Re: [Debconf-team] Patch to DebConf orgateam structure
I know from experience, not just with DebConf but with other conferences and volunteer efforts as well, that Marga's points are very pertinent and paying attention to them will make the job much sweeter for the organizers. However, I also feel the vibe behind the Capetowners move to merge the teams, and I remember at least once in NY, when my experience with DebConf was less, having been told something that made me feel unwelcome in global team.
Since I find both positions valid and valuable, I propose some sort of synthesis. Maybe a subgroup of the unified global/local team. Also, a clear policy/roadmap for new or local volunteers to join the organization, one which both makes them feel welcome and lets them go only as deep as they feel comfortable, and maybe also some sort of mailing list and/or irc channel special for these volunteers which could be gatewayed/bridged into the standard ones.
These are just some ideas off the top of my head, but as I said before, I feel there would be sizeable benefits to be gained from uniting both positions.
On Saturday, 29 August 2015, Margarita Manterola <email@example.com> wrote:
> Thanks for the reply. Having read this, I think that the problem lies
> at what each of us identifies as "local team", we are clearly thinking
> of different things. I wish we could have had this discussion at
> When I say that there should be a local team, it does not mean that
> members of the local team cannot participate in the global team. Of
> course, each and everyone of the members of DC16 organization that
> were present at DC15 (or previous DebConfs, but I think all of them
> were at DC15) are -in my vision- both part of the local and the global
> When I advocate for the local team it's not for these people, but for
> the volunteers that will show up along the way. For those volunteers,
> joining debconf-team is traumatic. There's too many flamewars, too
> many things going on at the same time, and they have no idea how to
> fit into the already existing structures, they just want to help.
> I've heard this comment many times in the past, and even this year,
> from people that had been part of Debian for a long time, but had no
> idea how flamewary debconf-team was.
> We need those volunteers, we need to be able to delegate stuff towards
> them, otherwise the DC16 organizing team has too big of a burden. But
> asking those volunteers to join debconf-team, follow the tons of
> discussions, follow the IRC meeting on #debconf-team, etc, has been
> proven to be too much. They just don't, which makes it much harder to
> integrate them so there's a high chance that you'll lose them.
> Of course, if any new recruits that join that local team feel like
> they want to integrate into the global structure they are totally
> welcome to join. It's not like being part of the local team precludes
> taking part in content, fundraising, or any other teams. It's just
> that it's not a pre-requisite to understand and fit into the structure
> in order to volunteer for working towards DC16.
> In my experience, the group of local volunteers will form whether you
> want it or not. This year we operated under the "there is no local
> team" rule, and we still had plenty of people that helped and showed
> up only because it was in Germany. Some of them went away because they
> didn't feel like they fit into the structure, and plenty of them
> stayed even though they were not part of any of the official teams.
> The point is that this local team existed even if it was not allowed
> to exist according to the structure.
> This will happen for DC16 as well. There will be Southafricans that
> will join the team and want to help. The easier you make it for them
> to *belong*, the more motivation and energy they will have to work on
> On Sat, Aug 29, 2015 at 1:52 AM, Allison Randal <firstname.lastname@example.org> wrote:
>> - Another supporting reason was to clearly define who would be working
>> on social activities like the day trip and evening events, but there's
>> no reason that has to be exclusively local people, so it made more sense
>> to just create a Social Activities team. We had a similar conversation
>> around budget and facilities, where it makes more sense to combine
>> people with varying levels of experience and proximity, rather than
>> artificially segmenting the work.
> I don't object to these new teams. I just want to point out that the
> intention of the original team structure was to ensure that people
> stayed on the teams through the years. These teams will have an
> extremely high turn-over (i.e. most members will only be members for
> one DebConf). In my original proposal, only the local team would have
> such a high turnover, but I'm fine with accepting that there's a bunch
> of teams in the same situation.
> These teams do not solve the problem described above, local volunteers
> still need to figure out which team out of Facilities, Social
> Activities or Finances they fit in, and that's already a rather high
> barrier for new recruits. There are also many local tasks that don't
> fit that structure, like: visa help, child care, printing t-shirts,
> documenting how to go from the airport to the venue, documenting
> things that people need to remember before travelling, publicizing the
> open part of the event in local places, and many others.
>> Chill out, feel the beat of the African drums, pour a glass of Pinotage,
>> and join the fun. It's going to be a great year. :)
> I don't doubt this, every year DebConf is a great even despite all the
> flamewars that go on through debconf-team.
> But this doesn't mean that there are no things that we can learn from
> past experience. My main point is: the less you delegate, the more
> you burn out; you need a large team in order to delegate to them, so
> it makes no sense to make it hard for that team to grow; the
> "catch-all" local team is for this.
> Debconf-team mailing list
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