is ready. The AGM meeting will be on Wednesday, July 8, 2009.
    • Shaun McCance is planning a GNOME documentation hackfest at the Open Source Documentation Conference that will be funded by Intel.
    • Libre Graphics Meeting: The GNOME Foundation is sponsoring LGM by handling their donation process for no fee.
    • Passed on an OSiM Taiwan speaking opportunity to the GNOME Mobile group.
    • For more info see GNOME events.

Other stuff going on:

For more administrative detail, you can also read the Board of Directors meeting minutes.

Friends of GNOME update

In the month of April we raised $3,316, for a total of $10,027.13 since January 1, 2009. (We had a big day on April 30th when John Palmieri posted The GNOME Foundation Needs Your Help.)

Here are some graphs that show recent trends.

Comparing donations by years:

Donations by Year

Comparing donations by month across years:

Compare Months by Year

Showing what percentage of our Friends of GNOME income comes from subscription payments:


In 2009, we were planning on raising $20,000 from Friends of GNOME for general Foundation funds. With the launch of the sys admin team, the Foundation said it would like to be able to hire a part time system administrator to coordinate efforts and in order to do so, we are looking to raise $50,000 from Friends of GNOME. Canonical has agreed to match $10,000 of contributions with the goal being to hire a system administrator for GNOME.

What’s happening with the GNOME Foundation, February and March 2009

[Sorry, just realized this was in draft format all month! – Stormy, May 4, 2009]

Sponsors and the Advisory Board

  • Our February meeting was about infrastructure and system administration issues. We talked about creating a formal sys admin team, what the GNOME project needs and how companies can help with people and money. Sys admin team announced along with donations from Google, Codethink and Canonical.
  • Our March meeting was to update the advisory board members on GUADEC and Desktop Summit planning status.
  • The April meeting will be about GNOME 3.0 and deprecation plans.
  • 2009 Funding.
    • 2009 money is coming in from companies.
    • Balanced our budget to match expected income this year. Hackfest funding is expected to be way down.
    • Hackfests – while all of our sponsors are enthusiastic about hackfests, they are having trouble coming up with funding for them this year due to the budget.
    • We are looking at see if we can do things like fund a usability study- see discussions on the usability list.


Other stuff going on:

  • Friends of GNOME:
    • $6711.35 (since January 1)
    • Please consider showing your GNOME love and signing up!
  • The GNOME Travel Committee has been formed and announced along with a call for GUADEC travel assistance applications.
  • GTK+ Theming API Hackfest, February 16-20, Dublin, Ireland. About 10 people got together in the Sun offices for some GTK+ Theming hacking. Thanks to Alberto Ruiz for pulling this together.
  • We will have preferential voting this year.
  • GNOME 3.0 planning announced!
  • Cancelled the Bolzano GTK+ Hackfest due to lack of sponsorship.
  • Shaun McCance is planning a GNOME documentation hackfest at the Open Source Documentation Conference.
  • You can buy GNOME branded clothing at Hackerthreads, including a new polo shirt and a baseball cap.
  • Libre Graphics Meeting: The GNOME Foundation is sponsoring LGM by handling their donation process for no fee.

For more administrative detail, you can also read the Board of Directors meeting minutes.

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