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Re: [Fsfe-uk] AFFS strategy (Was: Beyond bitching...)

From: Graham Seaman
Subject: Re: [Fsfe-uk] AFFS strategy (Was: Beyond bitching...)
Date: Wed, 29 Jun 2005 16:25:13 +0100
User-agent: Mozilla Thunderbird 1.0.2 (X11/20050328)

Alex Hudson wrote:

>AFFS should be taking much more of a lead in terms of public policy with
>regards free software, and I think that is something that we should
>focus on. There isn't anyone working on that area in this country, and
>there are plenty of things wrong with our Govts. policy in this area.
>There are also plenty of people who are interested in this subject,
>witness the current actions wrt. software patents.
Yes, strongly agree with this one.

>With regards AFFS being a membership organisation, it obviously has a
>duty to its members. Primarily, I've seen AFFS as being another channel
>of information for these people - and I think we've been better
>communicating with our members in these last few months than we had been
Flaming aside, I'm now getting quite puzzled. I'd understand a
'membership organization' as being one run by its members. Who I assumed
were on this mailing list (even if permanently lurking). Now you are
talking about 'communicating with these people', and 'we are
communicating with our members'. If us on the list are the 'we' you are
talking about, who are 'these people'? and conversely, if 'we' means
'the committee' and us on the list are 'these people'  why are you
talking to us like that - it's rude!

 Are there actually large numbers of members not on the list?  If so,
shouldn't the first step in improving communication and levels of
involvement be to try to get them to join the list?

>I don't think, though, that AFFS is used well enough as a
>news channel - for example, we have one of the better diaries out there
>in terms of free software events (there are few other places you can get
>the same info), but we still don't regularly get people telling us about
>their events - generally, the people we have had contact with in the
>past do, people we haven't don't.
>I think there's nothing stopping AFFS being a vastly more inclusive
>organisation, but it hasn't worked out that way, and I don't think
>there's any one reason for that. One of them is that, simply, AFFS is
>not the right org for a number of people - we don't talk about open
>source, for example. 
Is that a problem? There are other organisations to do that, anyway.

>Some people are put off by the politics. 
I hadn't noticed much politics at all on here (unless you mean the
personal kind ;-)

>I think
>these things are facts of life, but not necessarily bad. I think the
>"worst" reason is insufficient specialisation. If you look at the orgs
>who do generate good participation - FFII-UK, Debian, LugRadio, etc. - I
>think the one thing they have in common is a focus and commonality of
>interest. AFFS has always been more of an umbrella org, and (I think)
>suffers because of it - it's not really a natural home for many
>activists, so doesn't attract activism.
Most countries seem to have a similar organisation, loosely connected to
the FSF. In some countries it seems to represent local organisations to
the FSF, in others the balance seems to be more the other way round. But
there's nothing inherent about the situation which means that this kind
of organisation can't attract activists. Hispalinux in Spain seems to be
more active and more grounded in local events, and lots of activists are
involved with it; ANSOL in Portugal seems to be more like the AFFS,
etc.  Both seem to get quoted more by the media than the AFFS. Maybe two
things that could  be done are to look at the type of activities other
such groups undertake (apart from the obvious pan-european ones, as with
patents), and to make it clearer  on the AFFS website that we actually
are one of a larger set of organisations, and not just local.


>This is all my 2p, obviously.
>Fsfe-uk mailing list

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