Stormy’s Update: Week of June 7, 2010

This is my update for work done for the GNOME Foundation. For a higher level overview for what I do as the Executive Director, see What do I do as Executive Director of the GNOME Foundation? or my earlier updates.

Attended LinuxTag. Met with many people (some much more briefly than others). Claudia Rauch and Frank Karlitschek from KDE with Vincent Untz to talk about the Desktop Summit 2011. Ivanka Majic from the Canonical design team. Andrew Savory from the LiMo Foundation. Many of the Openismus folks. Ekaterina Gerasimova. David King. The new interns. Andre Klapper. Johannes Schmid and Vincent Untz about GNOME mobile and encouraging applications. Mario Behling who planned GNOME.Asia last year – he planned a barbeque for GNOME and many other free software folks at LinuxTag. Mark Shuttleworth from Canonical. Chris DiBona from Google. Dirk Hohndel very briefly. Jos Poortvliet. Jonathan Corbet from LWN. And many, many others. We had several GNOME talks during the Desktop track. (Mine was first on Saturday morning – not the best time for a talk!) And Frank Karlischek interviwed Vincent Untz and I for RadioTux.

Worked on Annual Report letter.

Worked on proposal to get more apps on GNOME Mobile.

Attended Board of Directors meeting.

Spent a lot of time with my bottom in an airplane seat.

Voted in the GNOME Foundation Board of Directors elections!

Stormy’s Update: Week of June 1, 2010

This is my update for work done for the GNOME Foundation. For a higher level overview for what I do as the Executive Director, see What do I do as Executive Director of the GNOME Foundation?

Had a million conversations (well maybe not that many), followed threads and kept up (mostly) with email. Too many different things going on for a short week.

Organized a GNOME Roadmap discussion.

Discussed copyright policy with team putting it together and adboard member with feedback.

Discussed having a GNOME Mobile event at LinuxTag through WIPJam.

Talked to Zonker about GNOME 3 press roadmap.

Had some interchanges about GUADEC sponsors, logos, etc. I think all agreements are worked out except one now.

Set up some meetings at LinuxTag.

Met 1:1 with Brian and Rosanna (separately).

Next week:

  • Get out board approved proposal for using the Nokia money for GNOME Mobile.
  • Put together presentation for LinuxTag.
  • Attend LinuxTag.
  • Write opening letter for annual report.

Stormy’s Update: Month of May

This is my update for work done for the GNOME Foundation. For a higher level overview for what I do as the Executive Director, see What do I do as Executive Director of the GNOME Foundation? or my earlier updates.

Attended the fantastic GNOME Marketing Hackfest. Got there and back – on the way home we took a six hour detour – making it a more than 24 hour trip home – and flew by the volcano. For something that has caused so much trouble, it’s not very impressive from an airplane.

Put together a survey after the hackfest for attendees in order to help the GNOME Foundation and travel committee to make more informed decisions.

Attended board meetings. Met regularly with Rosanna. Met regularly with Brian.

Encouraged people to apply for the GNOME Board of Directors. Thanks to everyone who applied. Although it’s a lot of work, it’s an interesting and rewarding job!

Had GNOME Advisory Board meeting on finances.

Helped German update the budget. Discussed 2H (second half) budget plan.

Talked to Marina about launching the Outreach Program for Women in the southern hemisphere.

Worked with Orbitz to see if they have an account or processes that could help the GNOME Travel Committee.

Continued to ping GUADEC sponsors and work out details. Almost all finalized. Kept up on a few GUADEC details and issues, including sponsored travel plans.

Met with Jonathan Markow from Jasig and discussed how we do things and if there were opportunities to work together. Jasig makes open source software projects for higher education.

Booked travel for most of my trips this summer. Still missing a few that will be paid for by the events. Bummed that tickets to Europe are so expensive this summer as it will make it much harder for us adn companies to sponsor all the folks we’d like to see at GUADEC.

Submitted title and abstract for LinuxCon keynote.

Attended a couple of the GNOME.Asia planning meetings. It’s coming along nicely this year. You should plan on attending. 🙂

Met with James Vasile, our attorney from the SFLC, to talk about a few things.

Met with a few advisory board members to discuss projects, GUADEC, issues, etc.

Met with a potential sponsor.

Pushed for a GNOME technologies roadmap process.

Put together the list of 2009 donors for the Friends of GNOME page! Due to a Paypal “feature” this was a very manual process. Thanks to Vincent Untz for posting them. If your name should be there and it’s missing, let me know. Thanks to all our Friends both known and anonymous!

