#145 Identify role of Fedora Ambassadors in 2019 and best use of resources/time/energy
Opened 2 years ago by jflory7. Modified 8 months ago

This is a summary of the 2019-06-26 meeting and is intended to be a starting point for additional discussion.


Summary

Determine the role and responsibilities of Fedora Ambassadors in 2019 and find the best approach to EITHER reboot Ambassadors OR find other ways to enable the work of Ambassadors in other places

Background

For full context, I suggest reading the highlighted minutes at the link at the top of this ticket. This section is a summary of high-level points from that meeting discussion.

The final conclusion of the meeting discussion:

  1. Retire Ambassadors title
  2. Promote pathway to Advocates and Join SIG as replacement bodies of similar work to Ambassadors
  3. Come up with messaging strategy to share this with wider community

I will do my best to summarize the perspectives shared in the meeting:

Ambassadors mean many things to many people

The Ambassador title has different meanings for different people. A lot of these are rooted in the long history of Ambassadors. In 2019, some of these things may be accurate and others might not. There is a confusion of what Ambassadors do differently from other existing groups in Fedora (explained below).

Event organizing is focused through Mindshare / Advocates

Event organizing in Fedora today, whether an Ambassador or Advocate, requires opening a ticket with the Mindshare Committee for review and approval. This is a required step for all events regardless of title.

Currently, there is a solid set of existing documentation that explains how to organize and request an event as an Advocate. This is promoted and visible in the Mindshare docs. When someone asks how to get funding for an event or organize for Fedora, this is where they are directed.

Conversely, Ambassadors does not have this structure any more in 2019. There is some organizational role for meetings and local communities, but this is also changing in Fedora (see two sections below).

General mentorship is focused through Join SIG

Historically, Ambassadors mentored newcomers into the Fedora community specifically to represent Fedora at local events or in the community. Mentorship was tied directly to the trust and responsibility of organizing an event or attending a conference on behalf of Fedora.

Today, the mentorship model to create an event is no longer required through the Advocates structure. Anyone can propose an event and Mindshare aims to empower people who are experts in a local domain (whether in a technology or of a local community) to organize an event. This also reduces the concern of gate-keeping if a mentor does not respond to email or is difficult to contact.

Furthermore, the Join SIG is an example of mentorship in the Fedora community today that is not specifically tied to organizing events. The Join SIG provides informal mentorship and guidance for people to do many things in Fedora, including but not limited to organizing events. The Join SIG also points new contributors to get involved with Fedora Docs, helping in Fedora Design, getting guidance on submitting a package to Fedora, and more.

One benefit of retiring the Ambassadors title is putting more time and energy to empower the Join SIG to continue doing the work they are doing today and also directs more experienced contributors to collaborate with them. This unties mentorship, which was agreed as helpful and important, from organizing events specifically.

Untying regions from event organizing (in today's structure)

Ambassadors are closely linked to the idea of four regions: North America, Latin America, Europe/Middle East/Africa, and Asia-Pacific. Ambassadors needed to work with others in their region to find a mentor and organize an event. Today, this is no longer the case and also something we do not want to encourage as a requirement.

Consider this point:

18:25:34 <bexelbie> and I would never, for example (and I use this because my geography is bad) forbid an MX rep from working South or North of their country
18:25:42 <bexelbie> and I would happy to see MX folks working in both directions

This is the kind of participation the Mindshare Committee wants to encourage.

Additionally, there is value in letting regional communities have the power to self-organize in a way that makes sense for them (without red tape). For example, there are many country- or region-specific IRC/Telegram groups and chats that function more as a place to hang out and chat with other Fedora-interested people who speak your native language or live in your country.

Ambassador Mindshare Committee seats

Two seats of the Mindshare Committee are reserved for Ambassadors. There is not a mechanism to replace those seats in the event of a member becoming inactive or if someone were to suddenly resign. There is not an established precedent to bring in new perspectives to the Mindshare Committee through those seats and it would be nice to see the community have an impact on those seats by having a documented and supported process for election and replacement.

Details

The Mindshare Committee needs to collect feedback and determine a strategy to address this proposal. The suggested action plan from the meeting is repeated below:

  1. Retire Ambassadors title
  2. Promote pathway to Advocates and Join SIG as replacement bodies of similar work to Ambassadors
  3. Come up with messaging strategy to share this with wider community

Outcome

  • Less confusion about Ambassadors vs. Advocates
  • Better use of limited time and resources to enable contributors to be successful
  • Continue building on top of what has been successful so far

I've read the logs and the summary here, and I tend to agree with most of it. For example, I used to be part of the ambassador group for quite a while. At some point, due to time constraints, I became unable to organise or attend events (which are the primary duties of ambassadors). So, I "retired" from the ambassadors group. However, I've never really stopped advocating Fedora even if its only on the web. So, from my perspecitve, one really does not need to be part of a special group to represent Fedora.

Now, I think where the ambassadors as "people persons" come in is that they are expected to focus on the evangelism. Even though all community members can represent Fedora, a large chunk of us seem to be too busy just doing our work to spend resources on evangelism. Even if ambassadors don't serve in other teams, they know enough about these teams to be able to speak about them. Of course, I think everyone agrees that it's a lot easier to speak about a team if you are part of it.

So, advocates and ambassadors overlap, but are not the same to me. If we can find a way to encourage people to spend more time on evangelism, we won't need the ambassadors, but until that happens, we sort of do. Maybe we can find a way to attach ambassadors to teams---they attend meetings, keep up with whats happening, and even if they're not contributing, they're blogging or writing magazine/commblog posts about what they see? Ideally, they'll also be the ones that help with onboarding?

The Join SIG, unfortunately, is similar to the ambassadors group. In an ideal scenario, we shouldn't need a special group that helps newcomers. Newcomers should be able to learn enough about the community and "dive in" to teams with enough information available on each team, and enough team members around to answer questions. While most community members are happy to help people get started, we dont have enough user-facing information on our community. People outside the community simply do not know how the Fedora communtiy ticks. So the Join SIG is at best, a stop gap measure---at least there's a place where newbies are guaranteed to find someone to speak to.

Maybe the general problem is simply that we get so bogged down in details that we forget why we do what we do. The means becoming the end and all that. Finding ways to promote evangelism as an important/core responsibility would help, but I don't know where or how to start with this.

Please see other tickets discussing Emeriti Ambassadors, may be is the good way to solve the issue.

I was thinking if we should put this discussion in the ML or we should keep it in the ticket for now

@x3mboy can you post the ambassador mailing list about this and the other tickets encouraging participation?

Hey @ankursinha, thanks for your thoughts here.

@ankursinha:
So, advocates and ambassadors overlap, but are not the same to me. If we can find a way to encourage people to spend more time on evangelism, we won't need the ambassadors, but until that happens, we sort of do.

I agree that Advocates and Ambassadors are not exactly the same. However, I do see Advocates being successful¹ with representing the Fedora community out at events/conferences. Advocates are doing this type of evangelism work already. From my point of view, I have not seen significant activity under the Ambassadors umbrella in the last year.

Would you agree?

¹ Using Pagure tags on event tickets would make it easier to automate metric collection here. :grinning:

@ankursinha:
The Join SIG, unfortunately, is similar to the ambassadors group. In an ideal scenario, we shouldn't need a special group that helps newcomers. Newcomers should be able to learn enough about the community and "dive in" to teams with enough information available on each team, and enough team members around to answer questions.

I understand where you are coming from. In CommOps, one of our founding goals was/is to make it easier for newcomers to enter the community with documentation and on-boarding guides.

