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Re: Google ads on debian.org

* Manoj Srivastava (srivasta@debian.org) wrote:
> On Wed, 15 Dec 2004 11:24:32 -0500, Stephen Frost <sfrost@snowman.net> said: 
> > and Debian is by *far* the controller of SPI.
> 	It is? I would tend to agree that people who are interested in
>  debian also are invovled in SPI, but that is as far as I would
>  go. Even if your statement were correct (which I do not think it is),
>  these are two independent entities, and may come to different
>  conclusions.

I suppose I should be trying to encourage this through SPI and not
Debian, but (I believe anyway) most of the funds SPI controls are
earmark'd for Debian anyway.  The fact that Debian doesn't 'exist' in
it's own right isn't entirely relevent- it still controls most of the
money SPI has.  The DPL directs how these funds are to be spent, with
the consideration of Debian's SC and the best interests of our users,
etc.  It would be difficult for SPI to grow as an organization w/o

> > I don't think it's money only from donations that keeps us honest,
> 	Well, not only, no.
> > it's the *SC* that keeps us honest, and each other through the SC.
>         Pull enough money into the picture and that shall crumble --
>  and this has indeed been my experience. Not very many friendships
>  survive someone winning a lottery, for instance.

I don't think we're talking about lottery-winning here.  In my head
we're not talking about money going to developers either, initially.  I
guess my vision is something like:

Develop a dependable revenue stream unless current donation levels are
sufficient to act.
Begin to cover some of Debian's operating costs, mainly on-going costs
first, ie: bandwidth for master and other Debian infrastructure
machines, maintenance/upkeep for machines already owned, etc.
If there are requirements for additional machines and funds available,
then acquire those, if funds aren't available, then ask for donations of
hardware or money to cover them (this applies to everything, really).
Work to cover other costs- accounting help, asset tracking, etc, as
Once Debian is covering it's normal operating costs (which,
unfortunately, probably aren't even tracked currently..  I don't know,
they should be tracked by SPI, really, but I seriously doubt anyone's
really thought about it at all) wrt bandwidth, equipment, accounting,
etc, *then* maybe look at possibly hiring on staff.  No, it wouldn't be
possible to hire all developers at once or something silly like that.  I
would tend to think infrastruture/coordination jobs would be first and
then, who knows, maybe someday we could all work for SPI on Debian- a
non-profit organization working in the public interest to develop and
build the best open-source operating system consistent with our SC.

It's a thought anyway.  Those involved with SPI have probably had some
thoughts along these lines before, I imagine.

> > Really, if there was even a smell of someone going against the best
> > interests of our users in order to increase revenue the noise from
> > the rest of us would be deafening, just like it is from this
> > *proposal* that we *might* consider other methods of funding.
> 	Well, depends on how much each of us stands to benefit. In
>  scenarios I envision, it always starts small. Do  work on paying jobs
>  or free ones? (I tend to put my day job first, for example).

I guess I don't see getting into these situations, but perhaps I havn't
thought it through as much as you have.

> > In addition, the money from donations can be abused just as easily
> > as money from anywhere else.  Developers could solicite donations
> > from companies if they feel they've got a chance of then being able
> > to pocket that money.
> 	Lets try another tack. I find web ads, even googles, mildly
>  annoying. From what I hea (an informal sample, sure) so do most
>  people. We are trading something annoying to the majority of the
>  users of our web page, which benefits someone paying for the service,
>  to make life easier for the project (and, by extension, its members)
>  by raking in money.
> 	Kinda goes against the spirit of the social contract, no?

I think I mentioned this before- I'm not really fighting for web ads
here, that's dead and I don't really mind.  I'm more interested in other
things which would be more amenable to our users and developers which
would bring in consistent funding to at least give us the opportunity to
become self-sustaining, if possible.


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