sent this on Monday, but seems like it never arrived :-( As discussion on similar topic is still ongoing, resending.
as you all know, we have a group of contributors that are eligible to participate in elections, have @opensuse.org mail and other perks - yes I'm talking about openSUSE Members. We have now about 600 of them, but as you can see in last openSUSE Board elections only 150 of them voted.
This could mean two things - either most of the members are not interested in elections or plenty of them are simply no longer around. I guess the truth is somewhere in middle. But it would be nice to know. At some point we might need to take some project wide decisions and it would be great to know at that point how many of the still active members voted.
We discussed this topic at not so recent openSUSE Board Face to Face meeting and touched it on oSC 15 during project meeting. Also taking under consideration the responses that were provided to a similar topic approximately 2 years ago, we (in the board) think it would be a good idea to implement something to help with that. Automatically monitor openSUSE Members activity on mailing lists, OBS, bugzilla, maybe more. Remember when we last saw openSUSE Member on any of those channels and if he doesn't show for for example one year, we can send him e-mail asking whether he still wants to be a member with a link to click to create artificial activity for the automat. And if he doesn't click on it in let's say month, we will retire him - he will be moved to openSUSE retired geekos group. If he comes back and want to be member again or if he was retired by accident, he can be made member again by just clicking on the link from the mail or by asking membership committee and they will approve him without any additional questions.
What do you think? As it will affect whole project some feedback would be appreciated. If it goes well, I would put it for project wide vote to let the project members decide.
To answer some of the obvious questions:
Q: Shouldn't we retire inactive members anyway and measure their activity?
A: No, it's too hard, too subjective and it could bother people that we cannot measure automatically. Automatic measurement is just an indicator that those people are no longer interested, but they might be just working on project aspects we cannot measure.
Q: Wouldn't it offend active contributors if they will be falsely accused of not being interested?
A: I hope not. If period will be long enough (1 year) and if we monitor even mailing lists, people will usually show up somewhere...
Q: Doesn't it change the meaning of the openSUSE Member?
A: Kind of yes. So far once you got a membership status, it was forever. Now it would be forever as long as you are interested. No big change, but still a little difference.
Q: What if mail with warning gets lost?
A: If you loose your membership by accident by loosing an e-mail, you can still contact membership committee and as a retired member you will be reinstated immediately without voting/verification that takes time. And you should fix your e-mail in connect in that case ;-)