Kept the conversation moving about how best to use the Nokia money to sponsor GNOME apps on Maemo/MeeGo.

Worked with Brian Cameron and the sys admin team to launch the GNOME Developing World mailing list. If you are interested in how we can promote GNOME, the free desktop, in the developing world, please join the list.

Talked to AEGIS and the GNOME Accessibility team about having a GNOME A11y Hackfest at AEGIS conference.

Changed Amazon Affiliate accounts to pay out less often as the international checks cost quite a bit of money to deposit.

Worked at finding people to represent GNOME at events. It was more difficult than I expected and after several conversations (including some at the marketing hackfest) we will be launching a GNOME Ambassadors program to try to improve this process and get better GNOME representation.

May 31st is a US holiday.

(Remembered why I normally do these weekly and not monthly! It’s hard to go back and remember all the things you did and discussed for an entire month.)

How does a free software project do marketing?

Typically free software projects have lots of very smart developers. Large projects like GNOME might also be lucky enough to have lots of great translators, designers, artists and writers working on the project.

However, marketing is not typically an area free software projects have worked much on. GNOME is changing that. Over the past couple of years we have really increased our marketing activity from fundraising to spreading the word about GNOME. One way we’ve done that is through the marketing mailing list. Another is by getting together at GUADEC and having marketing hackfests.

We just held our second GNOME marketing hackfest and it was a huge success.

Why was it a success?

Who went?

We had a really good mix of people from the release team (who could tell us what really was in GNOME 3.0) to the art team (it’s really hard to do any final marketing product without a designer!) to marketing experts.

The Zaragoza Marketing Hackfest Team. Photo by Jason Clinton.

They all blogged about the event and you can read what they worked on.

  • Dani Baeyens. Dani was our resident local. In addition to doing marketing stuff all week like helping Jason with the videos, discussing how to do a GNOME 3 demo that people at conferences can use and helping me make slides in Spanish, he also answered all our questions about “where can I …”, “how can I …”
  • Jason D. Clinton. Jason has been working on videos to promote features of GNOME 3. He’s not just working on the videos but working on a way to make it easy for others to make videos of their own. He also actively participated in the discussions.
  • Paul Cutler. Paul leads the marketing team and helped out in a number of discussions like the webpage and the demo technology. Along with Vincent and I, he also met with lots of the local teams and politicians.
  • Licio Fonseca. Licio worked on the GNOME Ambassadors wiki.
  • Sumana Harihareswara. Sumana gets the prize from me. She stepped up and led the whole hackfest, created the GNOME 3 marketing roadmap and offered to project manage GNOME 3 marketing!
  • Bharat Kapoor. Bharat brought his mobile and marketing expertise. He worked on a series of brochures for events and interviewed many of the local leaders on how they use GNOME.
  • Andreas Nilsson. Andreas brought vital design and art skills to the hackfest. With his help we were able to design websites, brochures, business cards, tshirts, etc.
  • Stormy Peters. I worked with Agustín Benito Bethencourt, Ignacio Correas and Alberto Capella to plan the hackfest. During the hackfest I led a couple of the discussions, worked on the GNOME Ambassadors material and plan to encourage more people to speak about GNOME and met with many local teams and politicians to talk about how we can work together in the future.
  • Ryan Singer. Ryan brought marketing experience to our discussions. In addition he helped write the talking points and brochures, worked on the website and was one of the drivers behind getting more speakers to promote GNOME.
  • Vincent Untz. Vincent really helped us with his knowledge of GNOME 3.0 from the release team perspective. In addition to answering lots of questions he also met with the local teams and politicians, participated in the discussions, worked on the business card template and the GNOME 3 demo technology.

Most all of these people attended a week long event on their own time, taking vacation from work.

We are also all supported by the GNOME Marketing team and the GNOME community. They actively watched what we were doing, participated in the IRC discussions with us and we will now all work together to make the GNOME 3.0 marketing roadmap a reality.

In addition we got to meet with many people in Zaragoza. We met with the:

  • Ayuntamiento de Zaragoza. The Zaragoza city government to talk about how GNOME and Zaragoza can work more closely together. Zaragoza is interested in promoting software industry in their city, in particular around free software, and they are interested in working with GNOME to make that happen.
  • Gobierno de Aragon. The regional government is also interested in promoting software industry and free software and interested in working with GNOME to grow their local community and industry.
  • Technological Institute of Aragon (ITA). They are working on several free software projects with others in the EU and would like to figure out ways we can work on them together.
  • Lorenzo Gil Sanchez and J. Félix Ontañón about the accessibility work they are doing in Andalucia.
  • Heidi Vilppola and Ignacio Correas from eBox about communities.

