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


I feel the same as Nigel and Allison stated. I think from the
discussion on this thread that the DC16 team that attended DC15 can be
considered as part of the 'global' team, and that new volunteers would
be considered local. I imagine these to be people who may only want to
get involved with smaller or more specialised tasks, and not get
involved in the greater strategy or whatever discussions.

There was talk about merging the dc-team and dc16-team mailing lists,
but I think now that we should keep the dc16 list for the per-task
discussions, and as the 'global' component take special care to keep
that list neutral and fun, and direct the flamewar-ey discussions to
the dc-team list. I can volunteer to moderate that.

What my team did in past events was to have sub-teams, mirroring the
global team roles, but having micro-tasks assigned per person in the
subteams (e.g. the  visa help, child care, printing t-shirts, etc...).
These volunteers did not know what was happening in the bigger e.g.
DebConf world, and mostly they did not care. As main organiser I only
learnt of their existence from names on task spreadsheets, and only
saw them during the party after the event. In my last event there was
more than a hundred of these volunteer people by the time the event
happened (half of them were involved in event set-up, so joined in the
week before, and were given a training day the day before the event -
this would translate to set-up, and registration for DC16, I think).
My link to them was through a person in my core team heading up the
sub-team (We started with three people, which grew to 15 people in the
'core'/global team by the time the event happened) - which at DC16
would likely be the DC16 people who attended DC15. What was critical
here was feedback to and fro from core/global team to the subteams, as
well as report back - here this is the weekly IRC meeting. Hope this
makes sense. Yes, this approach violates the 'everyone should know
everything' of DebConf, but I think with good reason, and if they do
want to know something, that route is still public, it's just not
rammed down their throats, and they're not in every single one of the
million discussions, so they don't get email fatigue.

I'm guessing that the sub-teams for things like video would have
volunteers from South Africa as well as abroad, so the sub-teams are
also not strictly 'local'.


On Sun, Aug 30, 2015 at 4:28 AM, Eric Dantan Rzewnicki <eric@zhevny.com> wrote:
> 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.
> -edrz
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