SPI Meeting Announcement and Why People Don’t Join SPI

Jimmy Kaplowitz writes:

Software in the Public Interest, Inc., will hold a public board of directors meeting on Wednesday, August 20, 2008, 19:00 UTC. […] SPI meetings are held on the OFTC IRC network, irc.oftc.net, in #spi. […] Agenda

A couple of weeks ago, I asked why people do and don’t join SPI? The answers I got can be grouped into a few headings:-

Don’t know about SPI

“I admit that I was unaware of SPI. However seeing its age, a few familiar names on the board and also on the project list it looks like a solid organisation.”

“I too am unfamiliar with your organization”

“I guess I would be yet aother person who was not aware of this group.”

“Lack of awareness of SPI is probably the biggest hurdle. I too, was unaware of SPI. I am aware of the Linux Foundation and the FSF and others, but how does SPI differentiate itself and its goals from those organizations?”

Don’t know about joining

“The membership page on the SPI website is buried at the bottom of a secondary menu. One has to really go looking for it. And this definitely gives the impression that adding members is not a very high priority.”

“I’ve been looking a while for how to join, is not the first time, I did before and never found it until now”

Don’t see why to join

“Even as an open source software advocate, I have not joined SPI because my particular interest and focus is on Plone. The Plone Foundation handles largely the same functions that SPI does for smaller, independent groups.”

“Why, what’s in it for me? The betterment of mankind or bragging rights when a corporations steals all of my work and gets rich off of it.”

“If you are someone who is very interested FOSS (free and open source software) rights and licenses, you are probably more inclined to become a part of the FSF (Free Software Foundation) or the OSI (Open Source Initiative).”

I’d welcome any thoughts you have on how we should overcome these barriers, either in the comments here, or on IRC #spi – I think I should be there a bit before or after the meeting. I’ll try to summarise the best over the next Wednesday or two.

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