Stormy’s Update: Weeks of January 25th and February 1st

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.

Edited a GNOME Journal article. Check out the latest issue with its multimedia focus!

Published the GNOME Q4 2009 Quarterly Report! Thanks to all the teams that wrote things up – we have some great write-ups about some awesome work.

Submitted the GNOME Google Adwords account for approval. I was bummed when the automated response says it could take up to three months to get approval. However, it was approved within a few days! We’ve been running ads for Friends of GNOME and Women’s Outreach for the past week or so. I’ve played with the keywords and ads some and gotten some feedback from the marketing list as well. Anyone with experience with Google Adwords would be appreciated!

Conversations with several board members about how things are going for the Board and how things are running with the GNOME Foundation.

Many one on one conversations with GNOME Advisory Board members. These were mostly brief chats 20-30 minutes about how things were going for them and how we could best work together. Discussed things like hackfests and GUADEC as well.

Friends of GNOME update for December 2009 and January 2010. We had a stellar 2009! In 2009, Friends of GNOME raised $29,578 for
GNOME! That is the same amount raised by 3 large companies. From
community contributions. It’s enough for several hackfests and close to
the amount needed annually for a part time system administrator. In December we raised $2,663, more than any other December. Spread the word!

Sent thank you’s to people who donated money to GNOME. Sent a few postcards out for the Adopt a Hacker program. Sent on addresses to others who also owe thank you postcards.

GNOME Jobs. Heard about several GNOME jobs and asked people to post them on the GNOME Jobs board.

Had 1:1 meeting with Rosanna. Still working with her to try to get her workload balanced.

GNOME Board of Directors meeting.

Pinged a lot of people about a lot of things. Including GUADEC sponsorships.

Checked on getting a Euro account for the GNOME Foundation. Found one option that is good for large amounts but has excessive wire fees for small amounts.

Attended the Women in Free Software IRC meeting.

Attended a “Benchmarking Women Leadership” event put on by the White House Project. I was expecting more data about the new report but instead I met a lot of interesting people that may be able to help with contacts for the GNOME Outreach Program
for Women

Started planning a “Meet the Funders” event with other free software projects. We’ll invite people from Foundations and other funders to learn more about free software projects.

This week:

Stormy’s Update: Week of January 18th

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.

Finally wrapped up the very long thread on the Foundation list and most of the side conversations.

Met with a couple of advisory board members (via phone, email and IRC) to discuss funding and GUADEC.

We are partnering with Project::Possibility! Look for updates from the GNOME accessibility folks.

Got all the GNOME Q4 report updates in the report and edited except for one … actively waiting on that one!

Read all the Google Grants instructions, set up an Adwords account, set up campaigns, ad groups, ads and keywords. Was ready to submit and the checklist says we need at least two ads per adgroup, so going back to fill in today. (Also got a login on our Piwik account from Jaap Haitsma to see web page traffic to
help evaluate our adwords usage.)

Sent out requests for sponsorship for the usability hackfest.

Attended GNOME board meeting.

Met with Jim Zemlin from the Linux Foundation. Briefly discussed Collaboration Summit, GNOME participation, mobile, Moblin and fundraising/memberships.

Sent out thank you’s for Friends of GNOME.

Worked with Grace Hopper (a women in computing conference) on FOSS (free and open source) plans for the conference. They were already working on it and they’ve added me to the group discussing the plans. It’s looking promising.

Attended Snowy (Tomboy Online) IRC meeting.

Talked to Gregoire Gentil from Always Innovating. Their Touch Book uses GNOME technologies. They’d love to see better touch screen support for GNOME. (Right now you have to use a stylus instead of fingers.) Set up tentative plans to meet in person at the Collaboration Summit.

Helped with a couple of things (panel, lightening talks, schedule) for OSCON and for the Women in Open Source miniconference at SCALE.

Luis de Bethencourt is going to represent GNOME at FOSS Nigeria. Thanks to Agustín Benito Bethencourt for recruiting him.

Chuck Payne and Zonker will represent GNOME at the Texas Linux Fest.

Worked on planning my travel for the year. I’d love to see more people officially representing GNOME at events.

Stormy’s Update: Week of January 11th

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.

Started out my week late as it turns out that Amtrak can randomly cancel trains – like for a whole weekend.

We had a GNOME Advisory Board meeting about GNOME Foundation 2010 goals. We got a lot of good feedback. After adding another level of detail, I think we are ready to send them out. Look for them soon from the board. (My goals and the Foundation goals are very much aligned at this point, so I am looking forward to getting everyone's feedback on them.)

Attended a Women in Free Software IRC meeting about our day long event at the Libre Planet event in March.

