Sat, 08 Oct 2005

I ended up not going to State of Play, which is sort of unfortunate, but the tradeoff was that I got to spend about 10 hours with Jeff today, and he ended up falling asleep on my couch. Always good to spend time with him.

One thing we discussed quite a bit was the board and the form and role of the board. After the talk, I have decided I am going to run for the board again, and I hope to continue on the board for some time. However, I’m going to run on a different platform, aiming for a different role, and a role that I think maybe (though I’m not fully convinced of this) more of the board should adopt. Specifically, every time I’ve run for the board, the focus has been on ‘what kinds of projects are you going to tackle as a board member.’ I am beginning to think now that the right question is ‘what kinds of questions will you ask as a board member.’ The shift, at least for me personally, will be from being a board member focused on activism to a board member focused on oversight, questioning, and cultivation of other volunteers. There are some big questions that an oversight-centric board would have to focus on that in my opinion we currently do fairly poorly at. What are the goals of the foundation, and how effectively do the board’s actions (our employee, our events, our spending) meet those goals? Instead of doing things ourselves, how can the board increase the effectiveness of the foundation’s resources in meeting the foundation’s goals? Recruit new volunteers? Create new resources? Leverage existing resources? It is quite possible that the right measure of a board’s term is not ‘what did members of the board do’, but rather ‘what did members of the board guide and encourage others to do, and under what principles did they decide conflicts that came before them.’

I’m sure I’ll write more about this in the next few weeks as we come to the election.

It is probably also worth noting that I plan to transition all my GNOME involvement during the next year away from the forms of involvement I’ve traditionally done (QA, release organization, and in the past year marketing) to news and data gathering of some sort; exact details TBD. Dave might finally get LuisNews; we’ll see. My goal is to reduce the need for my timely involvement, and refocus on a task I can do in a big chunk on a saturday morning every week instead of requiring my constant attention, while hopefully still being fairly high impact, by becoming a desktop journalist with good intents, good background, etc. We’ll see, I guess. Look for this to start this weekend as I take notes in the background instead of sitting in the front. I might still goad people into action, but it’ll have to be more indirect ;)