However, I disagree that a newcomer should be able to "dive in" right away with enough information. For me personally, I was following along in Fedora since 2013 but did not start contributing until 2015 when I had a mentor guide me based on my personal situation. I always felt I had a lot of information in front of me. I bookmarked the "Joining the Ambassadors" wiki page, knew about the different sub-projects, and I was hanging out in IRC channels for different teams for two years.

But it was overwhelming to me because Fedora is a huge community. What I needed (and why I initially turned to Ambassadors in 2013-2014) was a mentor or someone to guide me. Eventually, I found a Fedora contributor at my university in 2015 who mentored me and helped me find my footing in the large, expansive Fedora community.

So from my point of view, a group like the Join SIG is always useful because some people need to talk to a real person and ask for help. I think we can risk "paradox of choice" because of too many ways to contribute. In a free software community the size of Fedora, I see value in supporting the person-to-person interactions of joining a community. In some cases, all someone needs is a pointer in the right direction or an answer to a question specific to their situation, something a wiki page or on-boarding doc will not always capture. Because we are all different. :smile:

@ankursinha:
Finding ways to promote evangelism as an important/core responsibility would help, but I don't know where or how to start with this.

I see retiring the "Ambassador" title as a way of doing this. The Advocates program has been successful of doing the in-person evangelism that Ambassadors once did.

As for other ways to practice evangelism other than attending events/conferences, @x3mboy is trying to answer this question now for the Fedora Marketing Team. He wrote up a comment about the purpose and goals of the Fedora Marketing Team in fedora-marketing#292. I suggest reviewing that ticket and driving the evangelism conversation forward there.

@x3mboy did this get posted about?

@bt0dotninja I've added a few suggestions - feel free to drop/rephrase/etc.

@bt0dotninja as it is totally non-controversial to send an email alerting a list to a ticket, please send the email to the ambassadors list as soon as possible so we can gather their input ASAP.

Thank you!

Sorry for the later response , it's already done.

Hello. I answer to the mail sent to the ambassadors mailing list.

I'm in the ambassador group since not long time (March 2018). When I became ambassador, all the other ones in Italy were inactive or unresponsive. Apart that, due to my nature, lifestyle, age, work and family, I'm not the right person to organize a community in a whole country.
Also in my local community there are not so much activities or events that allows me to be a real ambassador, and as I said before I'm not the one that travel around the country to host talks or organize events.
For me, I feel that Ambassador is something like only a title.

I invite people to use Fedora. In my little city I always host a talk at the annual event called Linux Day. I help people, mostly online, to use Fedora. I write blog posts (not so much), I participate in some online community. I feel myself really committed to the project.
But what I mean is: I can do what I do even if I have not the Ambassador title.
Indeed, maybe, there are people that do more than me, that are not Ambassadors.

It is also true that the commitment is more strong if you do something while thinking that the project and the community recognizes your work of advocating the project, the operating system and the community, that is, you are not a leader, you are not a great contributor, you don't cover key roles, but at the same time you are not simply a fan of the distro or a casual user.

I mean, I think, that an ambassador is a person that participate to events offline, that organize events, booths, talks, where there is a commitment in real life. But I don't think there are so many occasions around the world for a single person to participate in a lot of events representing Fedora. Or at least there are not many people that can do that work. So, metering an ambassador work could be vey difficult and misrepresented.
At the same time everyone involved in the community is an advocate, isn't it?

And a user not heavily involved in the community, but that is an enthusiast and write things on his blog, or talks to his friends, is he an advocate?
But the developer that hosts a talk to an event, is he an ambassador or an advocate?
Looking at the reports, list of events tracked on the wiki or here on pagure, nowadays, I think that such distinction is no more useful. The ambassador program wiki pages is heavily outdated. I think that nowadays we need something more agile.

@alciregi thank you for your response. I am curious if you find the process we have defined for getting funding and swag at https://docs.fedoraproject.org/en-US/mindshare-committee/swag-only-requests/ useful?

How would you suggest we recognize these contributions in a meaningful way? We've debated a newsletter and also helping with prmootion through social media. what do you think?

Hey there. I was just alerted to this today.

The way I understand the term "Ambassador" is "one who represents on behalf of another" and in our case "one who represents Fedora". As an Ambassador, I think it is my job to know the product and be able to at least facilitate everything that Fedora is and does. Here in the U.S. there are community events I can attend to represent Fedora. It's cultural for information booths to be manned at these events where people can come and discuss the latest and greatest aspects of organizations from bee keeping to home safety to information technology and even Fedora.

In the US, we have regional conferences dedicated to Open Source and Linux. In my region in the Pacific Northwest we have Linux Fest Northwest and Seattle Gnu Linux (SeaGL) Conference. Both are at local colleges and both are heavily sponsored by leading Open Source organizations.

There are also many other community events put on by the local Chamber of Commerces. They are usually the same format. Any community group can set up an information booth. At events like these and the Open Source events the title "Ambassador" would be clearly understood.

"Advocate" is just "someone who speaks up for another" but is not necessarily representing another. To me, this "Advocate" is a lesser role than that of "Ambassador". The "Advocate" is not necessarily a subject matter expert but is more of a fan of the person or product. I think there is a big difference between the "Ambassador" and "Advocate" roles.

I'm not sure why the Ambassador role has dwindled over the years. I have only been involved for and few years. But what I have seen in these few years, the existing Ambassadors have jobs and volunteer their time for these events. It seems hard to get everyone to meet. For a little while the East Regions were meeting and then the West Region met. And after Mindshare took over, our participation dropped.

It seemed to me Mindshare took all the decision making away from us. There is no real reason to communicate among ourselves but only to appeal to the governing body for funds. As Ambassadors, it is our role to communicate and represent Fedora within our spheres of influence. And to do that, we need unity and training.

We can unify around Fedora Current events, Fedora Specifications, Fedora Culture, How Red Hat is Related to Fedora, How Fedora Interacts with the Greater Linux, and (among many other topics) How to Get involved with Fedora.

To be Ambassadors should not be the same as Advocates. Advocates just play on the box and argue preferences in the coffee shops in my opinion. Ambassadors truly represent the heart beat of the product which is Fedora as a whole. Actually, I think Mindshare and Ambassador are both important roles and more important than what would be Advocate.

.

@alciregi thank you for your response. I am curious if you find the process we have defined for getting funding and swag at https://docs.fedoraproject.org/en-US/mindshare-committee/swag-only-requests/ useful?

Yes. And I followed the process last year on the occasion of an event (swag-shipment request was not still in place). It could look intimidating, but I bet that all the questions, the need of the report, etc. are to prevent some abuses in swag request, so it is a process that I approve.

How would you suggest we recognize these contributions in a meaningful way? We've debated a newsletter and also helping with prmootion through social media. what do you think?

The newsletter is a nice idea. Not only about the events around the world, but also on upcoming changes happening in Fedora as a community and as a technical platform. That is the work Mindshare should do, isn't it? Gather fragmented information around the various teams and present it in a readable way. But I know, it is difficult.

Recognize these contributions: the point is not recognizing a contribution. I think that if someone is doing something on a volunteer basis, it is already recognized, or at least it doesn't take much to recognize his work (a pat on the back, a retweet, a thank you, an happiness packet :-D ). The point is: why should I represent Fedora? Who I am? Who tell me to go to an event? How I qualify myself? As you can see in the answer of @steelaworkn, that I don't entirely subscribe, there is a difference between Ambassador and Advocate. There is a difference between the developer that hosts a talk presenting an exciting new feature of Fedora, and a person that runs a booth that in theory should know many aspects (maybe not in a deep way) of Fedora.

@steelaworkn are you really sure that "after Mindshare took over, our participation dropped"? [1]
Mindshare should facilitate the work of ambassadors and/or advocates [2]. Nobody tells people to don't meet. If there are things to do and things to talk about, and there is a group of people that want and that is committed to meet each other (in IRC on a regular basis meeting or daily, in person, a group of friends, etc.) there are not committees or bodies that want to avoid that.

