Thoughts for 2011

These are just some thoughts I've had on what initiatives I'd like to see happen with the NZOSS in the coming year... We, as a council, need to add other ideas (e.g. existing projects that I haven't mentioned below, like the Public Sector Remix, any further Software Patent challenges, etc.), and then prioritise them. I'd like us to select (either from within the council or from keen people within the community who are recommended by council members) project managers to take ownership of each initiative, come up with a plan of action, and check progress through the year.


  • Affiliations- Update: see our Affiliations Strategy document (and help it evolve!).
    • network with other NZ groups
      • NZSA
      • NZRise
      • NZCS
      • Open Gov't Data Ninjas
      • Dataversity
      • InternetNZ
      • LUGs
      • Dev groups (PHP, Perl, Python, Java, etc. user groups)
    • overseas - EU, OSA (US), AU, Brazil
  • Promotion
    • Branded NZOSS USB sticks (giveaways)?
    • Event sponsorship (perhaps we need a branded poster)
  • Media Opportunities - press releases:
    • NZ's global leadership in excluding software patents
    • NZ gov't a leader in FOSS adoption
    • Congratulate DIA/SSC on NZGOAL and Creative Commons licensing as default for Open Gov't Data policy
    • "Soundbites" (short pithy statements that are media friendly - tweetable)
      • "FOSS is the software version of what every child learns at kindergarten: share and share alike"
    • regular addresses on "hot topics" on the website to ensure we have regular injections of fresh content. Let's focus on getting some more pictures on there, too!
  • Goals for the year - find a project manager who wants to take ownership of each of these (if they're seen as worthwhile):
    • Gov't related
      • gov't open standards adoption - request a formal statement supporting adherence to open standards with a focus on interoperability in gov't software procurement
      • get a disclosure of gov't agency spending on proprietary software
      • develop a list (to which anyone can suggest updates) listing all known uses of FOSS within NZ gov't. We can put pressure on proprietary companies to be more transparent by providing more and better demographic info.
      • propose and help organise a gov't initiative to fund gov't FOSS "forge" to encourage FOSS adoption for various gov't IT requirements by making it the overwhelmingly better option.
    • Membership/Income
      • formalise "free membership" - people have to explicitly choose to be a free member - can vote in polls, but probably not at AGM
      • raise membership numbers (free and financial/full) - we need a budget for our planned activities, and then work out how we can meet the requirements of that budget
      • raise income by other means (sponsorship? Red Hat?) to offer grants to FOSS projects
      • Update: perhaps change the way we charge companies for corporate membership (have checked the Consitution - looks to me like the pricing has to be the same for anyone applying for a particular type of membership) - perhaps a scaled membership fee based on FTEs, but always the same number of voting members per company (so that larger companies can't hold the organisation to ransom). Consider learning from the NZRise approach (Don and I know a bit about it).
      • other revenue generation mechanisms (branded USB keys, computer stickers)
      • conduct frequent straw polls of our members on hot topics - get hard numbers on "what percentage of NZOSS members who are software developers support the software patent exclusion", etc.
      • public/transparent organisational member lists, including any donation amounts in excess of their membership fees.
    • Campaigns
      • "Works with Linux" campaign (think this is underway - status report?)
      • create a better model for getting "sentiment" of our members - offer it as a model for other organisations?
      • find FOSS-savvy legal people (e.g. Guy Burgess, Rick Shera) and promote them - encourage them to become supporting organisations



  • start recording NZ FOSS advocacy history
  • explain our positions on important things:
    • software patents
    • TPPA
    • copyright legislation
  • republish original Openz letter, signatures, and responses... updated commentary on this (what's changed since 2001)
  • NZOSS Officer profiles
  • Polls available to logged in (free and full members) users
  • DPS online payment integration
  • Better explain benefits of membership (and make sure there are some compelling ones!)
    • legal documentation for FOSS developers (starting with Egressive T & Cs)?
    • swag? (USB key, stickers, t-shirt?)
  • check for explicit CC-SA-Attribution by default for content...



These are questions I'd like to learn more about - things other council members might know, or we need to get right for compliance purposes...

  • who has access to bank account details (i.e. view transactions, e.g. to process bank transfer payments by new members)