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Re: [Debconf-team] Patch to DebConf orgateam structure

On Sat, Aug 29, 2015 at 12:14:01PM -0700, Allison Randal wrote:
> On 08/29/2015 03:01 AM, Margarita Manterola wrote:
> > 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.
> One thing we need to work on is reducing those flamewars. They're not
> helpful to anyone. We absolutely need to improve communication and
> collaboration in the whole team. Remember, long-term team members aren't
> immune to being driven away by an unhealthy environment.

I've been wanting to say much the same. The unhealthy environment is one
of the main reasons I stopped participating for many months earlier this
year. I'm sure I wasn't the only non-newcomer to walk away. I know that
wasn't a helpful reaction. At the same time I felt that venting my
frustrations and growing rage wouldn't have been helpful either.

Also, non-local newcomers can be and probably have been put off by the
disfunctions in the overall team environment.

> > 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.
> That point was mentioned too. But again, all that requires is for local
> members of the DebConf team to make local volunteers feel welcome.
> Defining a "local team" doesn't help with that.

A safe environment to discuss DebConf in a given year's local language
is one solid argument I've heard in the past in favor of a local team. I
don't recall seeing that mentioned in this thread thus far. I think
there have been more than a few years where many local newcomers, and
consequently the conference as a whole, benefitted from being able to
communicate about the conference in their native language. Perhaps that
need can be met by an irc channel and list, without being a formal team.
I honestly don't know. Not an issue for dc16, afaik, but should be kept
in mind as we are talking about more than just the coming 10 months.


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