[OSGeo-Conf] Analysing the downfall of FOSS4G 2011

Cameron Shorter cameron.shorter at gmail.com
Fri Aug 17 22:56:15 PDT 2012

Matthew, I think that you are on the right track here.
We should ensure there is an expectation that if volunteers step up and 
help you get your conference going, then at some point you will give 
back in a similar way, maybe afterwards to another conference.
This should be matched by ensuring the process to contribute is not seen 
as daunting, and there is a clear path for people to get involved. Very 
often the most effective contributors are people who start an email by 
saying something like:
"I am a simple community member at large who enjoyed the Denver 
conference. ..."

On 18/08/2012 6:54 AM, Matthew Syphus wrote:
> The point would be to generate an open (even written) expectation that 
> the help afforded will go both ways.  The local/regional entity knows 
> it going in and OSGeo has a specific group (not person) to call on to 
> help with FOSS4G tasks, (as well as public community requests).  Yes, 
> it rests mostly on personal feeling of obligation.  No, there is no 
> OSGeo retribution (except perhaps for future event sponsoring). Some 
> individuals will not participate, for reasons good or bad, but I think 
> the net effect is that more people would end up helping FOSS4G.  (Y 
> was expected, X never happened, Y-X >= 0.)
> By volunteer I mean:
> Unpaid
> Individual decides precisely what they can/will do
> No single individual is assigned a specific job
> No individual has a specific time requirement
> No legal enforcement
> *From:*david.bitner at gmail.com [mailto:david.bitner at gmail.com] *On 
> Behalf Of *David William Bitner
> *Sent:* Friday, August 17, 2012 2:27 PM
> *To:* Matthew Syphus
> *Cc:* Cameron Shorter; Frank Warmerdam; conference_dev at lists.osgeo.org
> *Subject:* Re: [OSGeo-Conf] Analysing the downfall of FOSS4G 2011
> On Fri, Aug 17, 2012 at 3:12 PM, Matthew Syphus <MSyphus at lhtac.org 
> <mailto:MSyphus at lhtac.org>> wrote:
> Cameron,
> I am a simple community member at large who enjoyed the Denver
> conference.  I like your perspective regarding more volunteers as a
> result of helping smaller events.  My thought is: can you add some sort
> of volunteer requirement as a condition of having OSGeo help with an
> event?
> You can never categorically count on volunteer effort in the future. 
> "volunteer requirement" is an oxymoron. I don't say this to be 
> flippant, but as someone who has worked for many years with volunteer 
> communities. Volunteers in any group come and go, I have often seen 
> some of the most dedicated volunteers in a group simply drop off the 
> face of the planet because they got burnt out, had personal issues, or 
> even just that they got bored or found something else they thought was 
> more worth their time. We should certainly do everything we can to 
> encourage those with experience to hang around and to share their 
> experience forward, but it is simply not practical to establish this 
> as a hard expectation.

Cameron Shorter
Geospatial Solutions Manager
Tel: +61 (0)2 8570 5050
Mob: +61 (0)419 142 254

Think Globally, Fix Locally
Geospatial Solutions enhanced with Open Standards and Open Source

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