Open discussion: Proposal for NethServer Community Governance

Just another thought on the option to let the @board_team be represented by 1 member of each team.
How many teams are we talking about? What if we get 25 different language teams? Or like we have now an @education_team, there arise several other special groups (for example SoHo users, NGO’s, java specialists, etc…) There can be several dozens of different groups… I see this as a possible inconsistent base for the community governance setup.

IMO this could be avoided by giving those groupmembers a vote instead of representation by one of their team members.


You raise an interesting and yet valid scenario @robb .

Well, let me push the group idea a little further :slight_smile:

There can be as many groups as people want in our community. By time they should reach a mature shape, where we consider them official groups. Such groups have some basic traits, I’d say just to start

  1. the group has at least one “owner” or “coordinator”
  2. there are rules for members to enter/exit the group: the owner is responsible to enforce them

Citzens here are “Nethserverians”: to be a Nethserverian, one must be member of an official group.

A special group, let’s call it board_team is elected by Nethserverians among other Nethserverians. I don’t want to put constraints on the number of members from each group. The board_team

  1. Approves a new official group and its rules about membership
  2. Nominates one or more owners among group members for each group
  3. Suspends a group when it is not active any more

This basic structure can grow up as necessary. So far, it is partially implemented in our community.

Absolutely, no! I think this structure encourages contributions. IMO anyone who respects our community rules and contributes back, even with a little contribution, is a NethServerian.

I’m not sure anymore the Discourse platform can help us with its trust levels. They are a really cool and automated feature. It gives an idea of what someone has done. Anyway, I’d prefer to follow what the Support Team is pioneering for us: discussions of easy membership rules, enforced by group coordinators/owners.


List of groups


I like this approach!
The reason I mentioned Discourse member levels was to have some kind of maturity for members with voting rights. But I agree that your approach is a lot better: those who do and participate gain voting rights. I think we all can agree that granting voting rights to an account that has just been created 1 day before an election, is something to avoid. A person could create many accounts and then rig the elections.

I also agree completely in the amount of groups: that is not important, as long as they are active and organized.

This way we create a very organic and active organization around the community.


The 15th of April is behind the corner, but I still see a little debate. Do you think we need a time extension?


It might be a good idea to add another w2 weeks for extra discussion. Agree with starting the poll at may 1st?
Anyway, see how the discussion develops and allow time as long as necessary.


I know that I have been a bit quiet within the NS forum for a while but I have been following this thread with some interest and like what I have been reading.

However, I do have some concerns about the number of groups that have closed their doors to new members. Looking at the list of groups, I have noticed that most groups have only a couple of people within them (I am specificly looking at the arm_team and education_team and only see three members in each of these groups) and have decided to close entry to new members.

I fear that this sort of limited access mentality may stifle the future effectiveness of these groups and (in the end) may effect NS overall.

Personaly, I would not like to see these groups stopping other like minded people from joining and think that the idea of closed groups could be detrimental to what they are trying to achive.

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I agree, and looking at the groups list above I had a similar impression.

However there can be a simple explanation for that and @alefattorini can confirm it: the forum platform has been recently updated and I bet some features, like “open” groups, are newly added.

As of now we can convert some groups to “open”, wherever it makes sense. My proposal above is to distinct two types of group “open” and “closed” (team?). The latter grants the Nethserverian citizenship. A third type of group is “board”, its members are elected.

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We can definitely open teams, yes it’s a feature added recently
Said that, the key is finding good coordinators that lead the teams. People that lay out the roadmap, plan things to do and keep people involved. Accountability is the key and here we have a lot of good examples of “doers” and "leaders"
Mention is a great tool to keep people involved BTW

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@medworthy: The idea behind the current proposal is to make it possible for any member to join any group if that member feels affiliation towards that group.
Remember that joining a group is voluntarily, but not without obligations: if you join a group you express that you are willing help the community with your efforts for that group and knowledge of that particular subject.


Yes, coordinators leads the teams, and the @community_board leads the community, by nominating the coordinators and with any other initiative.

In other words I think many of the tasks you are carrying as community manager can be delegated to the board. For this reason I see you as board chairman - of the first board at least.

I don’t want to change too much (or too fast) the way we’re working now. My aim is to define a structure, where now is structureless.

How many people are involved today in our groups? 10? 30? It’s enough to start. I hope that after the rules of the game are defined, more people will be involved.

On the contrary, giving the vote right to people that never contributed is a waste of time and a risk.


It might even a good idea that the groups advice the @community_board who they see as the best candidate to lead their team. And only in very special circumstances the @community_board can decide against that advice, or start some discussion about a nomination.


Yes it would be even better! However our experience with Support Team and similar situations says that people needs to be called by name , an official investment, to do a step forward.

I prefer also the board has the last word about group leaders, because in my idea they actually are delegated the power to make new Nethserverians. That is an important responsibility!