Am I the only one that wants to read these books?

I was looking at my Paperbackswap wish list and discovered some interesting things:

What’s your wish list dynamic look like?

What should the GNOME Foundation accomplish in 2010?

We’ve been working on the GNOME Foundation’s goals for 2010. We distributed them for comment on the Foundation list. I’ve also created a quick survey if you want to show which goals you like. (The results from this survey are now available.)

In addition to the goals, we also need:

  • Metrics. How will we know if we’ve accomplished the goal?
  • Goals (and metrics) for me. How can I best help make these goals a reality?

If you use GNOME, you should let us know what you think the Foundation should accomplish in 2010!

Feel free to comment on the existing goals or to suggest new ones.

  1. Provide GNOME 3.0 for everyone – a more usable, accessible and modern desktop.
    • Show leadership in the desktop space.
      • Become a desktop thought leader
      • Show people the possibilities of a desktop
      • Become a user experience thought leader
    • Release GNOME 3.0 in September
      • Get corporate cooperation for the GNOME 3.0 release
      • Get partner cooperation for GNOME 3.0 release
    • Deliver a product that has been well tested for usability and accessibility needs.
      • Make sure the usability and accessibility hackfests are a success. That they are well attended by a diverse group of individuals and corporations and that their activities are seen in the community afterwards.
      • Ensure hackfests have corporate participation
      • Ensure hackfests are well funded
      • Find resources and funding for accessibility
    • Make a successful launch, with a good marketing campaign.
      • Make sure there is a GNOME 3.0 marketing plan that is
        executed on. A good marketing plan will include outreach
        activities from the community working in close connection
        with our partners.
      • Position GNOME as a thought leader around user experience
      • Grow the GNOME brand in a way that can be used by downstream
      • Make sure GNOME 3.0 has a launch (from a marketing
      • Number of speaking opportunities and published articles about
        GNOME 3.0
      • Make sure press is involved ? GNOME 3.0 should bring at least
        a 50% increase in press articles from the previous year.
      • Make sure GNOME applications, not just the desktop, are
  2. Make the GNOME free desktop the desktop of choice, focusing on developing
    nations for 2010.

    • Reach out to governments in developing countries
      • Set up working relationships with developing country
        governments (Someone from GNOME with someone from the
        government. A relationship can be defined as a regular set of
        meetings, a memorandum of understanding or participation in
        each others’ events.)
      • Partner with other nonprofits involved in free software or
        related groups (measure number/quality of relationships)
    • Support existing local user groups, universities working with free
      software and work to create new new relationships

      • Increase the number of local user groups (Compare existing
        number to new number)
      • Support local user groups with existing resources, i.e. send
        speakers from Europe to Africa (compare 2009 to 2010)
      • Figure out new ways to work with developing nations.
    • Have GNOME representation at major free software events in the
      developing world

      • Measure number of events we participate in next year to this
      • Work with people that already speak at these events to
        promote GNOME as well
      • Sponsor events with volunteers or money
    • Start relationship with vendors and/or solution providers to help
      them understand the benefits of GNOME.

      • Business development activities where the GNOME Foundation
        helps to make progress in increasing adoption of GNOME
        technologies in the developing world. (Measured by the number
        of events, meetings, or collaboration opportunities realized
        compared with the previous year.)
      • Measure number of conversations with vendors who provide IT
        solutions (with an emphasis on developing countries)
      • Measure number of relationships we establish.
      • Measure number of outcomes (products, partnerships, events)
      • that come out of these relationships.

      • Are the people we sponsor using our slide templates,
        promoting Friends of GNOME, wearing tshirts we provide, etc?
      • Is this having a benefit to our bottom line (such as via
        Friends of GNOME donations, etc.)
  3. Create a widely used free and open source ?desktop? that spans from
    mobile devices to netbooks to desktops and everything in between.

    • Get “desktop” developers talking to mobile company developers
    • Get mobile companies actively involved upstream
    • Work to get more distributors
  4. Work with the companies in GNOME Mobile (and others using GNOME in the
    mobile space)

    • Raise awareness of GNOME Mobile in the developer space
      • Have a GNOME presence at Mobile events
      • Partner with organizations that use GNOME Mobile or provide
        technologies into GNOME mobile
    • Market/advertise what GNOME Mobile is
      • Work with marketing team to help them understand the needs of
        GNOME Mobile
      • Work with partners like LiMo to market/advertise GNOME Mobile
    • Get patches upstream
      • Work with GNOME Mobile partners to get their patches upstream
      • Measure by number of patches (is this easy to measure?)
    • Enable collaboration between companies
      • # of introductions
      • # of events where companies can meet (conferences, hackfests)
      • measure output of these events
    • Ensure that missing technologies are implemented
      • Identify missing technologies
      • Publicize them
      • Measure % that are implemented
    • Enable collaboration between “desktop” and “mobile” companies in
      the GNOME space

      • Have a hackfest that works on a technology that spans mobile
        and desktop
      • Get “desktop” developers to participate in GNOME mobile
        mailing list or events
  5. Raise worldwide governmental awareness of the GNOME free desktop and its
    importance to their citizens.

