Open Source Matters: June 2010 Report

Written by | 01 July 2010 | Published in 2010 July
Open Source Matters is the non-profit organization which was formed to manage the legal, financial, and trademark related matters for the Joomla! project. In this issue's Leadership connections article from Open Source Matters, OSM board member Steve Burge shares some of the work that OSM has been doing recently on behalf of the Joomla! project.

New Board Positions

The big change happening in Open Source Matters this month is that we’ve been putting in place concrete measures to mature and grow as an organization. Until earlier this year there were only 6 board members and even that number included a treasurer and a legal advisor from the Software Freedom Law Center. As a result board members had to focus on many different things.

In February, the board grew to 10 members, and so increasingly members have been able to specialize. This month, Ryan Ozimek, the OSM President, appointed three of us to different positions:

Events Team Leader: Robert Deutz was recently responsible for the very successful JandBeyond conference in Germany. He’s now going to take the lead in handling Joomla events worldwide.

Trademark Team Liaison: Marko Milenovic is already on the board of Free Software Foundation Europe (http://fsfe.org), so he was the ideal choice to take over working with the Trademark team.

Community Liaison: That’s me. I'm going to be responsible for making sure OSM is clear and transparent in it’s communications with the community, but also that the community members have the opportunity to communicate with OSM. OK, you might say, that’s nice in theory but what does it mean in reality?

  • We now have a group on people.joomla.org for you to ask us questions.
  • Our members are often on the Ask the Joomla team sessions held each Wednesday. Watch the community.joomla.org blogs for each week’s time.
  • I’ve an open door policy to community blogs, podcasts, events and more: invite me and I’ll come. Want other board members? I’ll bug them for you.
  • We’ll have a communication policy in place very shortly. One key aim is to ensure that community is never surprised and particularly negatively, by any decision we take. Another is to fully leverage social media and improve Joomla’s presence on Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin and other sites.

New Organization Type

We have finalized a change in the type of organization OSM is. Technically we moved from 501(c)3 status to Type B not-for-profit status. You can read more about the details here.

Practically this means that, for the first time in a long time, we can ask for donations.

New Organization Development Project

Our next step, starting this week, is an organizational development project. We’re lucky to be working with an organization development consultant of over 20 years experience. She’ll be trying to help us professionalise the board even further.

Why are we doing all this?

Hopefully we’re setting OSM up with a stable structure that will be a platform for years to come. Ideally when we leave the board these will be clear and well established positions so that our successors can slot right in and get working on their first day in office. In fact, I’d bet that our successors are reading this article right now, so now you know a little more about what you’ll be getting into!

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Steve Burge

Steve Burge

Steve is the founder of OSTraining. A teacher for many years, he also ran Alledia.com, a leading web development firm in Atlanta, Georgia. Steve's firm built over 200 Joomla-powered websites. He now travels widely teaching people how to use Joomla, WordPress and Drupal and served on the Open Source Matters board which helps run the Joomla project. He wrote Joomla Explained, the best-selling and best-reviewed Joomla book.

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