#126 Direction of Ambassador Program
Closed: resolved 4 years ago Opened 5 years ago by award3535.

As FAmNA understands the Ambassador program is a community driven program. Noted on the past events there have been comments about planning events that seem to be driven towards corporate interests. If the focus is changing towards the direction of involving this we need so direction of what is expected out of Ambassadors. Specifically speaking towards what you want the wiki pages to include. This needs to be communicated down towards all ambassadors. We currently have event planning guides in place for FAmNA and if this needs to be changed please give us what your expectations are before commenting on tickets with what is expected making it harder than it should be. Please communicate your expectations to FAmNA.


Andrew, I'm definitely not into "corporate interests" here. Red Hat has their own (and in comparison, massively-funded) events team for that. However, Ambassadors should advance the interests of the Fedora community overall.

We need to know exactly what the council is expecting us to deliver on our wiki and event pages. It seems we do a lot of rework because the requirement changes from event to event

@mattdm Piggy-backing off what @award3535 is saying is this to say that RedHat wish to take the stance that Ambassadors should not interested in fielding questions 'desktop' users may have that could or were meant to send to their $work_job C Levels. At least when I joined the FamNA I remember us being a bridge if you will to Red Hat usage.

@linuxmodder I am not quite sure what you're asking. Also, we're not communicating a "Red Hat" wish here.

Are you asking about whether Ambassadors should answer questions about desktop Fedora use which might be relevant to RHEL? If that's the question, well, first, I'd avoid speculating about RHEL in any official capacity and instead send people to their RHEL support folks where appropriate, but at the same time, sure, help people out.

There are places like Red Hat Summit or Usenix LISA where RHEL users are a big part of the audience and we need to be able to talk to them. I don't think that should be the general emphasis of Ambassadors, though. The emphasis should be on growing the Fedora user and contributor base.

As Andrew notes, Fedora Ambassadors is a community-driven program. This very specifically means that it's a Fedora community program. Red Hat supports Fedora in many ways, including funding — some of which which Fedora directs through the Council to the Ambassador program.

I — and I think I can speak for the Council as "we", here, really — want the Ambassadors to be engaged with what's going on in the rest of the project, and enthusiastic about promoting that. Ambassadors should work with Marketing on messaging.

Andrew, you ask what we want the wiki pages to include. Do you mean event planning wiki pages? For events, I think the most important things are:

  • What is the focus of the event from a Fedora point of view?
  • How does our attendance at this event build users of or contributors to the Fedora platform overall?
  • How does our attendance at this event build users of or contributors to specific Fedora solutions — and why are those particular solutions strategically important?
  • How will success be measured? If the event doesn't meet its benchmarks, how will we adjust?

@mattdm this points back to my ticket https://pagure.io/Fedora-Council/tickets/issue/125 with respect to Communications since the changes in the processes are not clear to us, for example the DVD comments when we requested funding for production referenced RH Summit and how no one was asking for pressed media, since that event was more corporate driven, the media was not an important factor, but most of the other events we do are community driven where those people enjoy a pressed media disc and the requirement is different. The answer we received was "why". So we as FAmNA discussed this at length with going towards a more personal approach with local media production and refocusing on getting Blank USB (swag with Fedora markings) and producing what the customer wants on the spot. This just leads back into good communications with those who are at the ground level. When I asked those ambassadors in North America who are truly involved and attend meetings if they knew about the new mission I got the deer in the headlight look/email, what are you talking about. That includes me as well, I just don't spend every minute of my day trying to figure out what's going on with Fedora. I do try to look at things that are going on throughout the project but if I was able to do so I would never sleep.

@jbwillia @nb @paradoxguitarist

@jwboyer If I was to be part of every mailing list I would never get anything done. I am part of FAmSCO mailing list and do read the logs from that group which should have given me a direction to look but there was nothing. This also stems from regional leaders should have been clued in with this fact.
I also noted that you are not listed as an ambassador but part of the council so where are the members of the mailing lists so that I can ensure NA regional leadership are on that list. I just added myself to the list. This has been one of the biggest issues NA has been dealing with. With the several changes with project leader from Ruth, Remy, and now Bex, us VOLUNTEERS need a little pointing in the direction of where we are moving. So I am going to put this right back in you lap and ask why the invite to FAmNA regional leaders to be part of the councils mailing list? And as a courtesy maybe include the Ambassadors mailing list as part of the council mailing list.
@jbwillia @nb @paradoxguitarist

@jwboyer If I was to be part of every mailing list I would never get anything done. I am part of FAmSCO mailing list and do read the logs from that group which should have given me a direction to look but there was nothing. This also stems from regional leaders should have been clued in with this fact.

True, subscribing to too many lists is definitely an issue. However, the council-discuss list is fairly low traffic and it is where high-level project direction is discussed. Rather than rely on games of mailing list telephone through FAmSCO, I would suggest just getting the information directly by subscribing (and participating in the discussion, which is key!).