[1] What I see is that the Ambassador program loose his force and enthusiasm over years. The events reported on the wiki were less and less over time. And I think that it could be normal in a community, and Mindshare was a way to resolve the issue and not the cause.

[2] Ambassadors and advocates, IMHO are only words. Does Fedora still really needs Ambassadors? I mean a figure like the one when the Ambassador program started years ago? Since many ambassadors are no more in activity, and due to lack of newcomers and mentors, still it make sense? Swag can and should be requested by anyone in the community that want to represent Fedora in an event and why not in a community (for intstance a LUG; btw even LUGs around the world are way different from many years ago, here in Italy for instance they are lesser and less active compared to 10 years ago). If there is a strong group of people passionate of Fedora that likes to meet on a regular basis, they are welcome, I think.
I always think: changes happens, let's try something different.

There it is. Good examples of an Advocate are the folks who gather to talk=
Fedora. On the other hand, an Ambassador officially represents Fedora outs=
ide his/her group of friends. I would be for an Ambassador Reboot. There's =
always room for Advocates. I don't agree with the concept of replacing Amb=
assadors with Advocates because they are totally different. It's like ths. =
An Ambassador can be an Advocate like a diplomate can be a patriot. But it'=
s not the same the other way around.

Sent on my Samsung Galaxy S=AE 5

-------- Original message --------
From: Alessio Ciregia pagure@pagure.io
Date: 8/2/19 12:05 AM (GMT-08:00)
To: jeffsplace@live.com
Subject: [mindshare] Issue #145: Identify role of Fedora Ambassadors in 201=
9 and best use of resources/time/energy

alciregi added a new comment to an issue you are following:
@steelaworkn are you really sure that "after Mindshare took over, our parti= cipation dropped"? [1] Mindshare should facilitate the work of ambassadors and/or advocates [2]. N= obody tells people to don't meet. If there are things to do and things to t= alk about, and there is a group of people that want and that is committed t= o meet each other (in IRC on a regular basis meeting or daily, in person, a= group of friends, etc.) there are not committees or bodies that want to av= oid that. [1] What I see is that the Ambassador program loose his force and enthusias= m over years. The events reported on the wiki were less and less over time.= And I think that it could be normal in a community, and Mindshare was a wa= y to resolve the issue and not the cause. [2] Ambassadors and advocates, IMHO are only words. Does Fedora still reall= y needs Ambassadors? I mean a figure like the one when the Ambassador progr= am started years ago? Since many ambassadors are no more in activity, and d= ue to lack of newcomers and mentors, still it make sense? Swag can and shou= ld be requested by anyone in the community that want to represent Fedora in= an event and why not in a community (for intstance a LUG; btw even LUGs ar= ound the world are way different from many years ago, here in Italy for ins= tance they are lesser and less active compared to 10 years ago). If there i= s a strong group of people passionate of Fedora that likes to meet on a reg= ular basis, they are welcome, I think. I always think: changes happens, let's try something different.

To reply, visit the link below or just reply to this email
https://pagure.io/mindshare/issue/145

I want to share with you this map,

https://plot.ly/~hotgalan/25/fedora-ambassadors-by-country-since-01012019/

this map takes into account all the active Ambassadors (Last_seen field of FAS without count the people with the Privacy field active in FAS) I will bring the data to the Mindshare workshop of FLOCK.

(Last_seen field of FAS without count the people with the Privacy field active in FAS)

I think that it is obvious, but it is worth specifying: FAS activity in this period doesn't mean that this person did something related to the Ambassador role in the same period.

And sorry if I could look rude, it is not my intention, but I would like to express this thought.
It is true that it is summer :-) in the northern hemisphere (vacations, probably less online activities, etc.), but in a week I was expecting more participation coming from ambassadors in a discussion like this.

(Last_seen field of FAS without count the people with the Privacy field active in FAS)

I think that it is obvious, but it is worth specifying: FAS activity in this period doesn't mean that this person did something related to the Ambassador role in the same period.

Hi @alciregi

You are right, but this still helps us to know how many ambassadors are still active in the project this year. it's something (i think). From the data, we get than from a total of 848 registered Ambassadors only 302 has some kind of activities in the project since January,01.

And sorry if I could look rude, it is not my intention, but I would like to express this thought.
It is true that it is summer :-) in the northern hemisphere (vacations, probably less online activities, etc.), but in a week I was expecting more participation coming from ambassadors in a discussion like this.

and I undertand your point of view, I'm also want more participation.

I will ping some ambys in Flock asking for feedback (mostly from latam) @lbazan @mayorga @tatica

Hey all. Just jumping in a bit. Here are some thoughts about this topic:

After our interviews during FLOCK the most regular answer was people feeling burnout and tired of repetitive tasks. Wouldn't that be a main reason for the Ambassador's initiative to be a bit stalled?
- Speaking earlier with @bt0dotninja probably a good idea to start debugging this issue would be to get a list of active Ambassadors and ask them why they are/not longer contributing. The best source of information is the people we want to help. I proposed to him that we could do some sort of triage getting the stats of when was the last time each ambassador log into any Fedora service using their FAS account, and start reaching them to know how can we motivate them or know from first hand the reason they stopped contributing (either fully or not that often). He's the stats guy, so best person to go with is. I've the ticket almost done just waiting for some feedback before asking this numbers to CommOps. thoughts?

Our number of events have gone lower. Even if I do think that the new processes and policies for events are fantastic, maybe the issue is the lack of marketing and follow up of those initiatives?
- Sometimes is not just about making processes easier, but is about encouraging people to start. I liked the idea shared at the Mindshare's meeting about having more regular events, however, from the marketing perspective, it would be easier to group them into "themes week/month" so we can use a common topic for spreading what we are doing. This is probably something D&I could help from the organizational perspective. Ex: This week we will host 3 FAD's about Silverblue, or about design... or this month we will have a packaging sprint, etc.

Removing groups, removes recognition
- Ambassadors group is probably not where it should be, and even if at the beginning I was kinda agree with taking the initiative down, I don't see it that way anymore. I agree with @steelaworkn when said "Ambassadors truly represent the heart beat of the product which is Fedora as a whole." - Getting in touch with this Ambassadors who are not that active probably would give us an idea of what we should do to encourage them to return, or an idea of what we could do as Mentors and as community leaders.

I appreciate everyone taking the time to weigh in on this issue. I think that we are stalled on two things:

1) We all say we want to talk to current ambassadors to find out why they aren't active yet no one has done this. Perhaps we need to make this more "mechanical." What are three survey questions we could send out to that group that would give us the data we need to move forward?

2) We are all hung up on the removal of the ambassador group. As is noted by several people above, removing the group removes recognition. I continue to believe that if we have the group providing recognition we need it to be recognizing something. Right now we have two Mindshare slots we don't know how to refill because we can't even identify a group of people who are active ambassadors to propose nominees and vote.

I suggest we focus on #1 and not worry about #2 for now. Either we will get the data we need to figure out what the ambassador blocker is, ambassadors will become active again, or we can just drop the seats and keep the groups, but eliminate the stop energy of everything being held up by a non-active group.

@bex 1) We all say we want to talk to current ambassadors to find out why they aren't active yet no one has done this.

A first draft was already gathered by @bt0dotninja at fedora-commops#203 using the ambassadors FAS latest login. I requested a bit more info to make a first list for the "interviews" and gather more information from the Ambassadors perspective.

