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Re: [board-discuss] Re: Some problems.


What I would like to have is something like an >>I love your work button<<
when you add somewhere on forum, ask, bz, release notes, .... (everywhere)
a name of a community member you can click on the name come to his webpage
where you can click a like button or maybe an donate button. It's not like
a community member will think I want to have money, it's more like someone
(I didn't know) like my work, so I contribute more to LibO.

Am Mi., 8. Juli 2020 um 17:03 Uhr schrieb Kev M <kevm@mailbox.org>:

What if as part of the $5 (or $2, something accessible) annual co-op
membership with Libreoffice you got access to the support forums? Those who
wanted to spend the time to help support the project to provide free tech
support to others would feel good knowing that the people they were helping
were giving back to Libreoffice by being a co-op member, and those who were
receiving one-off technical support would have to pay for the membership to
get access to the support forum.

Yes there would still be reddit and other channels, but knowing that using
the forum to provide support might push those altruistic people to only use
the forums to give support, and this could snowball into a larger
membership.

Just a thought I had rereading what I wrote. There's digital real estate
here that can be monetized in a privacy respecting, non-community killing
way that will also benefit eco-system partners IMO.

On 08/07/2020 10:44 Kev M <kevm@mailbox.org> wrote:


Hopes this works as I've never used a mailing list before..

1) I'm making the assumption, not having this information, that Collabora
Office is cheaper than Microsoft Office and other Office Suite software.
How much cheaper is it? If it's just as functional as competitors but it is
less expensive, and has other advantages, there is a profit-making market
for it:

1) a) This is that it is open source, and can be reviewed and audited for
security gaps. In Canada, Europe, Russia, and other countries there is a
significant concern that geopolitics in entering into the realm of
technology. Governments are becoming more concerned about the USA and China
installing monitoring software for political and industrial espionage
reasons.

Why does Collabora not position itself as a secure/open-source/auditable
solution to security issues. Isn't this the reason the German federal
government chose Nextcloud, and the reason the Italian military chose
Libreoffice?

1) b) To that point, Michael you raised points about the UK and French
governments not paying for Libreoffice. This is surprising to me and
shameful IMO. These would be large, relatively sustainable contracts to
pursue, and I would suggest that working more with the FSFE's Public Money
Public Code initiative, and presenting it to them from the perspective of;
you're using things, we're having trouble sustaining it, we're hoping you
will purchase, will be a potentially successful strategy. That or do they
get that Collabora is the premiere developer and TDF isn't developing this
for free? If they've already institutionalized the software it might be
worth tugging at the rug under them a bit and telling them the project may
not be able to continue as a going entity because the contractor they used
is not providing any contributions to the development of the software. But
this leads to my later point about trustmarks.

1) c) Does Collabora and/or the TDF not have a dedicated government
relations advocacy employee in Europe/North America/Other market countries?
There are many discussions that occur at the government relations level
that lead to contracts and exposure of opportunities to companies.

2) That the TDF is not adequately promoting it's enterprise vendors is a
failure of the TDF's marketing committee and the contractors that they
hired. I have followed LO and AOO for years now and I've noticed that the
TDF marketing committee is unwilling to promote LibreOffice in modern ways.
There seems to be a lack of focus on communities outside the FOSS
environment, which doesn't make sense because it's like setting up a booth
to advertise bibles at a religious convention. Why does Libreoffice focus
on attending FOSS conferences instead of International Government
conferences? The NGOs that use LibreOffice for free would be obliged to let
Libreoffice attend the WEF, Davos, and other places. Is there the potential
that the leadership of the Marketing at TDF is not thinking out of the box,
or too small?

3) SaaS model - recognizing that all the costs you just listed to set up
small clients is cost prohibitive and that you would need to get 10,000+
clients for it to be viable -- I would only suggest that because it's hard
and maybe expensive doesn't preclude the idea that this may be one of the
best options to generate sustainable income.

3) a) Personally I was excited at the opportunity to pay for LibreOffice
support via Collabora as an individual. I couldn't, because I needed to
have several employees first to justify it. Instead I donate to TDF, but
apparently this money is holed up in a bureaucratic bunker because of
issues of distribution. There's a couple problems here: 1) It suggests the
TDF needs a regulatory review to streamline it's operations. 2) again, the
TDF isn't being proactive enough - are the people working there the right
people to accomplish the organizations mission, or are we just being polite
because they've been loyal for a long time. In that case we might be
looking at an old boys club situation.

