Previously we discussed a proposal (http://lists.opensuse.org/opensuse-project/2012-01/msg00381.html) about a potential for membership lapse. A summary of this discussion can be found on the wiki, http://en.opensuse.org/openSUSE:Membership_lapse_summary
Based on this summary and the last project meeting, see minutes http://lists.opensuse.org/opensuse-project/2012-02/msg00064.html, I am putting forth the proposal below for further discussion, if further discussion is necessary. This, or a refined proposal will be presented for a vote to project members for acceptance at some point in the, hopefully, near future. We agreed on soliciting a vote in the last project meeting.
To recap, the goal driving this initiative is to provide a more equitable level between becoming a member and being a member, with focus on contributions. In order to become a member one has to contribute to the project and upon completing the membership application show these contributions to be verified by the membership committee.
As always, please focus on the topic at hand, avoid rants, and be kind.
Proposal: ======= At a time 4 month' prior to a member's even number year anniversary (that would be year 2, 4, 6...) attempts will be made to contact the member via the known e-mail address. Initial contact attempts will be automated to reduce work for the membership committee.
The automated e-mail will contain a link to a web page that enables the member to check areas of contributions to the project. Submission of the form results in automatic membership "renewal" until the next even number anniversary of the member.
Should the automated e-mail bounce 2 more automated attempts will be made to contact the member within 3 weeks of the initial automated e-mail. Should these automated attempts fail a member of the membership committee will make an attempt to locate the member via ML messages, IRC, and possibly other means such as social media. This is a best effort attempt to contact the member.
Should the automated e-mail arrive (not bounce) but the web form should not get submitted, 2 more automated attempts will be made to contact the member within 3 weeks of the initial automated e-mail. Should these automated attempts fail a member of the membership committee will make an attempt to contact the member with a personal e-mail message or locate the member in IRC, Connect or other media. The member will be requested to submit the web form. This is a best effort attempt to contact the member.
In the event that a member cannot be contacted in the 4 month time frame or a member is no longer contributing to the project the member will become an Honorary member.
Honorary members retain their @opensuse e-mail address. However, honorary members may no longer participate in any voting activities that are open only to members.
Resuming contributions to the project at any time will provide an honorary member with the opportunity to request reinstatement as a member to resume vote participation. =====
In conjunction with this proposal, I propose that we implement infrastructure such that initial contribution verification is simplified and ongoing contribution recognition is possible, see FATE 313229 https://features.opensuse.org/313229. This infrastructure would eliminate the need for contributing members to visit a web page to mark their contributions and membership "renewal" would take place automatically. In addition this infrastructure will reduce the tedious work the membership team completes today and thus will improve the processing speed of new membership applications.
This proposal also requires the implementation of some basic infrastructure, or will put a good chunk of work onto the membership committee.
Last but not least, please keep in mind that this is about contributions. Yes, voting is effected, but should not be the center of the discussion. Basically it is expected that members are interested in voting. If a large percentage of members do not vote this, in and of itself sends a clear message that there's something going on with the project. Thus, we do not need to discuss the "what if I don't want to vote..." or "voting should be mandatory..." arguments we have heard previously.