After the Flock Interviews we know there's a huge sense of burnout, lack of new purpose and general boredom from doing repetitive tasks for several years. With @bt0dotninja 's data we can gather a small group of inactive Ambassadors and they can help us identify successful ways to encourage them to join back, then, we can determine if Ambassadors group will continue as it is, if it needs a restructuring or if it needs to end.

@bex I suggest we focus on #1 and not worry about #2 for now.

+1

I think that is good to remember the path we got here.

1.- about 3-4 years ago, nothing approved by the ambassador group was able to execute.
2.- then comes mindshare, where the ambassadors no need to hold meeting any more.
3.- then comes no more meeting goals, so frequently, no quorum to hold meeting.
4.- last time I ask why no meeting, about a 1 year ago, the repose was no need more meetings, all solved in mindshare.

But this guys still promoting as they can Fedora as Distribution.
Are we sure that the Ambassadors group need to be ended? or the still can help to turn more people into the project?

I think we need both mindshare and ambassadors. Both groups can work togeth=
er as they have different roles to fulfill one project. We just have to fig=
ure it out. Ambassadors need to meet regularly to report on the pulse of ea=
ch community represented. Mindshare needs to meet to maintain a trust and =
liaison between Red Hat and the volunteer community.

Sent on my Samsung Galaxy S=AE 5

-------- Original message --------
From: Juan Carlos YJ Lin pagure@pagure.io
Date: 9/2/19 1:24 PM (GMT-08:00)
To: jeffsplace@live.com
Subject: [mindshare] Issue #145: Identify role of Fedora Ambassadors in 201=
9 and best use of resources/time/energy

lin added a new comment to an issue you are following:
``
I think that is good to remember the path we got here.

1.- about 3-4 years ago, nothing approved by the ambassador group was able =
to execute.
2.- then comes mindshare, where the ambassadors no need to hold meeting any=
more.
3.- then comes no more meeting goals, so frequently, no quorum to hold meet=
ing.
4.- last time I ask why no meeting, about a 1 year ago, the repose was no n=
eed more meetings, all solved in mindshare.

But this guys still promoting as they can Fedora as Distribution.
Are we sure that the Ambassadors group need to be ended? or the still can h=
elp to turn more people into the project?
``

To reply, visit the link below or just reply to this email
https://pagure.io/mindshare/issue/145

I am just seeing this thread, thanks to @ankursinha. I am a bit late to the talk. I am an Ambassador in Nigeria. In Africa, the task of evangelism is overwhelming for the few Ambassadors here. We still do it, albeit, without reporting our casual approaches -- because there's so much to do that we quickly become absorbed by more tasking initiatives/projects. We still promote Fedora while filling other roles aligned to the Fedora principles. Should we then just call ourselves "Advocates"?

So, to me, the big issue is how to fill-up the void we create when we take on other roles that make us look inactive. Africa is still ripe for the harvest -- only few ambassadors. There's nothing like having someone that is experienced with the community/product doing the talk. Anybody can be an Advocate. This isn't the time to be retiring the Ambassador program. It needs a strong boost (Our Ambassadors are simply overwhelmed -- at least, the ones in Africa).

Off to look for a way to catch a crowd while surviving the jungle.

@tatica do you want to share the draft or will you all be coming back with a plan based on responses?

@steelaworkn nothing is stopping ambassadors from meeting. This ticket and the whole conversation thread started with trying to eliminate the stop-energy from old processes and procedures. Getting rid of ambassadors is one way. Mindshare has pretty much eliminated that but people are looking to Mindshare to figure out ambassadors. Do you think you and other ambassadors can go and do that without Mindshare needing to be the decider/driver?

@twohot What kind of assistance do you need from Fedora to be successful? Do you need changes to the ambassador program? Is coming to Mindshare for resources working for you?

I feel like I am hearing that some people are working on "Where did our ambassadors go?" and others want to "get back to meeting." If this is the case, and we have no open issues, should we close the ambassador tickets and let people come back with requests and proposals as they have them?

So here is a firm proposal:

Proposed: Ambassadors is being worked on by folks passionate about it. We will close our ambassador tickets and give those folks space to rebuild/re-energize the program. Mindshare will continue to approve resource requests and make decisions where asked. This will look like the following: a) We will eliminate the use of ambassador and advocate language in our policies so that we don't create artificial conflict. We administer resources and connect teams. We don't run advocacy; b) We will retire one ambasssador seat on Mindshare effective with the F31 release. By the F32 release we need a new process proposed for electing the remaining ambassador seat, otherwise it will be replaced.

WDYT?

@tatica do you want to share the draft or will you all be coming back with a plan based on responses?

@bex I just got the data Yesterday, so should be working on that this week.

@bex I'll start a discussion with the NA-Ambassadors. I am sad that I am not seeing any other than me give perspective here as I am still new and have a lot to learn. But I'll see what I can do. I am aware that Ambassadors in other parts of the world are very active. I would like to see NA-Ambassadors just as involved.

Proposed: Ambassadors is being worked on by folks passionate about it. We will close our ambassador tickets and give those folks space to rebuild/re-energize the program. Mindshare will continue to approve resource requests and make decisions where asked. This will look like the following: a) We will eliminate the use of ambassador and advocate language in our policies so that we don't create artificial conflict. We administer resources and connect teams. We don't run advocacy; b) We will retire one ambasssador seat on Mindshare effective with the F31 release. By the F32 release we need a new process proposed for electing the remaining ambassador seat, otherwise it will be replaced.

Sorry, but I didn't understand (my English is bad, and maybe I don't know how Ambassador program used to work back in the day). I try to use my words in order to check if I understand.
1. So the Ambassador program can continue in an autonomous way, driven by people passionate about such program. If they believe that Ambassadors are still an important body of the Fedora Project, these people can make meetings, constitute a team, revive the Ambassador project.
2. In the meanwhile Mindshare continues to handle the resources, to support teams collaboration/communication etc.
3. Even though point 1, the terms Ambassadors and Advocate will be dropped. So, everybody that want to represent/advocate/support Fedora is "simply" a contributor, a community member. And, like now, he/she doesn't need to have the Advocate or Ambassador title in order to get funds or swags.
4. By the F32 release, if the Ambassador program, that is, people passionate about it didn't make any progress in reviving the Ambassadors program, the Ambassador seat will be dropped.

@alciregi you got it.

So, if the proposal is like I understood it, even if my vote doesn't count, I'm +1

First of all, this is a lot of information to go through and I only skimmed through it. Just found the link to this issue on the ambassadors list.

It is obvious that the Ambassadors program is really suffering for the past couple of years. As someone who was (in my opinion) really active contributor and now not that much I wanted to give you some of my thoughts on where it all went South.

  1. Okay, main thing. Why is everything so complicated nowadays? Ambassadors, Join SIG, Advocates (???), Mindshare, Council (???) Did I miss a point in time where we have 1000+ contributors working on promotion that we need this many different "facilities"? I am sorry but this is just plain stupid. When I became an ambassador we had one program, one issue tracker and one meeting in two weeks. And it was better than this. What happened to "keep it stupid simple"? :(

  2. The tipping point for us was non-intentionally poor support from Red Hat. Every event FedoraUser and myself organized was uphill because of logistics. We couldn't get swag for events, we were not given permission to produce our own etc.

  3. Around 2 years ago, Fedora was one thing -> DIVERSITY. Diversity was all the corporate rage in the world and you blindly followed. While important and obviously needed, let me ask you this, what happened to all the people who got ridiculous funding for overseas flights at the expense of active communities in e.g. Greece or Albania? I will tell you, they are all gone, and don't care square root of jackshit for Fedora Project. We once paid an ambassador from [name of the middle East country intentionally left out] to come to Serbia to give out a presentation about their project which is not Fedora related. I saw him once while he was here, nice guy. It was a 900 euro plane ticket. Why? Diversity. And when we tried to organize an event for 50+ CS students who are using Fedora in the classroom every day you did not help us. That's just horrible and makes my blood boil.

