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Hi all, may I jump in with a few experiences with a decade of OSS
development and community mgmt (boy, do I feel important now :-))

On Fri, 7 Jan 2011 17:07:31 +0800, David Nelson <> wrote:
       Here is my clear idea: since you are doing the work - you get to own
it, lead it, and those that don't like what you do get to gripe at you,
and everyone else gets to back you up :-) [ if only to keep you
motivated, happy and productive ;-].

I get the idea, but I'm not sure if it is really viable as a form of
management. For instance, me, I want to do *work* for the project. But
I don't want to spend more time writing to lists arguing with people,
etc, than actually doing useful work.

My experience to date has been 90% debating by e-mail and 10% actual work...

Right, may I suggest to give you the formal role of website
dictatorship? This is basically what Michael suggests, and this way you
can feel free to ignore many of the complaints (while still listening to
good suggestions). In a community such as ours, many people talk (don't
get me wrong, that often brings up excellent ideas) and only a few
people tend to actually do the hard work. This allows you to filter
comments and feedback, ignoring that of people that have a lot of
comments, expressing themselves verbosely.

And I certainly didn't feel too much back up until the last few days...

That is a pity if you felt left alone. Unfortunately, it seems that many
are quite busy working on the code and giving the website lower priority
(myself included, for instance). I do agree that is important and our
portal to the public, so if giving *you* a formal leadership role would
help you to justify website decisions to others, I don't see a reason
why you shouldn't get that role. "CWO" (Chief Website Officer), "LOW boss"
(LibreOffice Website boss", ... I am sure we'll find an appropriate
title :).
At the moment, spending more time with my guitar sounds more inviting! ;-)

Oh no :-). While I love guitar music, it would be great to continue
having you on board and make some tough decisions :). What you have done
so far looks really great. 

I do see what you mean, but working on the website for the project has
not been a good experience so far... A whole lot of criticism, very
little useful support, very little practical help from anyone...

Right, that's why Michael says "Power to the people that do actual
work". He prefers an informal pecking order, you prefer formal roles. I
am sure we can meet in the middle, and award you dictatorship with a few
henchmen/stewarts whatsoever that you can appoint and dispose of based
on the merit they bring the website team.

I don't really know, Michael... You tell me? :-D

This might be wrong, and this might come across as condescent but some suggestions:

- Ignore whiners that complain without being constructive
- Listen to good suggestions and make decisions, implementing what you
- delegate tasks and award commit access to people that you feel are
capable of working with you in a productive manner.
- Don't try to make everyone happy but stay attentive to good

Well, again, this is apparently the SC's "laisse-faire" / anarchical
style of community governance... or non-governance... so you tell me
the answers to those questions... ;-)

I agree that not everyone should be able to modify the website,
that is what we have a wiki for. So, you making decisions on awarding
access to people that you trust (as they seem to actually contributing
good stuff) seems like a good way. 

In practice, this anarchical "management style" did not build you a
website. When left to organize the work by themselves, the "website
team" did not build you any kind of website at all.

I agree that the "let the community build something" approach didn't
(and still wouldn't work too well). It always takes someone to actually
*do* something. You involuntarily volunteered for now :-), so you should
have the power to decide who gets access to what. Until someone else
offers to contribute more/better things than you, of course ;-).

It took nearly 3 months before LibreOffice got a website. And that was
due, in large part, to the bloody-minded obstinacy of one person.

Yep, that's how things always end up to work, it seems. And that
blood-minded obstinacy is much appreciated!

I think I'd like to start a larger debate about where TDF is going
when i finished the work on the website and hand it back to you to
manage however you feel best. ;-)

I think these are really 2 different issues that both needs discussion,
but should remain somewhat separated to lead to productive outcomes. I
am not sure the "TDF is heading in the wrong direction as they still
don't have a website" discussions (not by you) actially help here.


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