What’d we do?

We met every day from 9 or 10 until 8:30 at night when the building closed in this really cool government building that used to be an old convent, the Water Library.

GNOME Marketing at the Water Library in Zaragoza. Photo by Jason Clinton.

We worked on all the stuff mentioned above:

  • GNOME 3.0 marketing roadmap. This is our plan for marketing GNOME 3.0 and all the steps left to do between now and then.
  • GNOME 3.0 talking points. Lots of people talk about GNOME and GNOME 3.0 and they want to tell people about it. These talking points will give them specific things to highlight and demo.
  • GNOME Ambassadors and speakers program. We want to make it really easy for GNOME community members and fans to promote GNOME. We created everything from talking points to tshirts to business cards. We talked about how to make it easy for people to represent GNOME (like providing travel assistance and talking points.)
  • website – coming soon!
  • GNOME 3 videos. Jason has been working on 30 second videos that promote GNOME 3. They will feature lots of community members and many good highlights of GNOME 3!

The last day we had a GNOME Event at ITA. There were presentations from ASOLIF, CESLA, the City of Zaragoza, Aragon, GNOME folks and GNOME Hispano.

Sponsors and Local Organizers

The idea to host a GNOME hackfest in Zaragoza came from Agustín Benito Bethencourt from ASOLIF. Together with Ignacio Correas and Alberto Capella, they put together the event. Not only did they find the funding from local government organizations like the Zaragoza Municipality, Aragon Regional Government, ITA, ASOLIF and CESLA, but they also found us a great venue, very nice hotel and made sure we were very well fed! (Don’t go to Zaragoza if you are on a diet – the food was awesome!)

Many, many thanks to our sponsors:

Thanks to all our sponsors and to all our participants for making GNOME Marketing a success!

Stormy’s Update: Week of April 26, 2010

This is my update for work done for the GNOME Foundation. For a higher level overview for what I do as the Executive Director, see What do I do as Executive Director of the GNOME Foundation? or my earlier updates.

GNOME Asia meeting. The GNOME Asia team is planning GNOME Asia 2010. While the exact event hasn’t been announced, I can tell you it will most likely be in Taiwan and they are already looking for potential speakers.

I attended several GNOME A11y & HFOSS meetings. We are working with several universities this summer that will have students working on GNOME a11y projects. The GNOME a11y team is coming up with potential projects and mentors for the students to pick from.

Board meeting. The board met. The minutes will come out soon. Brian’s doing a great job of taking minutes and making sure we all track and update our action items.

Rosanna. Met with Rosanna for our regular weekly meeting but the meeting was eclipsed by our discussion of the fake check that someone tried to cash against the GNOME Foundation. Everything’s fine but we are working with our bank to make things as secure and safe as possible.

Silicon Flatirons Patents and Free and Open Source Software event. Spent Thursday afternoon and evening at the CU law school at a legal event about patents and free and open source software. I was on a panel that talked about some interesting data that shows most startup software companies don’t pursue patents but they think VCs value them. The VC on our panel, Jason Mendelson, said he didn’t.

1:1 with adboard member concerned about GNOME 3.

Wrapped up a few last minute details around the marketing hackfest. Many thanks to Agustín Benito Bethencourt, Ignacio Correas, Alberto Capella for organizing it. Thanks to the Zaragoza Municipality, Aragon Regional Governmen, Technological Institute of Aragon (ITA), ASOLIF, CESLA and the GNOME Foundation for sponsoring.

Travel to Zaragoza for the marketing hackfest.

Stormy’s Update: Week of April 19, 2010

This is my update for work done for the GNOME Foundation. For a higher level overview for what I do as the Executive Director, see What do I do as Executive Director of the GNOME Foundation? or my earlier updates.

