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Re: Can we do something now?

Jim Westveer wrote:

> > -----Original Message-----
> > From: Lalo Martins [mailto:lalo@webcom.com]
> <snip>
> >
> > I'm thinking not only of consulting, but also training. I
> > thought of a name like "Debian Professional Consulting and
> > Education Collective".
> Humm...How about "Debian Consulting and Education"  DCE.

Hmmm...DCE is already in use in the industry - would it  generate confusion?

Other possibilities could be:
    "Debian Consulting and Education
    "Debian Consultants and Educators

All of those would have "DCEC" or "DCEN" as their initials.

Some other off-the-cuff ideas...
    "Debian Pros"
    "Debian Educators, Builders, Integrators and Analysts Network"... DEBIAN
    "Debian Professional Support Network"

> >
> > I propose we start with a website; this website would have a
> > even into the Debian FAQ.
> <snip>
> Agreed, we should take the Debian model, where the members
> actually build the pages and content, and the public view is
> just links to the members pages.

I've recently been spending some time on some Aquaria web sites (one of my other
where they have instituted a "Web-ring".  Basically, it's a collection of
individual web sites that
all cross reference each other.  We'd only need a page on www.debian.org
explaining what this group is about and a way to "get on the ring".  We could
add search capabilities such that the prospective client could select via
geography or specific need which sites are listed first.

> >
> > In this initial stage, it would work mostly for the following
> > goals/methods:
> >
> > 1: a kind of self-appointed certification authority for
> >    Debian-related consulting and education services - both
> <snip>
> Do you want to provide testing, grading, pass/fail etc, or just
> information and educational curricula?

Sites could be "certified" on non-certified.  Those that meet some minimal
criteria would get the
certification.  Start out with it being rather binary - pass/fail.  I would
assume that as we develop our own materials that we'd share those with the
group.  As an example: I recently accepted an instructors position at a local
Technical College (see post on debian-user) that is going to use
Debian to teach "Unix".  We're going to use the Debian Linux Users Guide as our
text for the course (CIS-270).  Any materials I develop for this course would
gladly be shared with the rest of you.  As would any comments, hints or
suggestions (within reason) from you all.

> > 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)
> <snip>
> In the form of ??? search with htDig ? or are you
> envisioning something like a knowledge base reasoning engine?

I'd say to start with something small and usable and see if the needs grow.
A "knowledge based reasoning engine" sounds like a fairly complex undertaking at
this time.

> > 3: the development of an "official" Debian learning program, so
> >    that certified Debian Collective teachers around the world
> <snip>
> Same comment as #1


> >
> > 4: a central advertising force for members, of course
> ;-)

The structure for this could be problematic.  I'd assume that most of us have
never met most of the others personally, and may have only slight electronic
communications between us.  It seems that it would be difficult for us to
determine who's on and who's not on such a board.  Then we'd have to determine
what the board was  authorized to actually "do".  None of this is
insurmountable, of course.  But it took Debian quite a while to develop it's
current structure.  Certainly, we could use the same structure as Debian itself,
however the differences between a not-for-profit entity and a collection of
for-profit entities may be significant.

> > 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.
> >
> The consultants, and how to contact them, needs to be made public and
> predominant.

Again, we'd need some space on www.debian.org.  Also, references in
/usr/{share/,}doc so everyone who gets a Debian CD gets the list.  The next step
could be to go after some mention in the print media - specifically Linux
Journal.  Though that would most likely cost $$, which then brings up the issue
of membership fees/dues...

> The Educational framework, and Knowledge base needs to be public and
> predominant.
> Advertising banner rotation of member banners (and others?) needs to be
> established.

Banners don't always elicit positive responses from surfers - some even have
them blocked.
While I think we certainly do need to advertise I'd suggest that we stay away
from "push" technologies.  Let's make it easy for the clients to "pull" the
information they need.

> Then, If there is enough "good" to progress to some type of "Certification"
> program, this could be a revenue stream for those giving the classes,
> not to mention supporting the organization.

Chicken-and-the-egg:  I already have to handle PND's marketing and advertising
costs and I assume most of you do the same as well (?).  Do we add more costs to
ourselves before the collective starts generating revenue for us, or do we setup
things such that they start generating revenue and then start funneling some of
it back into the collective?

> There are a LOT of FAQ's and HOW-TO's, there are no training curriculum
> material that I know of.

What we have is a lot of data/information but very little structure.  We also
have some (how many?) people willing and able (to unknown degrees) to provide
support.  The first thing I think we should do is start to quantify what we
have.  Then we need to organize these resources in such a way that they are
readily available to the prospective clients.  That should be enough to get the
ball rolling.

> This is a good idea, but we need to put together quality
> material BEFORE we make the light-speed-jump to seminars and Certification
> classes.

Absolutely agree.  There are several issues that must be resolved before we can
even begin to think of hosting seminars and certification classes.  Though I
think of those as being "virtual" as opposed to say having them in a specific
location - remember many of us are going to be scattered across the globe.

> Comments?

These are all just the result of stream-of-consiousness typing... I haven't read
any ideas yet that I disagree with.

> Jim Westveer <jwest@netnw.com>
> --------------------------------------------------
> The software required Win95 or better,
> so I installed Linux.
> --------------------------------------------------
> Jim Westveer ------------- jwest@netnw.com
> phone -------------------- 425-392-0141
> http://www.netnw.com
> --------------------------------------------------


Chuck Stickelman, Owner                 E-Mail:
Practical Network Design                Voice:  +1-419-529-3841
9 Chambers Road                         FAX:    +1-419-529-3625
Mansfield, OH 44906-1301 USA

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