GNOME Q4 Report. Got some of the write-ups for the Q4 report – still need to ping some people.

Worked with a couple of the advisory board members on how best to help them support us this year. Agreed on amounts and dates, divided some of the payments up, filled out some paperwork, …

Sent out request for funding for things like GUADEC, the accessibility hackfest and the other machine that the sys admin team would like to have.

Had a few conversations around GUADEC. If you'd like to help with GUADEC this year, please send an email to

Looking for people to represent GNOME at the Texas Linux Fest, FOSS Nigeria, Grace Hopper, Educational Technology Day at Ithaca College. Let me know if you are interested!

Pinged to find out why I/we are not being included in Open Source for America conversations. (Being an advisor is a lot of work if you'd like information.)

Our Google Grants application was approved! Google Grants allows us to advertise through Google AdWords. It's basically like a grant of advertising money. Now I have to figure out how we can best use Google Adwords.

KDE sent a transfer over for the Desktop Summit so we could close the books. All looks good!

Participated in the very long thread about free software, open source software, proprietary software, GNOME and companies on the Foundation list. Had a lot of side conversations about it too.

Attended the GNOME marketing IRC meeting which was very well attended and generated lots of good ideas which people signed up to follow up on.

Worked with James Vasile from SFLC and another organization on some agreements.

Stormy’s update: Week of January 3rd

This is my update for work done for the GNOME Foundation, reprinted from the GNOME Foundation blog. 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.

  • Worked a bit on CiviCRM. Could really use some more volunteers. (A big thanks to Jeff Schroeder, Dave Greenberg and Donald Lobo.) Put in sponsoring companies, adboard members, (Dave Neary also added some contacts), put in tasks, added Rosanna and we can track things including sent invoices, added the board so we can all track todo items. (Although todo items may sound like a simple thing it's really nice to be able to see who owns it, who's involved and what artifacts are associated with it. So if I'm curious if we've invoiced a company for an event, I can open that company's record, the event record or Rosanna's and I can see a copy of the invoice attached if she's invoiced them. So now we have a shared record of paperwork too.) Next big step is to import all data from Paypal and set it to track all of our donors.
  • Had a meeting with Project:possibility to talk about the option of them including GNOME projects in one of their weekend code contests for university students. It would require us to find the right size projects (for teams of 4-6 people for a weekend) and provide mentors. The goal is to introduce university students to free software projects for people with disabilities.
  • Zonker is now leading the GNOME press team! Zonker has a lot of experience working with the press (and being the press :). He's also already been doing the role of press team lead – he coordinated and wrote the GUADEC 2010 press release and is working on another one as we speak. He's interested in re-establishing our regional press contacts, getting more people involved and planning for GNOME 3.0!
  • Worked on goals and vision. The next advisory board meeting will also discuss GNOME Foundation 2010 goals and we should be starting a discussion on the Foundation list soon to discuss the Foundation's goals and my own goals.
  • Sent some thank you's for both donations and help.
  • Pinged people about things. 
  • Answered a whole bunch of email and got myself back down to my normal Inbox. (And then went offline this weekend and I now have twice as many as I did last week …)
  • Accepted an invitation to attend the 2010 Workshop on the Future of Research on Free/Open Source Software (FOSS). Booked travel.
  • Scott Reeves joined the GNOME Advisory Board, replacing JP Rosevear. Scott and Zonker will now be representing Novell. Scott works on openSUSE desktop
    related areas such as the gnome-main-menu and PackageKit. We're happy to have Scott on the board! (Although we'll miss JP!)
  • Met with a GNOME Foundation partner to discuss how we could work more closely together.
  • Sent out call for Q4 Quarterly Report.

Stormy’s Update: Week of December 14th

This is my update for work done for the GNOME Foundation, reprinted from the GNOME Foundation blog. 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.

Pinged some people to help with GUADEC by mentoring or creating timelines.

Had a great conversation with Sara Crouse from Wikimedia about how they find, apply and manage grants, like ones from the Hewlett Foundation and the Ford Foundation. Looking forward to implementing some of that at the GNOME Foundation.

Spent an inordinate amount of time and energy on the threads that started on the Foundation list and the side conversations that came out of it. Assuming that even a fraction of the people involved spent that much time and energy, we need to figure out a more effective way to have those conversations. Obviously we could use some more self moderating earlier in the thread. Perhaps other forums, like the all hands IRC meeting we discussed in the past could also help.

Took some time off to deal with a personal crisis. (And no, it wasn't Christmas shopping – I haven't done that yet!)

Provided a quote for and OpenSuSE build press release.