I also noted that you are not listed as an ambassador but part of the council so where are the members of the mailing lists so that I can ensure NA regional leadership are on that list. I just added

Correct, I am not a member of the ambassadors list. I'm not an ambassador, but if you believe it would be helpful for me to subscribe there I can.

myself to the list. This has been one of the biggest issues NA has been dealing with. With the several changes with project leader from Ruth, Remy, and now Bex, us VOLUNTEERS need a little pointing in the direction of where we are moving. So I am going to put this right back in you lap and ask why the invite to FAmNA regional leaders to be part of the councils mailing list? And as a courtesy maybe include the Ambassadors mailing list as part of the council mailing list.

I can't quite understand what you're saying here, but it should be noted that nobody needs an invite to join the council-discuss list. It's an open list.

As a primary face for promoting and distributing Fedora, don't you view the fact that you are not on the council mailing list as a major problem? How can you accurately promote Fedora and the areas it is headed if you aren't even subscribed to the overall direction setting discussion forum?

I don't see this as an essential part of the group. Don't get me wrong, it would be very helpful! But not necessary to fulfill the ambassador goal. The "First" and "Features" foundations ensure that we can't keep up with all the things. I really liked this definition from the wiki:

As Ambassador you give a face and a name to Fedora. You are a person, friendly and approachable. Fedora is big and scary, but you are going to help make sure that one person finds their way through all the confusion into the place where they can contribute. You are the glue. You help connect different people in different parts of the Project, because you are always dealing with people whose interests are different.

We are here to help people get invested, not just be able to reitterate information that can be found elsewhere. It's more important for us to know who/what to connect users with rather than being able to provide the answer ourselves. (not that that wouldn't be helpful)

I can't quite understand what you're saying here, but it should be noted that nobody needs an invite to join the council-discuss list. It's an open list.

@jwboyer, I think there's a larger issue here at work that @award3535 is trying to tap into. We have over 1200 lists at lists.fedoraproject.org. I think you recognized that there's an abundance of information. I think what we're trying to say is that there's a breakdown in communication for FAMNA and the council. A solution for that certainly could be that we require all us all to subscribe to the council list, but no one has ever told us that. It's certainly not listed in the wiki https://fedoraproject.org/wiki/Ambassadors/MembershipService for becoming a member. There are other lists there (announcements, marketing, and ambassadors) but the council list isn't one of them.

Correct, I am not a member of the ambassadors list. I'm not an ambassador, but if you believe it would be helpful for me to subscribe there I can.

If I'm being completely honest, I'm not sure what the nature of your role is here (i know you're on Council and a few different committees and I've see you around IRC but your wiki page has surprising little information on it), but I know you're on council. That being said, when you come across information that you think X group should have, (Ambassadors in this case) I think it would be appropriate to cross post in those lists. Certainly if you're part of leading the entire project. As volunteers we're all here to help. We're resources that want to be used, but it's our leaders' responsibility to organize us. I think we're feeling disconnected from what's going on, and the issue seems larger and more systemic than a list suggestion.

All that aside, I think a large part of this issue is that there doesn't seem to be clear lines of communication between our groups. Even though I used it as an example the wiki is often confusing and out dated. Mailing lists could be an answer, but if so, there needs to be clear expectations of what lists we need to join, or cross posting initiated by the council.

I think it is important to point out that the idea that a mission statement conversation was going on has been mentioned on the email list and in specific threads about NA issues. I myself mentioned it in an email in April.

I am also concerned that it appears that no one in NA is subscribed to any list where the mission was mentioned or discussed and felt it was important to raise to their fellow non-subscribers.

As a primary face for promoting and distributing Fedora, don't you view the fact that you are not on the council mailing list as a major problem? How can you accurately promote Fedora and the areas it is headed if you aren't even subscribed to the overall direction setting discussion forum?

I don't see this as an essential part of the group. Don't get me wrong, it would be very helpful! But not necessary to fulfill the ambassador goal. The "First" and "Features" foundations ensure that we can't keep up with all the things.

From the perspective of details of the actual distribution, I agree that it is hard for any one person to stay up to date on all of the changes in the software. In fact, this is why the regions should be working together to cross-pollinate information from the various subject-matter-experts you have in your regions. i.e. If EMEA has a container afficianado, this person should help all ambassadors have a basic understanding of the key messaging in those areas. This way ambassadors are really ready to be representatives of all our goals, messaging and all four foundations.

However, I diagree 100% when the conversation returns to what is going on in our project. There is no reason that an ambassador shouldn't know the major issues that Fedora itself is considering, like a new mission statement. As an example, if we changed our logo, it would be equally unacceptable for an ambassador not to know that.

I really liked this definition from the wiki:

As Ambassador you give a face and a name to Fedora. You are a person, friendly and approachable. Fedora is big and scary, but you are going to help make sure that one person finds their way through all the confusion into the place where they can contribute. You are the glue. You help connect different people in different parts of the Project, because you are always dealing with people whose interests are different.

We are here to help people get invested, not just be able to reitterate information that can be found elsewhere. It's more important for us to know who/what to connect users with rather than being able to provide the answer ourselves. (not that that wouldn't be helpful)

I can't quite understand what you're saying here, but it should be noted that nobody needs an invite to join the council-discuss list. It's an open list.