    • Work with GNOME Foundation members and supporters to set up
      meetings with government groups

      • # of meetings
    • Have GNOME representation at free software and government events
      • Number of events in the developing world that have a GNOME
        presence (compared to the number in the previous year).
    • Work with other free software groups trying to accomplish similar

      • # of groups we work with
      • # of events we partner at, number of attendees
      • measure results such as # of women that participate in Women
        Outreach, products launched, etc.
  6. Make the GNOME Foundation the place for companies working with
    GNOME-related technologies to collaborate.

    • Provide forums for companies to collaborate at a higher level
      (roadmaps, etc)

      • # of events/meetings that more than one company attend
      • setting up a forum
      • Starting conversations, making introductions
    • Make introductions between companies where the GNOME Foundation
      feels collaboration opportunities exist.

      • # of introductions
      • Identify companies and opportunities
    • Make sure that hackfests and events are well organized. That the
      relevant companies and individuals are notified about the event
      well enough in advance to ensure proper planning and

      • # of hackfests sponsored by more than one company
      • average number of companies represented at hackfests
        (compared to previous year)
    • Work with companies to market GNOME within their product marketing

      • Better press and press relations, perhaps even break out into
        new forms of advertisement
      • Set up meeting between marketing people at different
      • Provide marketing materials to companies
    • Promote free software by being a model example of a free software

      • Advocate for free software
        • Use the term free software
        • Speak and blog about the principles of free software
      • Be transparent
        • Publish regular GNOME Foundation updates – Stormy and
          Rosanna’s weekly updates, Board meeting minutes,
          quarterly reports, finance updates, etc.
      • Be open
        • Explain the reasoning behind decisions.
      • Follow our Code of Conduct
        • Moderate the Foundation list and Planet and call people
          out on inappropriate behavior.
      • Encourage new people to join our project.
        • Bring in people with expertise but new to the project.
        • Develop ways for people to easily join our project.
        • Invest in GNOME Love, partner with other organizations,
          develop a working on mailing lists guide, etc.

      • Market free software and GNOME
        • (Covered in other areas here.)
  7. Provide web services for GNOME projects like Tomboy/Snowy
    • Identify projects that could be web services and talk to them.
    • Enable sys admin team to provide hosting.
    • Bring web services online
      • Measure by number of services online!
  8. Infrastructure
    • Raise money for a sys admin
    • Hire a sys admin
    • Help the infrastructure team to grow
  9. Fundraising
    • Increase overall budget by 30%.
    • Increase contributions from Friends of GNOME by 30%.
    • Diversify funding by expanding into merchandising and other
      business development opportunities such as ad revenue on support
      forums, web services, training, etc.

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.

Passion brings them together, the internet enables them and their diversity helps them succeed

Lots of corporations work really hard to increase diversity.

In the mean time, I think free and open source software projects have figured it out. They may not be diverse in every way possible (there's a notable lack of women and an over representation of developers – go figure) but they have succeeded in not only attracting a diverse set of people but creating a really well working diverse group of people.

I think a couple of factors have made that possible:

  1. Passion. A shared mission, passion and commitment to the project.
  2. Connectivity. The internet (email, IRC, IM, identica, etc) has enabled people to work together effectively.

Take the GNOME Board of Directors, one of the most effective and diverse teams I've had the pleasure of working with:

  • 7 people
  • that live in 7 different countries
  • on 4 different continents
  • in 6 time zones
  • and speak 5 different first languages

They are diverse in other ways too but these facts are most public.

They talk every day via email, IRC and IM, debate some pretty difficult issues and come to working agreements without a boss. (They hired me, not the other way around.) They run the GNOME Foundation.

How many other teams do you know that are that diverse and that successful?

Their passion for GNOME brings them together, the internet enables them to work together and their diversity helps them succeed.

How do we get anything done?

So today I was feeling frustrated that I hadn't crossed many items off my todo list. I'd been really busy and felt like I had a pretty productive day, but I'd only managed to cross a couple of items off my list.