Pushed a number of things and projects along from missing payments to projects with no activity to potential partnerships. Hopefully they'll all be moving forward soon and I'll be able to report on their success.

Posted a couple of blog posts. I really hope GNOME is able to set an example for how free software projects can transition to the web services world. And I think we all need to keep not copyright law in mind, but the fact that we are representing GNOME in public in mind as we post to public forums. Quite a few press folks and journalists picked up on the Foundation list threads and we certainly didn't look like we were following our own Code of Conduct.

Had a really good weekend with the family.

Stormy’s Update: Week of December 7th

This is my update for work done for the GNOME Foundation, reprinted from the GNOME Foundation blog. 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.

Answered a lot of emails and had a lot of discussions. As for things I actually crossed off my todo list:

  • Updated CiviCRM requirements document with a few more process like the travel committee. Met with Dave Greenberg from CiviCRM. He gave me a lot of pointers on how to get started. I'll be working on getting CiviCRM set up for the GNOME Foundation over the next couple of weeks.
  • Sent out email about the GNOME Foundation changing advisory board fees with the support of the advisory board.
  • Spoke to the Northern Colorado Linux User Group. Gave my "Would you do it again for free?" talk and had a very interesting and involved discussion. Someone from the first team I ever worked on at HP held up a "I heart ObAM" sign. ObAM is the user interface programming interface for HPUX tools. It sat on top of Motif when I first joined the team. (I actually had to read the sign twice to see that it said ObAM and not Obama which is a sign of how my world of acronyms and names has changed.)
  • Did all my expense reports for the last three trips. (I can't believe people griped about the semi-automated HP/Amex system. I personally would love to have it now.)
  • Attended GNOME Board of Directors meeting.
  • Worked with Rosanna to invoice a couple of advisory board members, including one that is funding a new  program.
  • Had a meeting with Rosanna over IRC. Trying to help balance out her workload. (I've created a lot more work. Since I've joined we've had a lot more events, invoicing, new programs, more Friends of GNOME, etc.)
  • Had a great GNOME Advisory Board meeting about events and copyright assignments. The copyright assignment discussion in particular was very dynamic.
  • Published November Friends of GNOME data.

Focus for this week:

  • My goals. Finishing a draft we can share so everyone can comment.
  • CiviCRM. Getting it set up. Starting first with Board of Advisors information and then Friends of GNOME.

Stormy’s update: Week of November 30th

This is my update for work done for the GNOME Foundation, reprinted from the GNOME Foundation blog. 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.

LiMo Foundation. Met with Andrew Savory, Mal Minhas and Gyanee Dewnarain at the LiMo London offices. We talked about LiMo, GNOME Mobile, the work LiMo member companies are doing with GNOME technologies, our foundations and how we can work more closely together. Good conversations and I expect we'll continue to work together and hopefully announce more later.

Canonical design, user experience and usability team. Met with Charline Poirier, Ivanka Majic and Iain Farrell at their London offices. Talked about usability studies on GNOME technologies, a GNOME usability hackfest and studying how to disseminate usability study results into free and open source software community. I'll be introducing more GNOME folks into the conversation and hopefully the conversations will make their way to the GNOME usability list and into some concrete plans to get more GNOME usability info into the hands of folks working on GNOME.

Met with Lucas Rocha for lunch to discuss GNOME stuff and then had a quick peek at a Litl webbook! It's a very elegantly designed device. While the software is of course great (it's designed by great people using some terrific free and open source software technologies 🙂 what really struck me was the hardware. The keyboard is very "clean" and easy to use without lots of random extra keys and when you swing the screen all the way around to set it up like a picture frame, it feels very sturdy. It was fun to see.

OSS Watch. Went out to Oxford to meet the OSS Watch team and participate in the OSS Watch advisory board meeting. (This was the reason for my trip to the UK.) OSS Watch is helping educational institutions in the UK use open source software. Or help them to the next step in their plans, like building community around the projects they've developed. Lots of interesting discussions. (And some great but brief sightseeing.)

Invited GNOME event planners to GNOME Advisory Board meeting next Tuesday which will be about events and copyright assignments.

One on one meeting with Brian Cameron to talk about status. Brian will be sharing my past year's goals and achievements as the board of directors determined them. I'll be sharing my next year's goals as part of the process of figuring out what they should be.

Did an interview about Women in Linux with Anton Borisov who is writing for Linux+DVD magazine

The US event box is going to be maintained by Larry Cafiero. (Thanks to Zonker for nominating Larry.) We've been looking for a west coast home for the event box and so I'm excited Larry will be helping us out.

Emailed press, journalist and blogger contacts about our GUADEC 2010 announcement on Monday.

