wiki:projects/membership-meeting/2011/report-discussion

Version 3 (modified by Jamie McClelland, 8 years ago) (diff)

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Membership Meeting Reports Discussion

Notes taken by Josue, edited/formatted by Jamie

First round of questions

  • carlos gimenez: membership, growing the membership - one challenge with the data loss issues impacting confidence in infrastructure. investing in software to support mayfirst mission - how do we recover our reputation from the data loss? How do we continue innovating?
  • john: is the leadership committee the same as a board of directors? is it an incorporated non profit? internet cost has been low, are your budgets based on this fact? what is plan if costs increase? 40% increase, is that a one-time growth or expected to continue? Don't be fooled by illusion of efficiency (in response to gdm). uptime/downtime - my server and yes men were on another server. dow chemical campaign caused their servers to be shut down.
  • Philly fight: imp is used as webmail program. We have low literacy rate among a lot of our users. Different themes for imp available that might be easier? Different email system that is more intuitive? Willing to collaborate to find or improve the webmail system
  • Jim: membership resources - occasionally have software difficulties and it has never been clear to me what i can expect re: troubleshooting. is that above and beyond the call of duty? any prospects for training or development that members could participate in
  • Philly notebook: membership - more detail on the plan for membership. plan of balance between involvement of members and membership growth. do we have mayfirst members that may have suggestions for new members?
  • gdm:improving uptime - too efficient tech orgs may be taken for granted. service is a community resource, is it always desirable for a site to be up all the time? any benefits to downtime?
  • deedee halleck: active member of non commercial users ICANN recently just changed the structure of the domain name system. liberal critics exist, but there needs to be more accountability to groups like this. domain takedowns is one of the issues i have been fighting. no accountability, no records.
  • liz: interested in talking to other orgs about how they use tech and what they do. would love to get feedback from may first users as well as

  • jack aponte: two goals this year feedback - membership recruitment. most of the groups i work with in nyc are predominantly POC and none are here yet. bringing people to feel like they are members. politics of technology. at allied media con politics of tech was very visible. it is starting to happen and mayfirst needs to be in there in all those spaces, continuing to push this

Responses to first round of questions

  • alfredo: membership, mfpl's interaction with the human race 1. people join as members - b/c we are progressive and we do internet connection and they are progressive and need internet connection
  • jamie: mediajumpstart is the 501c3 - board is comprised of jamie, alfredo and josue
  • jamie: would like to see MFPL officially transition to a legal membership organization
  • jamie: how do we recover our reputation from the data loss? the best path we have is continuing to promise transparency. innovation - our goal is to have as much member interaction as possible.
  • jamie: new growth vs engagement - catch 22 for us, b/c we had not had the capacity to engage with our members b/c we did not have the resources to do it. adding hilary has allowed us to start interacting with our members who have not paid their dues. we now have a paid person to answer support calls. the talk in the office is to have a paid person who can do outreach.
  • jamie: prices not going up? jamie is very conservative when it comes to money. expanding very slowly, 2-3 months of operating money in the bank.
  • jamie: expectations of support - any tech or service issue interaction starts with them trying to show that it is your problem not theirs. we try very hard to not do that, which leads to the confusion expressed. if it is a problem with software that is shared by all members, we fix it. if it is a problem with software just running on yours, it is ultimately your responsibility and we do not have the resources to help everyone. we try, as much as we can.
  • jamie: downtime - we try to plan for it. if the registrar pulls your domain name, your site will go down and there is nothing we can do about it. except be prepared. and have mechanisms in place to get the site up in different places and in different ways.
  • dkg: data loss experience was a failure. imp is less than intuitive. i have been looking at roundcube. if folks want to participate in a new rollout, understanding the issues is needed. a leader, with access to a body of users, is needed.
  • mallory: internet governance "i think that in the last 6 months maple has been more involved" - dee dee - what other pops are available to interact with ICANN? dee dee - non commercial user constituency - we need more of us than corporate no-profits or commercial broadcasters. easy to become a member - as a member and as a group - 2 votes as a group internet engineering task force - distributed dns mechanisms - technical as well as policy issues
  • mallory: examples - letter submitted about dominant corporate atmosphere ate meeting in paris. national rural assembly gathering was also an opportunity to interact with new folks
  • alfredo: APC is trying to get one of our folks elected to the ICANN board
  • hilary: budget question - way money was tracked before i came on was not very useful. hard to get good info to be able to project. estimate is an estimate. at the end of this year we will have a much better idea of the true expenditures of the org
  • hilary: 65k is year to date, 99k is for the year - to answer a specific question

Second round of questions

  • john: maple is not using the latex version of imp. is that one way to address problems? dkg - we currently use the debian version of imp.
  • dave: heard need for more of us to come to gather as a community. we are paying fee for use, yet no more and given attribute of member. maybe cooperative could be a model moving forward. an equity investment, perhaps according to their means. i think that conforms to the values of the org.
  • liz: question of membership integration - i can understand 50% of the discussion today. most of the attendees are more tech. when you talk about "our" relationship with GGJ, you mean "your" relationship with GGJ". the failure of Julia - failure of backup and we talked about orgs having their own backup and teaching us how to do that. also need an ability to function is everything goes down. civicrm experience of ours and wanting to share that. similar needs as Left Forum and talking to each other.
  • daniel: rmo, circus amok, importance of cross-connection between members. made stronger by the strength of the relationship. org infrastructure - nonprofit, membership - want to hear more appreciate distinctions of efficiency and effectiveness
  • project south: inward and outward raising visibility - who are the peer orgs of mayfirst?

  • jamie: rise up, ptp, GGJ - both technical and movement organizations broadening out our discussions more? why are we here? why does it exist? what is the need? at a turning point perhaps? b/c of growth it is able to do things that it was not able. in the past seen as much more technical. perhaps now there is an opening to be seen at the intersection of politics and technology.
  • dee dee: org in 70s i helped start - 2 orgs, one a membership org and one was a foundation.
  • john: internet governance - opening up top level domain names - who gets those domain names?
  • alfredo: membership integration
  • dkg - network at brecht is slow. please turn off things like dropbox if you are using the network at brecht.
  • ?: member integration work would be great! all of our members know each other and some even work together. collaborating on technology work politically is not obvious, cuz they see us an alternative resource provider. we need to give them a way to break out of that.
  • jamie: i want to see MFPL continue developing as a membership organization. politically and financially. peer orgs - there are amazing radical technology groups in the US and all over the world. riseup is one. koumbit, tachanka collective, we also want to work with other member groups that have an international prospective. GGJ, other world social forum orgs,