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Hope I'm not intruding, but personally, I think the "selling of a lifestyle feeling" is nonsense. It is even disrespectfull to your future users, in that it disrespects their individuality and potential creative contribution to Debian. How would current debian developers like if "Debian" started awarding them points for updating their packages, and sell them a "debian developer lifestyle feeling"? Not a lot, I suspect. I don't think that its future users should be so lowly treated as well.

On the other hand, what do I know? I hardly have a contingency plan as detailed as the one bellow! But please tone down the "life-style" gimmick on this plan. Like they say, Don't imitate, inovate. As you go along and set this up, make a general invitation to non-technical users to try it, ask what they currently lack and want. Incentivate them to be creative, to come forward and use their specific talents to create a home for them in the Debian world. You'll be surprised with the reception you'll receive if a honest call like this is sent out to non-advanced users of debian.

-- EduardoSilva (user)
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An Idea For Debian Funding From The Community

Why do we need more Money?

In order to be able to afford more [#FAQ_vacation Debian work meetings] ([#FAQ_number_of_gatherings 50] per year seems a conservative estimate) Debian needs more money. One can calculate with about 2000-5000USD/€ per work meeting, which would result in an overall sum of up to [#FAQ_money_corrupts 250kUSD/€]. [#FAQ_vacation Work meetings] have proven to accelerate Debian development.

How would this work?

This could work much like the [http://club.mandriva.com Mandriva Club], which "sells" a lifestyle feeling of coolness and l33tness for supporting Mandriva. As far as i know it was the [http://club.mandriva.com Mandriva Club] that saved Mandrake from bankrupcy and made it profitable again, so there is a lot of potential in this concept.

So the point is to emphasize lifestyle feeling and other activities that we want to encourage (like helping newbies, fixing/reporting bugs, keysigning and last but not least, donating money).

How could it work for Debian?

  • it should look and feel cool and professional
  • it could use another name like "Friends Of Debian" to not remind too much of the [http://club.mandriva.com Mandriva Club] and perhaps emphasise community

  • it could have a Debian-Orkut, to emphasize community and attract people
  • it could encourage key signing within the community and real life meetings to strengthen the community
  • members could donate money to Debian and receive coolness points in exchange
  • members could receive trustweb points for signatures on their gpg key
  • members could form sub-communities within the Debian-Orkut and receive community points for beeing active within that community and for helping people in the support forums
  • one person would have three categories of points (coolness for money, trustweb for signatures, community for activity) which would make up the overall rating of that person
  • members could purchase Debian releases (on DVD) or Debian merchandise for reduced cost

Things to sort out

  • Where would the money go? Options would be SPI, FFIS, SLX-Debian-Labs, etc
  • SPI would need to get either an accountant or other means to rapidly process money every week (since 50 gatherings per year translate to one per week, with up to 20 reimbursements each)
  • Merchandise could be handled and sold by eg. LinuxNewMedia, which is somewhat international and has subsidiaries everywhere there are bigger clusters of Debian users (Japan seems to be missing).

Items of the Website

  • DFSG free license Is it possible to make sure that the artwork is not reused in a way that would make the original artist look incompetent? Perhaps some endorsement clause?

  • Ranking People can see how well they are doing im comparison with their friends. The ones with the highest overall index get celebrated on the frontpage.

  • Webshop linking to external shops. Stuff does not get sold on this site, since Debian does not sell things.

  • Donations

  • Forum with moderators who can rank the usefullness/friendlyness of people's help. The overall ranking of your help contributes to the overall index

  • GPG-keyserver interface to calculate the real-life networking index

  • Target Group Debian users and fans

  • News on the frontpage

  • Payment options

    • Credit card
    • Paypal
    • Cash (would be added in the admin screen on fairs and tradeshows etc)
    • Subscriptions. On-line banking interfaces can be set up to automatically send off a pre-selected amount each month. Alternatively, this can be done with post-dated cheques.
  • Admin area (add new admins and moderators, remove users)

  • Moderator area for the Forum

  • perhaps 100k accounts/users?

  • check Mandriva club page for other menu items
  • international website which means

  • it should be possible to quickly and easily
    • donate money
    • klick yourself through to the external webshops
    without necessarily becoming a member and fill in a profile first.

Frequently Asked Questions

?Anchor(FAQ_number_of_gatherings)

Wow, 50 work meetings are a lot! How do you arrive at that number?

There are a lot of groups and teams that would benefit from a work meeting: Debian-Java, Debian-QA, Security Team, Release Team, all the porters of all the architectures, Kernel Team, glibc maintainers, Debian-Edu, cdds, the Debian Policy maintainers, the KDE packagers, the Gnome team, debian-installer... If all teams only met twice per year we would most likely surpass the 50. That said: It will take some time for groups to get used to meet and we won't see so many work meetings during 2006 yet.

?Anchor(FAQ_money_corrupts)

Won't This Money Corrupt Debian?

Theoretically that is possible. But it is not likely: Other Projects have not been currupted by money yet. One example that is very close to Debian is Ubuntu, which uses money to pay developers, fund conferences, give away lots of CDs, etc. Still the community prospers and there seems to be no resentment or envy about money there. Debian subprojects used money in the past to help development: Debian-Installer and Debian-Edu work meetings were funded by SLX-Debian-Labs without corrupting people or the sub-projects. It is obviously important to do this right. But being aware of the danger will already help alot.

?Anchor(FAQ_vacation)

Are these Work Meetings just Smaller Deb``Confs? Will they be a semi-vacation to talk about stuff one does as a hobby?

No, there is a distinct difference between a Debian Conference and these work meetings: The focus of these work meetings is to work in a focused way to solve specific problems and get stuff done. There are no talks or formal dinners or parties etc. They are much more like the python sprints or collective maraton hacking sessions. Usually people attending such a meeting might want a vacation afterwards. :-)

Of course it is ok and even desired if the attendees enjoy working on the specific problem.

Work in progress

The Region of Extremadura in Spain will be making great support for Debian with international gatherings around the year thanks to effort of Darío Rapisardi. More information can be found at: [http://lists.debian.org/debian-devel-announce/2005/12/msg00003.html]. Six sessions have been proposed for 2006: See WorkSessionsExtremadura.