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Re: Content, Donations, Sponsor, Other projects

From: Davi Leal
Subject: Re: Content, Donations, Sponsor, Other projects
Date: Tue, 4 Sep 2007 08:00:33 +0200
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Antenore Gatta wrote:
> following the last (and oldest as well) discussions with RMS, I have the
> sensation that there is no way to obtain a "practical" help from the FSF.
> For practical I mean money, servers, sys admins, and so on.

> So, I think that maybe we should point our attention to find sponsors and
> add a "donate" button (maybe with a paypal account).

> 1. Content

task: Optimize the organization of the Hacker's Guide
      Unfortunately Victor is missing.

task: FAQ section

task: Write a presentation both business and hacker oriented

      I have added some text to the job offers pages
      As usual, let the list know what you think, and any
      possible improvement.

      Additionally we could add a job offer search box in
      that page. I did not realize it due to there are not
      offers yet. Should we add it now, even if there is not
      any active offer?.

      Initially I thought that we could write the Home page
      to be hackers oriented, and the Offers page to be
      business oriented, however, maybe it is better that
      both be hackers and business oriented.
      We should take a look and think about it.

> 2. Donation (paypal).

About asking for donation to pay developers, I do not think it is good idea. 
Note the Dunc-Tank Debian case.  What happens if the association pay me to 
work on it, but nobody gives me feedback to improve it?

I oppose to hire anybody now, at this state of the project.

Additionally, RMS has not taken its final decision about servers, sys admins, 
etc. The conversations are not closed.

Donations would need a treasurer, and the association being incorporated, as 
exposed initially by John Darrington at the #gnuherds IRC channel. Being 
incorporated has others advantages too. Read below and let know the list what 
you think.

Note I think it is better to keep the conversations in the email list, not the 

IRC chat log:

  Should we incorporate the association? and if so,
  in which juristiction?

  If the members want it to be incorporated the current
  draft could be adapted accordingly.

  With regards to incorporation, I'd not give anything
  more than moral support to an organisation which
  didn't legally exist.
  I mean if you were collecting membership fees, in
  whose pocket would they go?

  The association will not collect membership fees. It
  is 'gratis'.

  But there would be money coming from somewhere?

  It was thought as:  Money from small adds as Gmail
  only if it is actually needed.
  It was thought as a webapp with low maintenance cost,
  hosted at FSF hosts for free, and so with very low costs.

  Things like membership dues are normally put into
  the by-laws of the association, not its constitution.

  It was thought to do not have any money cost, as a
  start base.
  Time will tell what the members want to do.

  Without cost it will be easier to start.

  Being wanted to be a global association, the place
  where being incorporated is a 'problem' to solve too.

  Well I'm not familiar with Spanish law, but most
  countries insist that an incorporated association has
  a "executive" (usually 3+ people) who can make
  decisions on behalf of the association.

  Being incorporated gives the organisation a little
  more credibility.

  One more advantage to incorporation:  Once you've
  incorporated, it's much more difficult for anyone
  to pinch your name.

  We are already protected by the GNU name, which we
  use as prefix with the permission of RMS.

  So far as I'm aware, there's no legal protection of
  the "GNU" name, only rms's blessing.  For example
  there's Gnutella and Gnuplot which have nothing to
  do with GNU. Anyway RMS could test it with the law.

  Being incorporated protect a bit, although that's not
  the purpose of incorporation.

  As you have noted, being incorporated has advantages
  to fulfill the association goals.

  The thing is, once you've incorporated, changing the
  constitution is a major hassle.  So normally, the
  fundamental, aims of the association which you consider
  inalienable are put into the constitution, and things
  which might be changed (like membership fees) are put
  into by-laws.

  In what part of the world do members live mostly?

  Currently 95 members from UK, Spain, France, Canada,
  EE.UU., Portugal, India, Brazil, etc.

  Largely in Europe then.

  I think the project must not done any assumption from
  where their registrant live, due to it depends on the
  type of offers you insert :)

  The question must be,  What is the best place, to fulfill
  the project goals, to be incorporated?

  With regard to incorporating in different countries,
  the way it normally gets done, it that there is a "parent"
  association in country X, then when there's sufficient
  interest in country Y, a Y-chapter association gets
  incorporated, and the Y-chapter puts in their Articles
  of Association, "to do .... in conjunction with the
  association in country X".  For example the FSF's in US,
  Europe, India etc.

  I think it is not significant what is the country where
  the "parent" association is. Let me know if I am mistaken.

  I wonder if there's a mechanism to incorporate a
  pan-European association?

  Yes, some examples taken via google:

  On a different note altogether, I think that if the
  organisation is going to be successful there needs to
  be some kind of description of how (in practical terms)
  you think it can achieve its aims.  That seems to be
  missing from the web site.

  We thought that exposing FS business models, and taking
  into account that the market is growing, some start-up
  will raise.

  At the same time, the job site is a key part to help to
  such new or old businesses.

   (1) Expose examples of FS business models to start-ups
       or old business, and

   (2) job site to help them

  It was already exposed by libervisco that the text of the
  home page is hacker oriented but it miss some words to
  business. To attract them.

> 3. Sponsor.

About Sponsors, same than donations.  But even worse because a sponsor
will require we add their logo at same place.

If the association needs money, it should try donation first, and leave 
sponsors as the last option.

Finally note that if the FSF accept to host the project, the content of the 
site must keep a strict wording, as exposed by RMS.  I do not think sponsors 
will be friendly to the FSF. Anyway, the FSF could be the sponsor.

After we discuss it and come to a conclusion, we must check with RMS about any  
idea before beginning to do anything, due to maybe such idea will not pass 
the Ethics Officer restrictions.  Ref.:

> 4. Other projects.

> We always speak that everybody could be able to add a new tool, but this
> it's not clear from our home page (Not so clear also in the rest of the
> site...).
> What about to add a button "add a project", with a form to describe and
> request to add a project?
> In this way we can attract other people that are developing their own
> tools.

    Instead of overload the webapp with new pages, we
    could just expose that they can send and email to
    gnuherds-app-dev with the proposal.

    It if it is possible we must keep the site the
    more simple possible to make it easier the work
    of translators, developers, etc.

I have added:

  "Place for your module" in the menu, and

  "Send an email with your proposal to address@hidden"
  in the home page.

Let me now any improvement, change, ask for removal, etc.

Just my current personal opinion,

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