So I took a break to see exactly what I'd been doing. And ended up tweeting this:

As of 2:30pm
today I sent 46 emails, got email in 128 threads, posted 9 tweets + 8
Facebook comments + had 4 phone calls + 5 IM chats.

And I forgot to count IRC chats.

So then I got to wondering what a normal day looked like. Unfortunately I don't have an easy way to count  threads (email, IM, IRC and Facebook) and I think threads are most likely the most indicative of work done. (It's fascinating how many different conversations we can carry on at once. Often on very unrelated tasks.)

What was easy to count was how many emails I received in a day and how many I sent. What was surprising was how consistent the numbers were!


Also, look how good I was at not working over the weekend – I don't normally do so good at that.

The next thing that surprised me was how many people commented on how productive I was. So I looked up productive in the dictionary and saw they were right:

productive: producing or capable of producing (especially abundantly);

The problem is I measure productive by how many things I cross off my todo list, not how many emails I send or I'd be in reactive mode all day. Now most of the emails I sent were working towards getting things crossed off my list, but in and of themselves they aren't something I want to measure in order to measure productivity.

The third thing that struck me was how many different topics I handle every day. Those 46 emails were in 37 different threads. Over the course of 6.5 hours, that's almost 6 different topics an hour. Or at least 6 different conversations an hour. And again, that's not counting IM, IRC, twitter … If multitasking is inefficient, how much more effective could I be if I managed to focus on one topic for an entire day?

So what was the point? I don't know, but if it takes me 50-100 outbound emails a day (and at least that many inbound emails) to get my job done (not to mention IM, IRC, Identica, Twitter and Facebook) whatever did people do before email??

P.S. And I'm not complaining. Feel free to continue to communicate with me as often as you want in the medium you find most comfortable. I feel like whatever I'm doing is working well for me at the moment. (Except for that pesky todo list that grows as fast as I cross things off of it!)

I'm just contemplating what this means … your thoughts and insights are welcome.

Where should I be this year?

It's time to decide what events I want to attend this year. Usually I figure it out a bit as I go but with multiple calls for papers deadlines coming up and invitations to speak coming up earlier than ever before, I decided it was time to create a plan for the year.

Every time I'm invited to talk or I see a conference that looks interesting, I struggle with the decision.

The main reasons for going are:

  • To meet with people. There's nothing that substitutes for a face to face meeting. It's especially important when meeting new people but it's really good for keeping up on existing relationships. There are very few business relationships that I have been involved with that didn't start with some type of face to face meeting.
  • To create new business relationships. See #1.
  • To promote GNOME and free software.
  • To energize myself. I find attending conferences a great way to get new ideas, meet with others with excited about similar topics and a great way to keep things moving. Although they usually mean a lot of time "away from work", i.e. my desk, I still get a lot done and have a lot of energy for new projects.

The main reason for not going are:

  • Time away from home.
  • Time away from my desk and the projects I'm working on.
  • Financial impact. Not just of travel but also conference fees if I'm not speaking. (That's one of the reasons I always submit a talk proposal if there's a conference I want to go to.)

So the things I consider are:

  • Who will be there? This is the most important fact to me. I want to meet new people and organizations we might partner with and I want to meet people I work with but don't get a chance to see often.
  • How long will it take me to get there? How much time will I be away from home and how many hours will I have to sit in an airplane or airport?
  • Will I have a chance to speak? This helps greatly not only in promoting GNOME but in meeting people. If you are on the agenda and speak, more people will come up and introduce themselves and their ideas. If I'm not speaking, will I have to pay conference fees?
  • How much will it cost? Sometimes the event will help with the cost. Several of the events below are covering my travel costs. Some events are quite expensive to attend if you are not speaking.
  • Can someone else do this? If there is a community member who would like to attend the conference and speak on behalf of GNOME, I'd love to have them go instead.
  • Frequency or how close it is to another event. In order to help with the time away from home problem, it helps to not have too many events one right after the other. Otherwise my family tends to go a bit crazy while I'm gone.

So I open up my proposed travel schedule to all of you. Any thoughts or input? Note that this is my conference travel schedule and there are still other trips that might come up like marketing hackfests and partner meetings.

Here are the relevant events I think are happening this year. Let me know if I left one out. I bolded the ones I think I will end up attending. This is not necessarily a commitment, just my first draft or proposal.



