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Re: irc.debian.org

> Previously Rob Levin wrote:
> > I think the Debian project benefits from the cross- fertilization,
> > from the exposure to other groups and other projects.
> I'm not sure we get cross-fertilization from being on OPN. It is
> convenient to have lots of free software related channels on a single
> network but then again pretty much all clients have decent multi-server
> support these days.

> > But the Internet boom is over, and it's harder to allocate the time
> > when there are not so many employers willing to give people time to
> > work on community projects.
> It forces people to be more realistic. Networks there were big before
> the boom don't seem to be affected as they already had a proper
> structure in place. More recent networks like OPN need to figure out
> how to survive.

I will point out that we were linpeople.org when the Debian project joined
us, and linpeople.org began in 1995, well before the boom picked up speed. 
And we're still here, after the dotcoms have pretty much folded.

> > Our parent organization, Peer-Directed Projects Center, has just started
> > up. We need a small operational budget just to have the resources to
> > proceed.
> This is what I don't understand. As far as I know the three largest irc
> networks (IRCnet, Undernet and EFnet) are completely run on a voluntary
> basis. They don't have a non-profit to support them and do not ask for
> donations. And they are a lot bigger (over 80k users, while freenode has
> just a bit under 7k according to http://irc.netsplit.de/networks/ ). So
> how come that freenode, a relatively small network, needs so much money?

If you'll look at the notes on http://freenode.info/contrib.shtml it may be
helpful.  Our initial operating budget consists of two half-time slots, one
to work on coordinating the network, one to work on researching grants and
starting other projects.  The pay scale will be low sysadmin.  In addition,
we'll have a small hardware and office budget.

The initial projects PDPC intends to work on are described on that page as
well.  In addition to freenode (OPN), we'll be working on vocational,
educational and advocacy programs.

If you'd like to have some idea of what's usual for the budget of a
non-profit corporation with a small number of employees, you should probably
look around on the canonical site for non-profits in the US, Guidestar
(http://www.guidestar.com/).  It lists budget information for a number of
organizations, including the Free Software Foundation.  We'll be listed
there as soon as we receive our IRS 501(c)(3) letter of determination.


Rob Levin

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