Jeremy (et. al.), >After thinking about it for a bit, I don't know if we really need to >find an umbrella organization right away.
All good points, and some of them were ones I was going to point out this morning, but you beat me to it. Other points: Any formal organization that I know of, even one under an "umbrella", has to have some definition of "membership", "charter", "structure" and "bylaws". "Charter" could be "defining an open phone" The definition of "membership" can be something as simple as "people on this particular mailing list" Bylaws state what people can and can not do, how many officers you have (President, Secretary and Treasurer are the traditional ones), how they are chosen (I almost said "elected", but that presumes things), and who can chose them. Do you have a board of directors? Some foundations have a couple, with one having fiscal and legal responsibilities, and the other may have technical responsibilities. I am modeling the new LI after a very old and successful organization called "DECUS" (Digital Equipment Corporation User Society) as well as a couple of other long-term successful organizations such as the Automobile Association of America and the Association for the Advancement of Retired People (yes, I know the last two are weird for this group, but they have interesting models for "end users"). DECUS had country groups as well as many, many "Special Interest Groups" (VMS, UNIX, Networking, Security, Hardware, etc.) It was a cross-matrix, so the Special Interest Groups could have members in many countries. But before you could form a "Special Interest Group" you had to have at least: o Four members o Three officers (President, Secretary, Treasurer) o "Charter" - what you were going to do The bylaws were supplied (for the most part) by DECUS, the central organization, which had its own President, Secretary and Treasurer Digital "sponsored" DECUS, but did not run it. It truly was an organization of Digital's users. So, I suggest that your group follow the path of trying to solve some issues like "who belongs", "who speaks for the group" and "what do we want to do". You will need to solve these before either forming your own organization or approaching another. In the meantime, as you said, I see no *real* hurry to do either. You have some time. Warmest regards, maddog -- Jon "maddog" Hall Executive Director Linux International(R) email: mad...@li.org 80 Amherst St. Voice: +1.603.672.4557 Amherst, N.H. 03031-3032 U.S.A. Cell: +1.603.943.6666 WWW: http://www.li.org Board Member: Uniforum Association Board Member Emeritus: USENIX Association (2000-2006) (R)Linux is a registered trademark of Linus Torvalds in several countries. (R)Linux International is a registered trademark in the USA used pursuant to a license from Linux Mark Institute, authorized licensor of Linus Torvalds, owner of the Linux trademark on a worldwide basis (R)UNIX is a registered trademark of The Open Group in the USA and other countries. _______________________________________________ Openmoko community mailing list firstname.lastname@example.org http://lists.openmoko.org/mailman/listinfo/community