[okfn-coord] Some thoughts about mailing list access

Jo Walsh jo at frot.org
Wed Jun 10 15:23:46 UTC 2009

> I wonder also, if it is the right time (ie. early in the Boards more formal
> instantiation) to build in Board membership review periods. This ensures
> that you are not burdened with a board that no longer fits the
> organisation's needs but also builds in regular opportunities for public
> engagement in the Board's membership?

Right, this train of thought was inspired by criticism that as the
Board is not elected (and regularly re-elected), there is no clear
accountability to supporters.

I myself am not convinced that an elected board is better than a
selected one, but it may be necessary to make OKFN "answerable"
(or at least appear to be).

The FOSS type foundations which inspired OKFN have different
models of creating a membership which serves as an electorate.
Which seem to boil down to:

1. subscription basis (OpenStreetmap)
2. contribution basis, possibly with 'vetting' stage (GNOME, Wikimedia, SPI)
3. social network basis (ASF, Python, OSGeo)
4. self-selection (Perl, EFF afaik)

Personally i favour a contribution basis for membership because
the others are all "exclusive" in some way. In stead of SVN commits
or wiki edits we could use CKAN packages contributed or maintained
as a basis for membership.

This is all if it *has* to be done - I have no problems with the way things
have been run so far, the Board providing oversight of the organisation's
mechanics but not driving things as a condition of its role.

got to dash,


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