@jwboyer, I think there's a larger issue here at work that @award3535 is trying to tap into. We have over 1200 lists at lists.fedoraproject.org. I think you recognized that there's an abundance of information. I think what we're trying to say is that there's a breakdown in communication for FAMNA and the council. A solution for that certainly could be that we require all us all to subscribe to the council list, but no one has ever told us that. It's certainly not listed in the wiki https://fedoraproject.org/wiki/Ambassadors/MembershipService for becoming a member. There are other lists there (announcements, marketing, and ambassadors) but the council list isn't one of them.

I reiterate that I find it shocking that the entirety of NA ambassadors contains no one who subscribes to any list that is not in the minimum required set. As a team you all should be able to have coverage on almost every list in Fedora. This is simply due to numbers and the variety of interests of ambassadors.

From the perspective of details of the actual distribution, I agree that it is hard for any one person to stay up to date on all of the changes in the software. In fact, this is why the regions should be working together to cross-pollinate information from the various subject-matter-experts you have in your regions. i.e. If EMEA has a container afficianado, this person should help all ambassadors have a basic understanding of the key messaging in those areas. This way ambassadors are really ready to be representatives of all our goals, messaging and all four foundations.
However, I diagree 100% when the conversation returns to what is going on in our project. There is no reason that an ambassador shouldn't know the major issues that Fedora itself is considering, like a new mission statement. As an example, if we changed our logo, it would be equally unacceptable for an ambassador not to know that.

I would argue that those things should be coming through the lists that are already listed for us to join. Announce and Marketing are appropriate venues for communicating those larger goals and direction updates. Why do we have those mailing lists if we're not going to utilize them properly?

I reiterate that I find it shocking that the entirety of NA ambassadors contains no one who subscribes to any list that is not in the minimum required set. As a team you all should be able to have coverage on almost every list in Fedora. This is simply due to numbers and the variety of interests of ambassadors.

I totally disagree with the sentiment here. We have about 10 ambassadors and you're asking us to subscribe to 120 lists each? I happen to subscribe to lists outside the requirements, but we're no where close to getting gap coverage for all the lists.

Overall, this is not a good model to have. It's like we're setting up for pull requests rather than push notifications to get the info where we need it.

Sadly, I'm about to head out for vacation for the next 12 days or so and I won't be able to contribute to the conversation more until I get back, but I wish you all the best of luck as we slog through this. I know that conversations like this can be difficult/frustrating/disheartening at times, but I appreciate you all for working through it. Thanks everyone!

I was on my out when I saw this, so I haven't digested it all yet, but I noticed this:

I totally disagree with the sentiment here. We have about 10 ambassadors and you're asking us to subscribe to 120 lists each?

According to the list there are 120. https://fedoraproject.org/wiki/Ambassadors/MembershipService/Verification#North_America_.28120.29
If there aren't it seems we have bigger challenges.

I don't think it's necessary for every Ambassador to sign up for the council discuss list, but I think it's completely reasonable for Ambassadors leadership to be involved at that level.

Okay, so, I have a proposal around this for the Ambassadors. It's kind of long, and I'd like it to get broad attention, so I made it into a community blog post: https://communityblog.fedoraproject.org/ambassadors-fedora-strategy/

This proposal got disappointingly little response, either positive or negative or even neutral. I think we should go ahead and make it top-level policy, and include it on https://budget.fedoraproject.org/. I'm calling for council consensus on this by October 25th — and on any other things we want to do with this ticket.

Also I am +1 to my own proposal. :)

At the meeting today, we asked Mindshare to make this a topic for the upcoming FAD, coming back with

  • A concrete policy proposal
  • Some guidance on what "measurable" means, for a global audience

From discussion, it seems like many people are worried about measurable results — for example, getting counts of users or figuring out specific impact of every individual event. This proposal is actually meant in some ways to make that easier to deal with, by moving the measuring to the Objective level.

For example, an objective might be "Increase Fedora userbase in LATAM", and one of the measurements being "Double the number of systems reporting to the mirrors from IP addresses identified as LATAM". In support of this, LATAM Ambassadors might decide to hold installfests at various events they've identified.

Although it's ideal if each of these events has a clear measurable outcome itself, that's not always easy. So, it could simply be that after 6, 12, and 18 months, we look at the target metric (the mirror stats) and see if we can see an impact. If we don't, we know that our actions aren't doing what we expect them to, and can adjust. Maybe installfests don't work and we need to focus on meetups or something else. Or maybe we're measuring the wrong thing. Or, hopefully, it goes the other way, and we see the intended increase. Then, when we look at Objectives again, we can consider increasing and broadening the thing which worked.

I think this is resolved by the Mindshare initiative. Communication from that group will be forthcoming as output of the recent FAD/Hackfest.

Metadata Update from @mattdm:
- Issue close_status updated to: resolved
- Issue status updated to: Closed (was: Open)

4 years ago

@mattdm @bex I am anxiously waiting for documentation and guidance from the Mindshare FAD

@award3535 Me too :) I know it's in progress.

@award3535 The post is in the queue for the commblog. I am confirming there are no blockers, and if not trying to get it into tomorrow's publish.

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