  4. Overhead. We are a volunteer group. Why does it feel like we are RH employees? Why is the reimbursement process so long? And complicated? Ambassadors program was the "cream of the crop" contributor program. How did someone become an ambassador without earning the trust of us all? If I am a trusted ambassador, why do I have to go literally through hell, to get support for an event?

Wow. I got pretty angry writing all that. I am sorry.

Anyway, on the bright side, our local community is far from given up on Fedora:

  1. I still maintain our Fedora classroom where Fedora is used by more than 400 UNSPMF CS students all the time
  2. We are still promoting Fedora, and providing support as much as we can, to everyone
  3. I am still writing about Fedora
  4. I am using Fedora in ML research and actively promoting it on conferences and other events
  5. Momcilo (@FedoraUser) is AS WE SPEAK on an event that we did not get any support for -Balkan Computer Congress. Picture taken couple of hours ago.

momcilo.jpeg

We will continue to do our best, but for the love of everything make it easier for everyone. Do not promote corporate horsecrap of endless meetings and workgroups and begin actually supporting individuals who want to contribute to the project. There are quite a few of us I think. Do not make 10 different programs, make one and stick with it. Do not change or invent new terms all the time. Have someone actually write an entry point wiki page for new people, like it once was. I have been contributing to this project for more than 5 years and I can't find anything because everything is changing all the time. We are a bleeding edge distribution, we don't have to be a bleeding edge community. Especially if it means some of us are "bleeding" for some time now to keep going.

My heart is with @nmilosev -
I would love to see the effort to make the Ambassadors program work again, instead of drop it because it's stalled at the moment. So if it works for anything, -1 to remove the Ambassadors initiative without give it a second chance.

@nmilosev I have the same feeling. Back in the days when i joined Ambassadors, everything was dead simple. Couple years back, it got super complicated and super hard to follow. I've focused on contributing in engineering instead and basically stopped doing anything in "Ambassadors".

@churchyard you're right, I already proved that's more easy to become a member of FAmSCo(mindshare) than being an ambassador, read this ticket.

#89 FAmSCo member not an ambassador
https://pagure.io/Fedora-Council/tickets/issue/89

I have asked some stickers to promote fedora in Brazil, and mindshare made me wait for more than 6+ months, so I gave up, still promoting fedora here 15k+ members on facebook group, 1200+ members on telegram @fedorabr

So, is the North American Ambassador group dead or just silent? Where is everyone? Please don't be silent.

I am from the NA Ambassadors group...

There are too many points to reference them all, but one stuck out to me. I used to request swag for Linux related events in my area and it was dead simple to get things. Now, I am not sure how to request those things.

Too me there are three things Ambassadors can do for Fedora.

  1. Represent the Fedora Community to outside groups. (LUGs, computer user groups, colleges, universities, etc)

  2. Promote specific items (initiatives, products, events) to the local Fedora users and outside groups (see above).

  3. Act as a conduit for interested people to become more involved in the Fedora Community.

I do the first two in my area when opportunities arise. None of those activities necessarily is documented or visible to the rest of the Fedora Community.

I would like to see a way for Ambassadors to get better information about the third item.

I would truly like to see the Ambassadors group reinvigorated.

Edit:
Shortly after I post the comment, I was told that the process of holding events and requesting for support now is much clearer than the days I described below (Yay!). it's good to hear that things have been changed during the past two years. So my comments (below) is probably not the case now. For future readers you can just ignore them. I'm still keep it here for historical reference.


I'm just answering Bex's question "We all say we want to talk to current ambassadors to find out why they aren't active".

I feel Fedora is not the project it used to be now. It's now much more bureaucratic comparing with the time I 'officially' join Fedora community.

Back in 2014 things are pretty straight forward. When I need to organize event, I need to file a ticket to regional ticket system to request for approval and budget.
Things start to be complicated when we have Budget.next - we need to plan an event ahead of time, for APAC it mainly means more than a year ahead, which is impractical. Then thinngs become even worse when in one of the planning meetings, I was being asked 'Can you join other events rather than organize or co-organize your own Fedora event locally'? That means a 'no events' for us - In China almost all Linux and open source related events are not really 'community' events, they are more like marketing events, so as a community instead of a sponsor we don't have a way to join it. Another pain in the ass is the regional decisioni of central production of swags - under our local law, sometimes it takes hundreds of dollars to import swags which only costs less than a hundred dollar.

And then here comes council, going in parallel with FAmSCo, which makes us confused. And then comes the Mindshare group, another group which makes us confused. Why not just transform FAmSCo with new responsibilities?

Life is much busier when you are not a student, for me it means I don't really have time to figure out so many information from so many teams now. For example, when I want to have a small event (with budget request of less than $50), which is not planned during last planning meeting, who shall I file a ticket to? I assume it's now also Mindshare since I now seldom see sponsor requests on APAC pagure. Okay then do I need to join the meetings for the request? I don't know. Even if I have to, high chances are the meeting time is my midnight. Then how long ahead of time do I need to submit the ticket? No idea. How can I figure out if this should go to Mindshare or Council? I assume it should be one wiki page. But how about I give up the idea? It's just a simple click on the close button of your browser.

Another thing that really hurts me as ambassador is, the update to Fedora mission. The mission is now all about Fedora as a product, and promoting no longer matters. I argued for this before, but it do not change.

It's not a single thing makes people less active. It's the way Fedora do things in the past make some of us less and less active.

Sorry for my poor wording. No, I'm not writing this in anger. I'm still a contributor and actively coordinating things locally. I'm just don't have that much time and interests in organizing events due to all these above.

As for a reboot of the Ambassador project, I think the thing need to be solved first is to reduce the total number of teams. Without solving this I don't think it really doing much improvement.

@cprofitt I'm just returning to the conversation here. You summarized everything I am thinking.
So, if this thread is still a work in progress, I'm onboard. With networking out to the others we know to get the ball rolling again.

Hello everyone,

here the raw data (as CSV) and ods file with some format and columns resume

These files don't have any time/status filters. Important fields can be:

  • last_seen: reflects last activity date
  • status: sets manually as inactive by the user in the FAS account
  • privacy: true when the users don't want to share some data with the public

I think this initial list can help us to know the current status of the ambassador's group members

AllAmbassadors.odsAllAmbassadors.csv

@cprofitt:
I used to request swag for Linux related events in my area and it was dead simple to get things. Now, I am not sure how to request those things.

I think this happens because we have two groups that do similar things: Ambassadors and Advocates. If you identify first as an Advocate, the process is clear and documented. If you identify first as an Ambassador, who knows? What do you do? I have been here for five years and I certainly don't anymore. :wink:

The resolution I want is to not have two almost identical teams (Ambassadors and Advocates). We just need one. We need to be clear how to on-board new people and make sure they are reading the right information. The undocumented mentoring role that Ambassadors have historically done handed over quite well with the Join SIG these days. (Or I think.)

But the longer we have both Ambassadors and Advocates with no clear guidance on what is what and how someone should hold an event, I predict this will be a thorn we keep stepping on over and over.

I skimmed through this ticket's replies once more and I still don't have a clear idea of what an Ambassador is in 2020. It is slightly (or greatly) different to the people who commented here already. At least the Advocate role (which is really all about simply organizing events and doing cool things anyways, and removing bureaucratic processes) is well-documented. I have an easier time talking about it to people who are new in Fedora. I don't mention Ambassadors to new folks anymore because it is confusing and leads to a dead-end for a new contributor.