Spent approximately 40 hours travelling. Not counting all the trains in London.

Stormy’s Update: November 21st-29th

This is my update for work done for the GNOME Foundation, reprinted from the GNOME Foundation blog. 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 (and gave several planned and several impromptu talks at) the GNOME Asia Summit November 20-22nd. It was great to see GNOME Asia successfully transition to a an annual conference. The GNOME Asia committee did a great job last year and they managed to transition that success to another country and a new team this year. While there were some things that could have gone better (more lead time, more sponsorships), the conference was great and added a few unique nice touches like using local business students to interpret and handing out volunteer certificates to all 115 volunteers! GNOME Asia faces an additional hurdle that conferences in the US and Europe don't face. Not only do they have to educate attendees on GNOME but also on free software! 

Met with Erwann Ch̩ned̩ and Leontine Binchy from Sun Рit's always good to have a chance to meet companies and people involved in GNOME in person!

Spent 30 hours travelling home from Vietnam.

Worked with next year's local organizers, board and press on the GUADEC press release. (Zonker wrote the press release.) You'll see it Monday morning.

Set up plan and agenda for my trip to London for the OSS Watch advisory board meeting. (Also meeting with LiMo and Canonical.)

Got 401K plan set up for GNOME Foundation. Now we just have to set it up with our payroll company to roll deductions over to the 401K plan.

Got invited to speak at Open Mobility conference, Fort Collins Linux user group and the FOSS 2010 Research workshop. Accepted the Fort Collins user group. Waiting for GNOME Mobile group to figure out plan for Open Mobility. Thinking about the FOSS 2010 workshop.

Attended GNOME Board meeting.

Worked on CRM data structures and work flows, i.e. I wrote up what we need in the CRM system so that I can get help setting it up. (Jeff Schroeder installed CiviCRM on GNOME systems!)

Thursday and Friday were US holidays – Thanksgiving! I'm thankful for all the great people I get to work with in the GNOME community.

Stormy’s update: October 19th-November 20th

This is my update for work done for the GNOME Foundation, reprinted from the GNOME Foundation blog. 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.

Not as much detail as normal as I'm covering a much longer time frame … I'll be returning to weekly updates now.

Marketing hackfest. Helped plan and attended the first ever GNOME Marketing hackfest. It went well and we will be doing more. Thanks to Paul Cutler for putting it together. Thanks to the travel committee for getting everyone there. Thanks to Novell and Google for sponsoring it. Thanks very much to all the people that showed up to work hard on GNOME marketing!

GNOME Journal. Added a bunch of ideas for GNOME Journal articles. (Now we just need people to write them! Feel free to add ideas or write articles.) Recruited authors for the Women in GNOME Journal edition. Interviewed a woman GNOME advisory board member for it. Helped edit a couple of articles.

Published the GNOME Q3 report. Thanks to all the teams who submitted updates!

Attended the first OSS Watch advisory board meeting via phone. Will attend the first in person one in a couple of weeks.

Agustín Benito put me in touch with La Laguna College and we exchanged a couple of emails. They are interested in helping recruit more women to free software.

Forwarded several journalist requests to the appropriate people – most went to the release team with questions about GNOME 3.0.

Played around with several different views and methods of looking at my goals. Trying to find a better way to align goals to individual task items and to visualize how we are doing on larger goals. Plan to work on this further.

Got sponsors for hackfests (like the marketing one) and the Boston Summit. Wrote up a sponsorship agreement at the request of one of the sponsors. I plan to tweak it a bit make a sponsorship agreement that we can use for all GNOME events.

Attended free software women's group meeting.

Let the Teaching Open Source mailing list group that GNOME has people willing to speak about GNOME in their classes. Set Willie Walker up with RPI.

Talked to most of the advisory board members about raising advisory board fees for next year both at an advisory board meeting and one on one. Touched base with them in general.

Talked to Clay Johnson from the Sunlight Foundation. Got some interesting insights into fundraising and volunteers. I hope to interview him later about fundraising and post on my blog. He's planning the Great American Hackathon to develop free and open source applications for open government.

Sent information to Claudia to help her wrap up finances for the Desktop Summit. We are just waiting on one sponsor to pay us so we can close the books.

Spent 30 hours travelling to Vietnam. But it's been worth it! I'm currently attending the 2nd annual GNOME Asia Summit! They have an awesome team of volunteers. They recruited business and international trade students to help interpret for all of the foreign speakers. They are all very enthusiastic and having a great time! I've had a chance so far to speak to a city government official, local companies using and developing open source and lots of enthusiastic students!

Stormy’s update: September 28th-October 16th

This is my update for work done for the GNOME Foundation, reprinted from the GNOME Foundation blog. 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.

