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Can we do something now?

About one year ago, Jim Pick came very near to putting together
what he called "dconsult", an international body of Debian
consultants. In the end it didn't work, but of course it was a
great idea. Don't you think we have enought momentum now to do
that? Is anyone interested?

I'm thinking not only of consulting, but also training. I
thought of a name like "Debian Professional Consulting and
Education Collective".

I propose we start with a website; this website would have a
public portion where it advertises Debian and the Collective,
explains what the Collective is and how it works, and has a
database of members with contact information and pricing (the
availability of pricing info would be a requirement for
membership, as Jim Pick suggested last year and most people
agreed - including me).

The private portion of the website would have a knowledge base
maintained by all members, together with some rules for qa. I
think, in time, those items from the knowledge base which are
most used and/or most easily comprehensible by non-techies could
be distilled into a public version of the knowledge base and
even into the Debian FAQ.

In this initial stage, it would work mostly for the following

1: a kind of self-appointed certification authority for
   Debian-related consulting and education services - both
   professionals and compaines. We'd have to set very strong and
   understandable rules for this certification, and then make
   these rules available in the public website. Also, would
   certification be equivalent to membership? Or perhaps, only
   certified members would be listed in the contacts database,
   which would give the others a sort of "in experience" status?

2: a central knowledge base, so that Debian consultants and
   educators can enjoy in their work the same advantages Debian
   offers as a project (a community, peer review, etc)

3: the development of an "official" Debian learning program, so
   that certified Debian Collective teachers around the world
   teach the basics in more or less the same, interchangeable
   way; the most topics are covered by these programs (probably
   more than one - one "basic" plus many specialized), the
   better for all (including customers)

4: a central advertising force for members, of course

5: a piece of good PR for Debian; IMO, if Debian counts wich a
   publicly reachable professional consulting/support/education
   force, one of the major obstacles in its way may be lifted,
   and if this force is powered by the same community spirit
   that powers the Debian project, even better.

Please let me know what you think about it.

      I am Lalo of deB-org. You will be freed.
                 Resistance is futile.

http://www.webcom.com/lalo      mailto:lalo@webcom.com
                 pgp key in the web page

Debian GNU/Linux       --        http://www.debian.org

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