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Re: [Ambassadors] Improving Ambassador Membership, Mentoring, Measurabilty.

Hi David,

Am Sonntag, 16. November 2008 21:52:37 schrieb David Nalley:

> I like the idea of mentoring in principle however in practice I fear

> that it will be difficult to achieve.

Yes, to establish something that is not naturaly grown, is difficult. I think, the official Mentor Programm https://fedoraproject.org/wiki/Mentors works bad, in my eyes the existing "Informal Mentors" do a great Job

> I think to really preface this conversation that we have to define

> what an ambassador does.

We can try and give a structure, but we will never cover all possibilties!

> So from my perspective - there are things that I do as an Ambassador

> and things I also don't do, or at least don't try and put my focus

> there. For instance, I don't try to convert every person I meet into a

> Fedora user. I am happy to talk to them about the benefits of Fedora

> and the philosophy behind it. I do constantly look for people that I

> think are capable of being good contributors to the Fedora Project.. I

> have set my primary focus as an Ambassador to be the recruiting of new

> contributors.

> I think I am maginally capable in that respect. That

> isn't, nor should it be, the focus of every Ambassador. I am also

> trying to grow into the position of recruiting OSS projects to package

> for Fedora. I don't know if I am succeeding here or not - with just

> 3-4 projects that I have contact with thus far, and a lot of interest

> but no forward movement that may take some time to develop or even see

> if I can be successful with.

i also think that every Ambassador can have their own way/limits of contribute as a Ambassador - within our Rules.

> *Understanding the Free Software movement in general.


> exposure to the ideas and being able

> to talk intelligently about them is useful.

Oh yes! ;)

> *Next I think it's necessary to understand how the Fedora Project

> works - that means knowing the org chart, but more than that the

> entire flow.

Steven Moix made the point here - maybe we can find a volunteer who can build/show the "Big Picture" in a Chart!

>I once worked in a job, where I was unavoidably the

> public face of the organization. I was expected to handle most things

> on my own and at my level, but I also had to know how and where to

> escalate, and even where to point people to in the event that it was

> 'above my paygrade'. To accomplish that I was essentially forced to

> spend multiple two week periods 'embedded' in the other groups. So in

> trying to train the Fedora Ambassador we'd 'assign' them to

> Documentation or Translation for two weeks, after which time they'd

> spend two weeks in Bug Triage - attending meetings (or at least

> reading the minutes) and perhaps even doing the work. If a person who

> acts as an Ambassador for Fedora can't describe for a potential

> contributor the process to get involved in Docs or Art or Packaging

> then I perceive that as a problem.

Yes, i agree that a Ambassador should know and be able to describe what the other Groups are doing and which Persons can guide them as liason into the certain Groups.

> I'd even argue that subscribing to

> the f-a-b list should be mandatory.

> Most of the policy questions

> you'll be asked (MP3, DVD, etc) have been clearly defined, but as an

> Ambassador you need to be in the loop with regards to what's going on

> in the organization.

You mean it should be imperative to subscribe the ML? - Is this the right interpretation? - Sorry my english sometimes leads me into misunderstandings.

If yes - we share the same opinion. We have the imperative Rule to Subscribe the ML if someone want become sponsored for Ambassador Group. The ML is the only instrument where all Ambassadors can work together over all timezones, in my eyes it is imperative that Ambassadors are in the ML. You can not be a Packager without being in Koji and you can not be a BugReporter if you not have a Account in Bugzilla. Our ML is the most important tool to organize our Work.

> *Perhaps before any of that I think that people should understand the

> principles of the Fedora Project and why they are important. I can't

> tell you how disheartened I was to see discussions on the f-a-l

> advocating inclusion of proprietary, closed source kernel drivers in

> Fedora. If a person doesn't get the principles or doesn't agree with

> them the last thing they should be doing is being the face of Fedora.

You are right! And imagine what discussion we would have, when we would open the List for anyone and not only for Ambassadors! ;)

> Now that said - the thing we don't want to do is unnecessarily raise

> the barrier to contribute. (Which I think can be avoided). That means

> that there needs to be a welcoming mentorship process. I'd argue that

> we leave the 'join' portion the way that it is - and keep the 6 month

> probation period (at least there used to be one before you could get

> money) What we follow that with is a list of what's involved and most

> of the work I envision from the above is placed on the new Ambassador.

Thanks, i am happy that you like the new Approval Process.

With the Probation Period it is difficult, mostly People want to make a Event, Install Party or a Talk somewhere shortly after joining Ambassadors and can not wait.

The Probation Period brings a lot confusion to Newbies. If they make a good concept for a Event or something else, where t-shirts, cd´s and maybe also little money for travelling is needed, why not help them? Before a Ambassador get´s money or something else, we consider the benefit for the Project anyhow. And if someone make harm to the Project, we will guide him the right way or if he will not comply we must remove him anyhow.

I would cancel Probation Period.

But i think i am alone with my opinion - i try to support them personaly with what i have.

> So let me step back a bit and say - With one or two exceptions I don't

> really try and recruit people to become Ambassadors. I know we as

> organization have done so. Ambassadors I think would be most ideally

> recruited from within. While I didn't do this, (I started in

> Ambassadors and marketing, and both were worse off for it :) ) I think

> that we'd have better Ambassadors for it if we did. There are people

> like ianweller who are heavily involved in a lot of aspects of Fedora

> and in my opinion would make a great Ambassador rather than

> $randomlinuxuser we pick up at a conference.

Yes, the ideal candidate is already in another Group of Fedora before attending the Ambassador Group.

I have started with attending the FUDCon2 in Karlsruhe 2005 and contribution as Booth Personal for Fedora on Linuxtag 2006 and then joined after invitation from Chitlesh and Gerold and choosed Chitlesh as my Mentor. A Packager has to show the Package to his Sponsor, to require a Work Probe for Ambassadors would raise the barrier to much in my eyes. But sometimes i feel sad about unactive Ambassadors - but this is another Discussion ;)

Thanks for your precious, detailed answer!


Joerg (kital) Simon

jsimon fedoraproject org



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