Mailinglist Archive: opensuse-project (465 mails)

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Re: [opensuse-project] Naming registered members of openSUSE
  • From: Peter Linnell <mrdocs@xxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Thu, 08 Jul 2010 09:18:23 +0200
  • Message-id: <4C357BBF.3040301@xxxxxxxxxxxx>
On 7/8/10 2:18 AM, Bryen M. Yunashko wrote:
On Sun, 2010-07-04 at 10:33 +0200, Andreas Jaeger wrote:
I'd like to do a bit out of the box thinking on this one and see the
$member discussion in a broader context as well.

Currently the benefits of membership are:
* blog account
* IRC cloak
* mail alias
* Right to vote the openSUSE board - and perhaps participate in other votes
we do

Do we want to open up all of this and open it up so that everybody can sign
up and can get these benefits - or a part of it? This might be good from a
marketing perspective since more people would call themselves $member and
use their openSUSE org mail alias etc.

Or do we want to continue giving these benefits based on merit?

Somebody said in the discussion that he felt bad whenever we had to reject
a person applying for membership. Why does it happen that people apply
that are not active? What can be done here?

Btw. how do other projects handle this? What names are Debian, Fedora,
Ubuntu, etc. doing in this regard? Can anybody register and have these
rights or to which is it bound?


We seem to lately get into big hashouts on naming strategies here and
elsewhere and it deters us from the ultimate issue. AJ did a good job
of trying to bring it back to the heart of the matter, and I'd like to
continue on this more deeply with my insights:

First of all, that "somebody" mentioned above was me! :-)

It pained me to reject those applicants because they took the time to
apply, even if they didn't read the instructions carefully, because
somehow or another they really want to support or find a way to become
more involved in openSUSE.

So let's break it down:

Our current approved membership is based on merit. If you contribute
substantially in one form or another, you can become a member. It is a
form of appreciation, and this group of people are contributors.
(Perhaps rename openSUSE Member as openSUSE Contributor?)

Then we have the rejected ones (I'm not referring to the spam applicants
but to those who generally like openSUSE.) These people have not
contributed yet and possibly may not yet know how to contribute. What
they basically did was download openSUSE media and then say "WOW, I love
openSUSE! I want to support them somehow." (Perhaps we call them
openSUSE Supporters?) These people presently have no place to express
their support except by signing the Guiding Principles.

I've always considered the Marketing Team, along with the Community
Manager, to be a sort of concierge in the lobby helping to direct people
to where they can do some good. We seek out potential contributors, we
answer questions to potential contributors and we help connect them to
specific teams where they can either a) get started contributing or b)
learn the skills to become a contributor.

In that same vein, we should be taking the rejected applicants for
membership and engaging with them to find out more and see how we can
create more contributions. In fact, most, if not all, of our strategy
proposals depend on the growth of our contributor base in openSUSE. And
we simply cannot wait for potential contributors to come to us, we need
to be proactive and find them. This is something we don't do today.
All we do is send them a nice thank you note for applying and basically
tell them, come back again when you have more.

A non-contributor today may be a contributor tomorrow.

There's been a discussion in this thread about creating some sort of
tiered membership format. I don't agree with that because it simply
gives us more overhead and potentially political bickering.

instead, I propose we do two separate groups:

openSUSE Contributors (or we can come up with a different name for that)
with everything just the same, same benefits or even add more benefits
down the line as reward for their sustained contributions.

openSUSE Supporters - this group would be free-for-all, anyone can join.
You can get certain benefits that simply are associated with being a
supporter. For example:
-- A digital badge you can print out "I<3 openSUSE"
-- Automatic subscription to a periodic openSUSE newsletter
-- Discount at the openSUSE Store. (Hey, let's face it, the more people
we get wearing our shirts, the more walk-around free advertising we
-- Early access to the latest openSUSE release. Like maybe one week.
(In theory, what we'd really be doing is pushing back our actual release
by one week, and again in a marketing effort, give people a sense that
they have early access to openSUSE and will excitably talk about
openSUSE before the rest of the world does.)

Now we have two distinctive groups that take the two most common
perceptions of what "member" means.

Bryen M Yunashko
openSUSE Board Member

The most sensible plan I've seen through this discussion of strategy.

It accomplishes a couple of things important. One a means to recognize people who really do the work and a way for those who simply want to support what we are doing. Neither category is exclusive of the other.

I also like the early release idea. A simple way to build some excitement about about the upcoming release. Think viral marketing: Let others bring the message via blogs etc.

Just my 0.02


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