Here is my proposal for closing criteria for this ticket. I am just drawing in the sand here of what I would like to see:

  1. Identify most important 2-3 wiki pages with content about Ambassadors
  2. Port those wiki pages to Mindshare docs for historical preservation, set up wiki redirects
  3. Go through as many Fedora Wiki pages related to Ambassadors as possible and set up redirects to Mindshare docs
  4. Re-announce the Advocate program with a CommBlog post to build increased awareness
  5. Work with Join SIG (@alciregi, @ankursinha, @nasirhm, et al) to make sure the event-organizing processes are clear (after all, we need our mentors to mentor newcomers with the right info to be successful)

And then I think we could re-evaluate then if anything more needs to be done.

Thoughts? +1's or -1's?

I skimmed through this ticket's replies once more and I still don't have a clear idea of what an Ambassador is in 2020. It is slightly (or greatly) different to the people who commented here already. At least the Advocate role (which is really all about simply organizing events and doing cool things anyways, and removing bureaucratic processes) is well-documented. I have an easier time talking about it to people who are new in Fedora. I don't mention Ambassadors to new folks anymore because it is confusing and leads to a dead-end for a new contributor.

I feel the same way on Ambassadors, maybe we can let them continue their awesome work they're doing for fedora evangelism and if they're active, we can add them to the Advocates group as well and unifying Active ambassadors and advocates in a single group. (as it's well documented and inclusive in terms of newcomers too. )

Here is my proposal for closing criteria for this ticket. I am just drawing in the sand here of what I would like to see:

Identify most important 2-3 wiki pages with content about Ambassadors
Port those wiki pages to Mindshare docs for historical preservation, set up wiki redirects
Go through as many Fedora Wiki pages related to Ambassadors as possible and set up redirects to Mindshare docs
Re-announce the Advocate program with a CommBlog post to build increased awareness
Work with Join SIG (@alciregi, @ankursinha, @nasirhm, et al) to make sure the event-organizing processes are clear (after all, we need our mentors to mentor newcomers with the right info to be successful)

And then I think we could re-evaluate then if anything more needs to be done.
Thoughts? +1's or -1's?

+1 for your planning

Regards.,

Here is my proposal for closing criteria for this ticket. I am just drawing in the sand here of what I would like to see:

Identify most important 2-3 wiki pages with content about Ambassadors
Port those wiki pages to Mindshare docs for historical preservation, set up wiki redirects
Go through as many Fedora Wiki pages related to Ambassadors as possible and set up redirects to Mindshare docs
Re-announce the Advocate program with a CommBlog post to build increased awareness
Work with Join SIG (@alciregi, @ankursinha, @nasirhm, et al) to make sure the event-organizing processes are clear (after all, we need our mentors to mentor newcomers with the right info to be successful)

And then I think we could re-evaluate then if anything more needs to be done.
Thoughts? +1's or -1's?

+1 for your drawing ;) , I can help with migrating some wiki pages to mindshare docs.

Here is my proposal for the closing criteria for this ticket. I am just drawing in the sand here of what I would like to see:

Identify most important 2-3 wiki pages with content about Ambassadors
Port those wiki pages to Mindshare docs for historical preservation, set up wiki redirects
Go through as many Fedora Wiki pages related to Ambassadors as possible and set up redirects to Mindshare docs
Re-announce the Advocate program with a CommBlog post to build increased awareness
I'm +1 for points 1-4 sounds great

Work with Join SIG (@alciregi, @ankursinha, @nasirhm, et al) to make sure the event-organizing processes are clear (after all, we need our mentors to mentor newcomers with the right info to be successful)

I think point 5 doesn't fall under the fedora join's umbrella, the advocate definition:

Advocates are passionate contributors who want to participate in community events, represent Fedora, and help grow the user and contributor community. Advocates are people who love spreading knowledge about their area of interest in Fedora. Many advocates also organize release parties where they share information about What’s new in Fedora. Advocates also help new contributors join and hack on any of the subprojects at meetups and Fedora Activity Days (FADs). Advocates come from all parts of the project and represent contributors from all areas, technical and non-technical.

so an advocate is already a contributor than can helps newcomers, not a newcomer. (+0)

And then I think we could re-evaluate then if anything more needs to be done.
Thoughts? +1's or -1's?

@bt0dotninja:
so an advocate is already a contributor than can helps newcomers, not a newcomer. (+0)

True. You are right. I did not explain it the best way. If I hear your feedback right, there are two concerns:

  1. How does the Join SIG participate in this process?
  2. Is an Advocate the best role for a newcomer?

I meant for this to be a short reply, but I want to add more historical context. I want to share it in the wider discussion, while still focusing on taking the above proposal to a Mindshare Committee meeting vote.

1. How does the Join SIG participate in this process?

  1. Work with Join SIG (@alciregi, @ankursinha, @nasirhm, et al) to make sure the event-organizing processes are clear (after all, we need our mentors to mentor newcomers with the right info to be successful)

By "work with Join SIG", I mean to work with the Join SIG leaders and mentors to make sure they understand the processes too. They are the mentors and teachers of new contributors. So it is an important partnership to make with the Join SIG!

Their feedback and participation is helpful because the Join SIG is encouraged as a newcomer entry-point to Fedora.

2. Is an Advocate the best role for a newcomer?

I say… it can be!

Event-organizing is not easy. Ask anyone who has organized an open source or Fedora-related event. :smile: But "newcomers" can mean many things. Consider two different Newcomer Personas.

First, a Newcomer Persona could be a first-time open source contributor, maybe a student or older person (re-)entering tech. This person may not have a lot of open source event-organizing experience. They might be new to it. So, we want them to say hi to the Join SIG.

The Join SIG is where you get help and talk to a human for advice. If someone wants help or guidance on doing Advocate work, the Join SIG should be able to guide this person on the right path. As one example lately, I think of @nasirhm as an example with the Karachi F31 release party and a Fedora Pakistan Facebook Live stream interview.

Second, another Newcomer Persona could also be a long-time GNOME Community volunteer and event organizer, but they are new to Fedora Community. This person helped facilitate GUADEC, has spoken at several conferences, is a member of a local hackerspace community, and they do all kinds of event organizing. They are a local community facilitator!

So, if a person like this is new to Fedora or event-organizing with Fedora, we want them to jump in and "plug in" to the process. It should not be hard or cumbersome. We want this Newcomer Persona to succeed as much as the other!

And here I am jumping back to this thread. My data was delayed due life/covid-19/2y kid , but here we go since I would like to put it here before a decision is made:


Data showed that biggest issue for people to stop contributing with the Ambassadors role were the following: (sorry if some of the sentences sound harsh, but I have to be true to the anonym data collected)

  • Life: Some inactive ambassadors just got married, got kids, changed to more demanding works. It's not a decision related to how Fedora works, but mostly because life happens.
  • Fast Changes in Leadership: Some Ambassadors felt that, instead wanting to work a way to bring them back, this initiative is more a "how to get rid of them", and with the past year discussion they just felt like "why would we come back to a place doesn't want us to be back?"
  • Newcomers: Some Ambassadors felt that their importance within the organization has been diminished with the years. Some regions expressed that right now it's easier for a non-ambassador from NA to request budget than from a long term ambassador from a smaller Region. They expressed that "Newcomers seem to have all the attention above those who build the community in the first place".
  • Easier/Longer: Finally, ambassadors that were consulted about this expressed that, despite the good intentions surrounding the creation of new leadership groups/terms, they just felt that a single process turned into two, and that 2 boars, turned into three... and that if things keep evolving like this, in less than a heart-beat we will have an unrecognizable community that will try to look like one, but will behave more like a company..