  • Quarterly report. Put together the GNOME Q1 2010 quarterly report. Thanks to all the team members who wrote up the actual updates, Vinicius Depizzol who worked on the design and Vincent Untz who published it on the website during his vacation.
  • Review. Wrote up first half of fiscal year 2010 results for the board to review.
  • Orbitz. Worked with Orbitz to see if a business account would help the travel team. Still working with them.
  • 1:1’s. Met with Brian and Rosanna (separately.)
  • Marketing hackfest. Booked travel for the marketing hackfest. (Was waiting on some final scheduling before booking.)
  • Odds and Ends. Weighed in on a few discussions, had a few discussions with board members, pushed a few things along.

Overall, it was a very productive week. Here’s hoping this one is too!

Stormy’s Update: Week of April 12, 2010

This is my update for work done for the GNOME Foundation. For a higher level overview for what I do as the Executive Director, see What do I do as Executive Director of the GNOME Foundation? or my earlier updates.


  • Spent Monday traveling home from the French Quarter Festival in New Orleans.
  • Tuesday I caught up on a ton of mail. Like a lot of mail. Got back down to 10 mails in my inbox.
  • Wednesday-Friday I traveled to and attended the Linux Foundation Collaboration Summit. I hope everyone from Europe makes it back home soon!

What I actually did:

  • Had a lot of great conversations with existing GNOME Foundation sponsors and members at the Collaboration Summit about things we are working on and GUADEC. I talked with (some in depth, some very briefly) Robert McQueen(Collabora), Phillippe Kalaf (Collabora), Quim Gil (Nokia), Juan Jose Sanchez (Igalia), Ryan Singer (InitMarketing), Amanda McPhearson (Linux Foundation), Alan Clark (Novell), Rob Taylor (CodeThink), Jono Bacon (Canonical), Dave Neary, Paul Cutler. And if I talked to you and you aren’t on the list and want to be, just leave a comment. I talked to a lot of people!
  • Had a couple of great dinners. Yorba hosted a great GNOME dinner (Adam Dingle got  us all together!) and I had a great time catching up with the Yorba folks, Philip from Igalia, Christian Schaller, Paul Cutler, Phillippe Kalaf and Robert McQueen. (There were more people there but I wasn’t able to hear them from down the table. 🙂 Had dinner the night before with Ryan Singer, Jonathan Corbet, Jake Edge, Paul Cutler, Dave Neary and Josh Berkus. Don’t ask me who all I chatted with at the evening event on Wednesday …
  • Spent most of the day on Thursday in the MeeGo talks … when I wasn’t meeting with people individually.
  • Ran the Desktop track on Friday morning. Many, many thanks to Dave Neary and Zonker Brockmeier for helping put it together. We had some good sessions and great discussions about web applications and the desktop. (Talks about Snowy, KDE web apps and Mozilla Weave.) We wanted a controversial panel and we got one. I think the whole room shouted through the whole thing but I think I kept it enough under control that we got a few questions answered. It was exciting if not 100% productive.
  • Heard my favorite idea so far with what to do with the funding that Nokia has given to GNOME Mobile. Robert McQueen suggested that we do like a Google Summer of Code but for mobile. And not limit it to students. I really liked the idea and ran it by several others like Quim and Juanjo and everyone seemed to like it.
  • Got a free Nexus One phone from Google. (They gave one to everyone that attended their keynote!)
  • Attended the GNOME Board meeting.
  • Sent thank you’s to people who donated to Friends of GNOME through Paypal.

Stormy’s Update: Weeks of March 29th and April 5th, 2010

This is my update for work done for the GNOME Foundation. For a higher level overview for what I do as the Executive Director, see What do I do as Executive Director of the GNOME Foundation? or my earlier updates.

  • Friends of GNOME ruler was a great success! We met our goal for hiring a sys admin. (My work was just to provide updated numbers frequently and to dent and twitter. And sending thank you notes to all our generous supporters!)
  • Talked to InitMarketing with Paul Cutler about how they might be able to help us with some of our marketing tasks.
  • Planned the Desktop Track at the Linux Foundation Collaboration Summit with Zonker and Dave Neary.
  • Attended the board meeting.
  • Met with Rosanna.
  • Met with Jonathan Corbet from to discuss partnership opportunities.
  • Met with Jeremy Allison, our newest GNOME Advisory Board member.
  • Had a meeting with the folks going to the events in Africa representing GNOME and some of the other board members.
  • Started a conversation on the mobile list about how best to use the funding from Nokia.
  • Had lots of exchanges with events looking for me to speak at them. (In all cases I asked for lots more info. In one case I offered to speak in exchange for a donation to the GNOME Foundation.)
  • Started working on my write-up for my 6 month evaluation.
  • Spread the word to recruit a few people for the GNOME press team.
  • Created the GNOME wish list.
  • Agreed to pay Texas Linux Fest a nonprofit $100 booth fee. (Zonker and the Ubuntu team will be running the GNOME booth.)
  • Followed up with a few potential GUADEC sponsors.
  • Sent and received a record amount of email!
  • Taking some vacation – going to the French Quarter Festival in New Orleans! (Also took a day the week of March 29th to get some stuff done.)