3) b) In some non-profits, there is no ability to donate directly, the
foundation is supported by the enterprise companies based on the profit
they make. Could the TDF create a certification body with a Trustmark that
says only these companies are able to provide enterprise support for
Libreoffice. Meaning the TDF does not sanction other vendors slapping on
Libreoffice to their solution and hoping it gets updated to fix bugs by
Collabora and CIB, etc. These certified companies would then pay for the
certification on an ongoing basis to remain in good standing, as well as
donate to the TDF to maintain its operations. This would also have the
effect of keeping TDF staff more accountable to metrics set by a small
group of knowledgeable individuals. (Something would have to be done for
keeping community representation available to unaffiliated citizens such as
myself. Haven't thought that far.)

3) c) Just building on this and what others have written; Nextcloud has
issues as well, but again, the LO website needs to do a better job of
featuring vendors. I agree with what was written about displaying
enterprise supported versions on the TDF website with a drop-down or some
other format. As stated in point 3) b) I think instead of a donate button,
saying that Libreoffice is free, but if you'd like to contribute to
development and support, consider signing up for LibreOffice Online, or
paying for a monthly or annual support license.

3) d) how are these large companies and governments sitting on advisory
committees of TDF and not providing any funds for its growth?

4) Co-operative model - has the TDF considered setting up a model in which
LibreOffice is run as a multi-stakeholder co-operative? This would entail
paying an annual membership fee in order to vote for members of the board
of directors. These non-corporate board members could then reflect member
concerns and issues. People will pay for democracy if its a small amount,
say $5 USD, a year. It creates a democratic institution, increases
engagement, and also provides sustainable income. There are lots of people
looking into the concept of platform co-ops to create sustainable software
that doesn't sell-out.

5) Eurocentricity - If you read the document foundation planet -
throughout the year the TDF sometimes features volunteers working in
countries like India, Indonesia, and other low wealth countries where
schools, non-profits, and small businesses are using LibreOffice to provide
betterment to humanity. I get that we're looking for sustainability from
rich enterprise countries, but I think it's possible that this is another
marketing angle - Germany, France, the EU, the UK, Quebec/Canada, and other
countries are starting to fund software to provide licenses to these poor
countries. Can Collabora receive grants from the government aid
organizations to give digital access to poor communities. Can this be
position in a marketing way to rich people in rich countries that want to
(at the end of the day, alleviate the guilt of their inequality) help
others position TDF/Libreoffice as software helping the third world.
Because it is already and it's not being marketed as such.

5 a) Does the TDF not have a grant writer to get funding from developed
governments for the work they're already indirectly doing in these
underdeveloped countries?

Just some thoughts on how Libreoffice could evolve, generate income, and
do things in a way that doesn't start creating "editions", which is a road
to the destruction of the project. I also think someone earlier referenced
that this could be interpreted as being against the TDF bylaws, so those
might need to be changed anyway.

I would recommend taking maybe 200k of that 1.5 million bucket and hiring
a strategic consultant (not one from McKinsey, or Deloitte, or any of those
profit maximizing consultancies) to look hard at the TDF's current
management structure and operations, and provide recommendations on
business model solutions. It sounds like there are structural issues and
there hasn't been action on evolving the organization to look at new
markets for things that Libreoffice is already really good at: namely -
Privacy, Government costs, Public Money/Public Code, NGO/Emerging Market
Aid grants and contracts.

I'm being critical here but not trying to place blame on any particular
person at the TDF. I've worked at organizations before where everyone is
working too much for little pay based on the lack of understanding by
sponsors/stakeholders at what's being done. And that is a
marketing/communications/advocacy issue. I love the LO project and what it
does for digital accessibility in poor countries, churches, community
groups, and other places that Microsoft and other big-tech firms exploit. I
don't want the wrong step to be taken that leads to the eventual loss of
community of the project. (Which btw I still don't get the justification
for the lack of a Discourse or NodeBB forum on TDF. How outdated is the
ask.libreoffice software? 5 years now?)

Cheers,
Kevin



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