This general feeling was collected through the past 4 months where 187 ambassadors were interviewed (98 active - 89 inactive)


Now comes my personal opinion, it that works:

Here is my proposal for closing criteria for this ticket. I am just drawing in the sand here of what I would like to see:

I don't even have to go through the points because what I think goes within the first line:

I think the debate is still too high to close the ticket or even try to find a solution. If people still don't agree, I would vote for either extending it and find ways to gather a better feedback, than calling off a decision that might even increase the drop off numbers. At the end, if old ambassadors who are active drop off, who will mentor those newcomers you're expecting?

And then I think we could re-evaluate then if anything more needs to be done.
Thoughts? +1's or -1's?

My vote will be a 0 or a -1. We are a community. Most people who has commented on this thread is still undecided or unwilling to continue with the removal of the Ambassadors program. For me, it's a matter of perspective.

Are we srsly discussing to drop a group title just because it's inactive? Wouldn't be better to make it work again so we can actually leave a legacy inside our community?

Hey @tatica!

Preamble: I became an ambassador in 2018 when the ambassador program was already in a bad status. At that time, only one ambassador in my country answered to become my mentor. No answers at all from the others. (And also this person became pretty inactive in the subsequent period).

I think the debate is still too high to close the ticket or even try to find a solution. If people still don't agree, I would vote for either extending it and find ways to gather a better feedback, than

Truthfully, I don't see all this debate.
How many people took part in this discussion after the @bex's firm proposal 8 months ago?
I mean. We need proposals and people that take actions. I don't see that.

Instead.
I can see pretty accurate documents in the Mindshare documentation. And I can see all the tickets in the Mindshare pagure repository, where I can see people (regardless of their title) asking for swag and event support, and a group of people that discuss and approve the majority of such requests: judiciously and reasonably. (I can also see a lack of event reports... :smile:)

Are we srsly discussing to drop a group title just because it's inactive?

Why not? If something doesn't work any more, with all the respect to the works performed by ambassadors in the past, we can try something new.

The problem is that people want to maintain a title?

Wouldn't be better to make it work again

This was proposed. How many ambassadors jump in this discussion to expose their proposals?

(Sorry, re reading that, it could feel rude, but it is not my intention, I'm exposing only some facts from my point of view).

I added some data, that doesn't add anything new to the file posted by @bt0dotninja
There are the activities reported by datagrepper: total activities (mails sent to the mailing lists, pagure activities, wiki edits, badges, etc.), wiki edits only and pagure activity only.
For the year 2019 and for this year.

However, as we can see, as we know there are 814 people in the ambassadors FAS group.

213 logged in to whatever FAS backed service, this year. 169 logged in in the last two months.
583 people have never logged in to FAS this year, and 465 never logged in also in 2019.

Of the 213 people that logged in this year. Datagrepper doesn't report any activity for 46 people. And for 76 people there are less than 20 activities reported by datagrepper.

These numbers doesn't say anything. I don't like to measure people activity. We are not here to evaluate the contributor of the year. Every little contribution is valuable and important.
Moreover, not all the activities are logged by datagrepper.
For instance datagrepper doesn't log activities in the real life (thankfully) :smile:
It doesn't even log if you read the mailing lists and you don't participate to the discussions.

But if don't login to any service for a year and a half. But if you don't send any mail to any mailing list. If you don't file any ticket or PR to pagure. Well, that's gotta mean something.

Hey folks, I am writing a proposal here. This is a potential solution, does it spark ideas in someone else's mind? Let this evolve :)

"Digital Ambassadors" what if some of the work that ambassadors used to do has grown less relevant over the years or changed in the way we should implement it? I think a transformation that will get folks excited is what we need. I believe we should not attempt to hold on to the past way, or throw it all out. In the world of corona, and even at conferences we have seen less of the same needs as time goes by. Digital ambassadors could produce blog posts, mentor new folks in their localities, promote Fedora media/tweets/etc, go to digital events representing Fedora (yes we will sponsor you!), organize virtual social hours for their time zone.. etc etc etc. So many cool ideas for a digital ambassador!
- What could we do to inspire Fedorans & prior Fedora Ambassadors to identify with the persona of "digital ambassador"?
- What specific and simple ways could we empower these new roles to achieve success(using as many pre-existing processes as possible)?
- If we went this route, how could we make the change easy to understand and for people to get on board?

"Event Advocates" When things have cleared with corona and we are able to travel again, we of course will need folks to be participating at events. What if the advocate title went solely with organizing/presenting/staffing in person events.
- Mindshare Committee is positioned well to own Event Advocates. As we have historically provided swag/sponsorships/advice on event participation, this fits naturally. The time or expertise of a contributor would be looked at on a ticket by ticket basis. Someone is new, we ask a senior event advocate to buddy with them. Someone is a veteran, we let them take the reigns.
- This will be a great way to ensure we funnel all the events through one place, and create a system and set of data we would like to provide to the community.

Folks could be a part of one, or both. WDYT?

@riecatnor First look, I like this proposal! I think it is a good compromise. Going to think on the questions and circle back.

@riecatnor Sounds really good! At the end, legacy also matters and I like how this sound :)

I think it's important to look at the data @tatica provided as well. It is valuable for the Ambassador group to be heard, and to address their specific points. I am recently stepping into this area of Fedora, so if I misspeak, please help me to understand more fully. If someone has more insight, please feel free to share.

Life: Some inactive ambassadors just got married, got kids, changed to more demanding works. It's not a decision related to how Fedora works, but mostly because life happens.
- I think this is evidence that the intake process is too complex, not well defined enough, or not modernized. Ideally, we would have folks in the pipeline coming up to step into these roles.
- No matter how much we love to work in the Fedora community, we all have had life take over, that part is understandable, and encouraged!
Path forward: create a clear single point of reference for intaking/mentoring new contributors into whatever our new structure will be.

Fast Changes in Leadership: Some Ambassadors felt that, instead wanting to work a way to bring them back, this initiative is more a "how to get rid of them", and with the past year discussion they just felt like "why would we come back to a place doesn't want us to be back?"
- I cannot say with all certainty, but I believe that this was due to a need to get things done. The ambassador group had grown, but not scaled.
- Attempt to see this from the perspective of the FCAIC (someone who is dedicated to the success and health of this community at all times!), they need to get things done for the community, but community members are blocking or providing mass amounts of stop energy. Meanwhile their is a ticket thread ;) that goes on for miles with no decisions made, and things still to be done.
- I for one absolutely want Ambassadors (and I am really beginning to like digital ambassador more and more). The Fedora Ambassador program is one that has been studied and even copied in the past. I think we should be the ones to again define what an Ambassador means for the larger FOSS community in 2020.
Path forward: Actively solicit engagement from the Ambassadors team on restructuring. Perhaps choose a delegate from each region to spearhead the engagement and create a special 6 month - 1 year task force with specific goals and deliverables. Mindshare could support that task force and advise.

Newcomers: Some Ambassadors felt that their importance within the organization has been diminished with the years. Some regions expressed that right now it's easier for a non-ambassador from NA to request budget than from a long term ambassador from a smaller Region. They expressed that "Newcomers seem to have all the attention above those who build the community in the first place".
- This is a valid feeling, and I think it comes from a lack of definition of the responsibilities and the "why" of the Mindshare Committee and what they can offer the community. The money has been accessible to all in the same manner, new or old.
- I think the second aspect of this is a lack of incentive/recognition for what the Ambassadors accomplish and do.
Path forward: Campaign to raise awareness around Mindshare Committee and how to utilize them. This is already in progress! The incentive/recognition aspect is harder to tackle, though I think if we change titles we could create some epic "Fedora Ambassadors Hall of Fame" page or something like that. We could do interviews on the "good ole days" and feature them on the Commblog. We could create an Emeritus Ambassador piece of physical swag (sticker/pin) to give to those folks.