Next week:

  • Catch up on email from vacation.
  • Attend the Linux Foundation Collaboration Summit and chair the Desktop Track along with Zonker and Dave Neary.
  • Continue to follow up with GUADEC sponsors.
  • Help Paul Cutler with prep work for the marketing hackfest.

Stormy’s Update: Week of March 22nd

  • Friends of GNOME ruler launched. The campaign has been a great success so far – thanks, everyone!
  • Jeremy Allison joined the GNOME Advisory Board representing Google.
  • Worked with a potential sponsor.
  • Met with Rosanna to discuss the things she’s got going on (invoices, reimbursements, bank stuff, etc) and the Friends of GNOME gifts. Proposed that maybe we could send gifts via a supplier like Amazon. Having too many gifts to send out is a good problem to have!
  • Met with Brian Cameron to discuss my work. It’s about time for a midyear review.
  • Sent lots of thank you’s to Friends of GNOME who donated. Thanks, everyone!
  • Discussed a couple of GUADEC things like press. Need to wrap up the sponsors.
  • Attended GNOME Foundation IRC meeting.
  • Discussed who could attend FOSS Nigeria as the person who was going to attend on GNOME’s behalf had to cancel for work.
  • Organized a Women in Technology happy hour with Julie Bort in Fort Collins. Not GNOME related all though all GNOME women are welcome!
  • Reviewed GNOME 2.30 release notes and Project Accessibility & GNOME press release.
  • Wrapped up an advisory board interview for GNOME Journal.
  • Decided to move the Meet the Funders event to the fall. That will avoid conflict with lots of summer conferences and enable us to plan in person at OSCON.
  • Interviewed with a Northern California radio show on women and Unix and Linux.
  • Met with an analyst trying to figure out how many Linux mobile devices there will be.
  • Attended FSF Women’s IRC meeting. Sounds like the women’s track at Libre Planet was a great success!
  • Attended Open World Forum committee meeting. Haven’t yet committed to helping any particular track.

For this week:

  • Review my very long todo list and make sure I’m working on the most important stuff.
  • Start a conversation on GNOME Mobile about what to do with the Nokia funding.
  • Try to close with all GUADEC sponsors.
  • Work out a schedule for the Linux Foundation Collaboration Summit desktop track.
  • Annual report letter.

One step closer to a sys admin …

We’ve been raising funds for a system administrator for GNOME. Yesterday we added a ruler to the top of various GNOME websites to show people our progress and it’s been a tremendous success.

Since yesterday we’ve gotten almost $1,000 in donations from individuals and another $5,000 match from a company!

That’s in addition to the money we’d already raised and all the company matches we’ve received so far.

We’ve only got $5,843 to go before we hire a system administrator. (And put up a new goal!)

Why are we hiring a system administrator?

To help GNOME developers be able to write more code, documentation, etc. There’s a lot of system administration work involved in keeping a project like GNOME and an organization like the GNOME Foundation running. We have an awesome team of volunteers that keep it running day to day but it would help to have someone dedicated to the system administration team, able to manage projects, tackle some of the bigger projects and to stay on top of the day to day requests.

Why are we raising money for this?

We’re a nonprofit and all of our budget comes from donations from individuals and companies and any profit we run from events.

What are you going to do when the money runs out?

Hopefully we’ll continue to be successful with our fundraising efforts so that we can continue to enjoy the benefits of having a system administrator. The money we raise should cover at least a year of a part time system administrator.

How do I apply?

Stay tuned. We will be announcing the application process soon. You can check out the job page for more information.

How can I help?

Spread the word! You can promote Friends of GNOME on your website or by blogging about it or by mentioning it during your talks.

What’s your fundraising tip 101?

Well, right now, it’s let people know what the progress is. Put up a ruler! Thanks to everyone who worked on the ruler … Lucas Rocha, Vinicius Depizzol, Andreas Nilsson, Paul Cutler, Shaun McCance and many more.

Thanks to everyone who has helped so far! GNOME rocks!
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