I went to two conferences during the past couple of weeks:

  • Grace Hopper Women in Computing Conference in Tucson, Arizona. I went to the Grace Hopper Women in Computing conference on a Grace Hopper scholarship, i.e. they paid for travel. In addition to attending the conference, I participated on the open source software panel. There were a lot of students there that were very interested in learning more about how to get involved with free and open source software. The only place they could find out about free and open source software was at the panel I was on and at the Systers Codeathon. Given our push to recruit more women, it seems like a great opportunity. Next year I'd like to see better representation from free software projects like the GNOME Foundation and Apache as well as some representation by companies that hire free and open source software developers, like Canonical, Red Hat, Novell, Nokia, … I'll be working on that.
  • Utah Open Source conference in Salt Lake City. (They paid for my travel as well.) I gave the keynote on Friday, Would you do it again for free? and I hung out at the GNOME Booth that Christer Edwards put together. He had a lot of really good feedback for the Event Box (we need a banner! we need to tell people what's important to point out at the booth!) and I passed some of it on to the marketing list. Christer got some great GNOME pictures with the booth webcam and told people about GNOME 3.0 and Friends of GNOME.

I had several one on one meetings with advisory board members. All of our sponsors have paid except for two – and rumor has it one of their checks is in our PO box or on Rosanna's desk! The other one is actively working on getting us paid. (Although it seems like these payments are late, we are doing much better than previous years!) I also asked our partners to help out with lots of events. Novell, Collabora and Google all helped out with the Boston Summit. Igalia is hosting and sponsoring a WebKitGTK+ hackfest and Collabora is sponsoring it as well. Canonical and the TIS Innovation Park are sponsoring the Zeitgeist Hackfest. Say thanks to their employees if you see them!

We had our monthly GNOME Advisory Board meeting on October 13th. The main topic was our finances and how we'd like to raise advisory board fees. Germán did a great job of putting together 2009 results and a 2010 budget. The meeting was one of the more active discussions we've had all year and we got several compliments on how prepared we are. It's also looking like most of our sponsors are amenable to raising the fees, which would be really good for our 2010 plans. (We had only one hackfest in the first half of 2009 because budgets were cut; we're hoping to avoid that in the future.) 

We had GNOME Board meetings on October 1st and October 15th. You can find the minutes on the wiki.

I had a one on one meeting with Brian Cameron to discuss progress and goals. He had lots of good suggestions. In particular we discussed things like how to get the GNOME partner companies more involved with marketing, how to work better with the FSF and how to get more women involved in GNOME. (Marina has been hard at work on our new GNOME Women's Outreach!)

I talked to the President of system76, Carl Richell. They make servers, desktops and laptops with Ubuntu installed. He works with a lot of the upstream
projects and was very interested in how he could work more with us. He'd like to give us some of their new hardware to play with and test. (Some of the new laptops/netbooks he was talking about made me want to start coding so I could get one to play with!)

I pulled together the Friends of GNOME September data. We have raised $23,415 this year! September saw a 40% increase over August, probably because of the release of GNOME 2.28. We have a goal of 10 new Friends of GNOME subscribers a month so sign up and tell your friends! The more subscribers we have, the sooner we'll hire a system administrator and the more hackfests we can do. I sent out thank you's to people who donated through Friend of GNOME.

Traded some ideas with Paul Cutler who is planning a Marketing Hackfest in Chicago for November 10-11th.  Novell and Google are sponsoring it. Say thanks to them!

GNOME Asia planning is coming along well and we are looking for sponsors. They will be announcing location (Vietnam) and dates (November 20-22) and putting out a call for papers any minute now!

Got a query from a professor about how students could contribute to FOSS projects – passed them on to the GSOC GNOME mentors list. I also got an invite to the annual HFOSS conference. Let me know if you are interested in attending and representing GNOME.

Gave feedback to the board on a bid for GUADEC 2010. Hopefully we will be announcing when we'll be (deciding and) announcing the 2010 location soon.

Continued to push for press release to announce our new advisory board member …

Booked travel for Latinoware where I'll be giving a keynote next week, attending the GNOME Day and the GNOME Women talk! Tried to go to Encuentro Linux during the same trip but the conferences are at the same time and quite a ways away travel wise if not miles wise. Started working on my presentation for the keynote.

Took some time off this past week to deal with non work stuff.

Worked on getting the GNOME Q3 2009 quarterly report out. We're almost ready! – just waiting on a few teams to submit their write-ups.

This week:

  • Latinoware in Brazil!
  • (And hopefully sending out the Q3 report if everyone's writeups come in.)