  • FOSDEM. Has great GNOME attendance and participation so others can help work on relationships.
  • Mobile World Congress.
  • TED. I'd be so excited if I ever got to attend this conference and I'd be ecstatic if I ever got invited to speak. (And then I'd spend months preparing!) Luckily for all of us, all their talks are on the web.
  • SCALE. I'm sad to be missing this one this year as it's one of my favorites, especially the Women in Open Source day.
  • FOSS 2010 Workshop – attending and participating.
  • IASA Denver – presenting at their monthly meeting. (I like speaking with and meeting the community in my area.)


  • OpenMobility USA – speaking, hoping to build relationships with GNOME's mobile partners.
  • OSBC – Open Source Business Conference – would like to attend and speak because it's a great conference to meet up with people.
  • WhyFLOSS Madrid 2010
  • EclipseCon
  • LibrePlanet – There's a track for Women in Free Software on Sunday that I'd like to participate in. GNOME has been actively working with the FSF on ways to encourage and promote women in free software. I also need a trip to the east coast if I'd like to sign the GNOME Foundation's bank's signature card. (And that'd be good because I could back up Rosanna and help with wire transfers.)
  • FOSS Nigeria 2010. I'm working to get a couple of GNOME folks to this conference to present and represent GNOME. Preferably people that live a little closer – at least people in Europe.
  • UKUUG Spring 2010 Conference
  • OpenExpo 2010 Bern





  • aKademy 2010
  • 2010 Community Leadership Summit
  • OSCON 2010. Lots of people to meet with, interesting talks, lots of side meetings.
  • GUADEC. Nobody should miss this one. 🙂 Seriously, this one has lots and lots of people I need to meet with not to mention the Board of Directors and Advisory Board meetings and lots of working groups.



  • Ohio LinuxFest 2010 – Attending, giving keynote!
  • Linux-Kongress 2010
  • Grace Hopper I'd love to see a booth at Grace Hopper for free and open source software projects, not just companies, so that students and women looking for new careers, hobbies or skills can get some good info. (I've been on a panel the last couple of years.) This is also a very energizing conference for me.


  • OSWC – 2010 – Some year I'd love to attend this conference but my impression is that it's already well attended by GNOME folks and October is a hard month for me to travel.
  • Boston Summit – I really want to get to the Boston Summit this year but October is a hard month for me to travel, especially on weekends. So we'll have to wait and see.
  • OSiM World. A good event for meeting people in a great location (London) for meeting lots of people. But in October.



  • The get things done month. 🙂

Thanks to these websites for the lists of events.

So once again, I open up my proposed travel schedule (and the criteria I use) to all of you. Any thoughts or input?

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.

Book Review: Brain Rules, 12 Principles for Surviving and Thriving at Work, Home and School

Brainrules Brain Rules: 12 Principles for Surviving and Thriving at Work, Home, and School definitely gave me lots of pointers for presentations – and lots of trivia for conversations. (It's also quoted often in the book on public speaking that I'm reading now, Confessions of a Public Speaker.)

Some of the points I found interesting:

  1. The brain cannot multitask. I knew this but I always think it bears repeating as we act as if we can.
  2. 10 minutes is the ideal lecture length. The author recommends breaking presentations into 10 minute topics to help the audience pay attention. (Other presentation hints in the same section include organizing your information hierarchical and giving an outline or plan at the beginning of the lecture.)
  3. Sleep. The author included a lot of interesting data on sleeping. For example, we definitely rehearse things we have learned during the day. And scary facts like "if healthy 30-year-olds are sleep deprived for six days (averaging, in this study, about four hours of sleep per night), parts of their body chemistry soon revert to that of a 60-year-old."
  4. Audio and visual together are the best way to learn. "If information is presented orally, people remember about 10 percent, tested 72 hours after exposure. That figure goes up to 65 percent if you add a picture." Good reason to use images and graphs in your presentations!
  5. Gender changes how people judge actions. When people are described, we judge their actions differently depending on if they are a man or a woman.
  6. Thinking is the same as doing – to at least part of our brain. When we think about doing something the same neurons fire in our brain that would fire if we were actually doing it.
  7. Babies less than an hour old will stick their tongue out at you if you stick your tongue out at them. (Wish I had known that when my son was born …)

Brain Rules is an interesting and fun read.

Can you spot what’s wrong with this game?

2009-12-26 09.22.51 It took my 3 year old less than five seconds to discover the problem with this game. In spite of not really understanding the point of tic-tac-toe.

So much for buying stocking stuffers in the dollar bin at Target. (Or perhaps I should blame it on the speed at which I was shopping. Not being a big fan of shopping, I was in and out very quickly. Perhaps a bit too quickly.)