Easier/Longer: Finally, ambassadors that were consulted about this expressed that, despite the good intentions surrounding the creation of new leadership groups/terms, they just felt that a single process turned into two, and that 2 boars, turned into three... and that if things keep evolving like this, in less than a heart-beat we will have an unrecognizable community that will try to look like one, but will behave more like a company..
- I think this is a great point. Myself and many others cringe at the thought of yet another committee/team/process to participate in. It makes things confusing and complex for those of us that are in it, let alone be able to define it clearly and bring new folks in.
- I think it is good to reflect here that Fedora is made by people contributing their time, people with their own ideas and motivations to do work. Brilliant ideas and honorable intentions. Let's also reflect on the idea that if we all follow our own ideas, none of them will get done.
Path forward: Campaign to document/clarify what every single team on the Mindshare side of Fedora does. This will hopefully uncover lack of resources/undefined terms and provide a stable basis for the community moving forward. I would propose a special task force for this as well. Putting this onto each team is not going to be effective.

So, I wrote an essay. I hope it isn't too rambling, and it provides insight into my hopes and thoughts around this situation. I look forward to feedback.

@riecatnor is on point:

Life: Some inactive ambassadors just got married, got kids, changed to more demanding works. It's not a decision related to how Fedora works, but mostly because life happens.

this is where most of the long-term contributors are (including myself)

The ambassador group had grown, but not scaled.

Exactly what I think.

Actively solicit engagement from the Ambassadors team on restructuring.

What I felt the most... people want to be consulted due to their experience. The lack of presence, most of the times, is due daily tasks beyond fedora, and some felt that the removing of the role was more like a finger point due the lack of contributions. This contributors "want" to do, but probably have way many responsibilities right. I like how "restructuring" sounds, and I won't stop saying that people is our biggest assets.

We could create an Emeritus Ambassador piece of physical swag (sticker/pin) to give to those folks.

I still like the Emeritus idea, but for those who really can't do any more work. Some of those who still do even a bit should remain active.

Path forward: Campaign to document/clarify what every single team on the Mindshare side of Fedora does.

There was a good initiative with the infographics, however, I'm in the marketing field and I'm the type of people who like to have a more structured campaign than just random request that sometimes, just don't gear up together as a full effort. If someone is interested on this task, I could give a hand.


I know what I wrote was hard to read, but I'm just the messenger, I just tried to simplify what people I interviewed had to say and the most recurrent points.

[What follows is a personal opinion - often shared with others but this is likely the first public formulation]

The role of an Ambassador and the primary focus of that role derived from much simpler times. With the evolution of the project and opening up of other specific advocacy and leadership opportunities, the need for "Ambassador" has diminished. This is natural, normal and almost certainly welcome. The Ambassador group has for long not had specific measurable outcomes (other than events etc) and this has often created that "what are they doing? do we really need them?" sets of conversations. Those have never been healthy or productive ones.

If the project can review and assess that value provided by the role is now being derived from elsewhere, then a structured archival of the role is obviously called for. One cannot be sentimental. This decision will neither diminish the work done so far by the Ambassadors nor mean that the idea itself was somewhat unplanned.

We keep circling back and forth expending energies on this topic. That energy can be spent elsewhere. Whoever needs to decide on this - the "let us have a consensus" model is perhaps unlikely to work. I'd love to see more diverse leadership coming up across various parts of the project than depending on the somewhat centralized and titular Ambassador role to be the public facing advocate. The software community and ecosystem we know live in is more diverse, rich and filled with promise than what it was when I started as a Fedora Ambassador more than a decade ago. We need to be more aligned with how technology, rights, equality, diversity and freedom advocacy is being undertaken across projects and communities. I do not think that the Ambassador group is well structured (as it stands now) to deal with those demands.

A final thought - in an emerging post COVID-19 world, the role of an Ambassador who shows up at actual events and does mentoring, supporting, onboarding etc is going to change. And change in a major way. It is likely that a new set of individuals with skills and focus more aligned to this challenge can step up and mentor the "old world" Ambassadors to up-skill and blend their insights with tools and technology approaches that make a powerful combination. That would be a phenomenal win for a project and community.

Hello!

This is my third year as a Fedora ambassador. Maybe I don't post a lot about events or maybe they don't see me opening tickets to request sponsorship; but in these three years I organized events with @solanch69. Most of the time we organize them with our own money because our events were small and because, in our experience, the request for sponsorship has been a nightmare.

If I had to say anything about the Fedora Ambassador Program, it has been difficult being an ambassador, and much more, being a happy ambassador.

Many difficulties to guide newcommers to collaborate with fedora:

  • Difficulties on the side of the newcommers. Many believe they need super skills to contribute. Some events may bring many newcommers but few remain permanently. @solanch69 and I arrived at Fedora through @yulytas and from the group in which we participated, only us are here todat, in the four years that we know @yulytas.

  • Difficulties on the Fedora side. Because it is not easy to find a clear guide that indicates the procedures to join the GIS, there are no references of who are active and who are not, with whom we can send the newcommers so that they can grow in the area of their interest.

I myself am an example of both. I entered the ambassador program two years ago tired of trying to join Fedora Scientific, from which I never received a response, and I say to myself "okay, let's try reactivate fedora scientific", but there is no guide on how to do things like that. And even to be an Ambassador, it was difficult to get a mentor.

Leaving aside the theme of events. Today I have my own company and all the people who work with me use Fedora because it is part of me and the company, and they are happy. With some friends we started the Python Club for Physicists at the university this year and we used fedora to teach our first "Python Summer School for Physicists " and they were happy. And I consider this to be part of an ambassador's job: I take Fedora to business, I take Fedora to science, but there is no way to promote this.

I am not happy as a Fedora ambassador because there is no clear way to show these things. It is a lot of work having to organize the events, fight for the sponsorship to arrive on time, publicize everything before and after the event, and report everything without any guidance. All this for the community to say that I am working hand in hand with Fedora when the truth is that the work of @solanch69 and mine we do almost on the fringes of the community. And I imagine that as I feel, many ambassadors must have passed it.

Maybe it's just my case, maybe I was unlucky. But even in these circumstances, I believe that what the Fedora Ambassador Program needs is a collective effort to establish clear and orderly guidelines that indicate what procedures to follow for events, for newcomers, for recognition, for metrics about how good is our work, for how to measure the impact of our work in the community.

I just posted some feedback on the mailing list without seeing this and my thoughts on an emeritus position is something I would like to see implemented. It's no slight to someone saying they aren't active or meeting the requirements to meet the mission statement of the group (btw, form a mission statement for this as part of this overhaul). The bar should be set at a reasonable level between Active and Emeritus to dissuade people from doing a singular action to retain the title but ultimately due to life (which is totally fair!) neglecting the key role an Active Ambassador plays.

My own personal experience was several months of mailing 8 different people, getting 1 reply weeks later and waiting 6 months for my mailing list membership to be accepted. I might have gotten unlucky but it's something to try and consider how to avoid that going forward. That kind of time lag can drive a prospective Ambassador contributor away. An Active list of folks would make a huge difference here.

Ambassador program is not working, but instead of fixing and improving it, someone created Advocate program

now we have Ambassador+Advocate and none of them seems to be working.

I am sorry but the truth is, an autopilot will work better than all the work you're doing

If I apply to become an translator and it takes more than 10 minutes, including the time for creating a fas account then it's BROKEN

If I file a pull request in pagure and takes more than 24 hour's to get an reply or more than 7 days to get the code commited then it's broken

people will get a bad impression/feeling if no one answer or if the process depends on a mentor / package owner or someone unavailable.

my recommendation is to implement an autoaccept, autocommit, autopilot and makes fedora moves fast again.

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