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Re: Communication channels: Please raise your opinion

Le Wed, Aug 24, 2011 at 08:44:53AM +0200, Andreas Tille a écrit :
> To see if this might work I would like to propose a first IRC meeting
> next Monday 29.8. at 17:00 GMT in #debian-med.  If it turns out that
> only a few people will be able to attend we should create some doodle
> poll to find a better date / time.
>  1. How to do regular IRC meetings
>  2. How do we want to use our Blog[3]
>      - Do we require authors name on postings
>      - Should every posting be forewarded to planet.d.o
>        (and possibly other blog aggregators)
>      - Do we accept advertising of some companies on this
>        site
>  3. How to gather some money that can be used for organising
>     Debian Med sprints
>      - Amazon partnership
>      - Flattr
>      - Ask for donations via Paypal account

Hello everybody,

I a quite clumsy with IRC and in a distant timezone, so please go ahead without
me for meetings.

It is nice to have a Debian Med blog (with the name of the poster, I think that
is uncontroversial).  I can understand that some readers of Planet Debian did
not like Steffen's post about shopping at Amazon, but still I found it
interseting, because the message is not only an invitation to buy, but also
simply that Steffen is exploring how to channel unavoidable expences (daily
products) in a way that brings money to Debian.

Personally, I think that apologises and correction for future posts were
enough.  “We will not hide problems” is our social contract, so I find that
removing the blog entry from Planet Debian is a bit out of proportion.  I have
seen people advertising their company or, like this morning, publishing some
comparative buying guides that are much less related to Debian.  And there are
often rants about this or that product that is bad.  One thing I appreciate in
Steffen posts is that it was positive.  Also, I think that posts about
bioinformatics would be appropriate for Debian Planet, as long as they are
related to Debian Med as a team.

Lastly, (about the blog), I think that discussions about the Amazon cloud are
appropriate.  Steffen received from Amazon some free hours of use for the
purpose of doing Debian development there, and I think that is very similar to
hardware gifts that Debian recieves.  I think that it was good to thank Amazon
in front of the Debian community.  There would be a clear misbehaviour and
conflict of interest if for instance we would regularly mention Amazon or any
company in the hope of obaining more sponsorship from them, but this is not
what we are doing. 

Back to the other topics, I will briefly mention that I am not very interested
in the current microblogging platforms.  Sorry to be negative, but I do not get
used to the arbitrary limitation of 140 characters and the URL obsfucation.
With all the respect I have for Liechntenstein, I think that the Debian
resources should be reffered by the .debian.org domain, not by the ‘.li’ top
level domain. (Not to mention Lybia).  But it is great to use many
communication channels, so like for IRC, go ahead without me.

In conclusion, what made people nervous on one hand, and what we need on the
other hand is money.  I am often thinking on how I could integrate some Debian
development in a research grant, but this is not easy given that my research
projects are more centered about making technological developments in molecular
biology, and that in my career I am still at a stage where I can hardly propose
a project hiring more than one person with good chances of being accepted.  But
let's keep this in mind (for instance, Japans's JSPS Advanced Research Networks
call http://www.jsps.go.jp/english/e-c2c/).  In general, I think that we should
favor ways to get money that is managed by institutions, be it SPI or our
research centers.

Perhaps the most ambitious way to channel money into Debian Med would be to
sell it as a shelf product or as a book describing how to use it.  That would
be a big project, but that may help research labs to contribute by buying
the product.  It would also cut some trees, but that is another story ;)

Have a nice day,

Charles Plessy
Tsurumi, Kanagawa, Japan

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