I've updated the quoting, I hope to separate Andrew's and Jared's comments
below. I apologize for any quoting errors.
On Thu, Apr 19, 2018 at 1:59 PM, ANDREW WARD <award3535(a)tds.net> wrote:
Here is the message in text mode.
From: "Jared K. Smith" <jsmith(a)fedoraproject.org>
> To: ambassadors(a)lists.fedoraproject.org
> Sent: Monday, April 16, 2018 9:17:02 AM
> Subject: [Ambassadors] Request for comments on changes to the
> Ambassadors program
> As an elected representative on the Mindshare Committee, I would like
> to kick off a discussion on behalf of the whole committee about our
> Ambassadors program and how we can improve it. We encourage you to
> read the plan below, make thoughtful comments or suggestions, and help
> us frame the plan going forward.
> Fedora's Mindshare Committee represents the outreach leadership in
> Fedora. Mindshare aims to help outreach teams (such as Ambassadors,
> marketing, the websites team, etc.) work better together by providing
> them with a way to unify around Fedora’s core messages. The Mindshare
> Committee contains appointed members to represent the various outreach
> teams, as well as members elected from the community.
> * Let's clarify our focus on editions and objectives
> * Let's make it easier to hold small events like Release Parties
> * Let's get more people involved by creating Fedora Advocates
> * Let's help ambassadors gets more done by easing some the
> administrative functions and putting them on Mindshare and FAmA
> * Let's make budget requests more predictable
> * Let's let people step back when they need to by creating Emeritus
First, let me state on a personal level how incredibly impressed
> been with the Ambassadors during my time in the Fedora community.
> They do incredible work, and I want to see that great work continue.
> At the same time, I've seen common "pain points" too. The Mindshare
> Committee is proposing the following changes -- not as something set
> in stone, but as a way to start a discussion about the overall
> Ambassadors program. We hope to spend the next few weeks listening to
> your feedback and incorporating it into the plan, with the goal of
> having the plan solidified in place by May 10th so that it can be
> voted on by the Mindshare Committee before the end of May.
The following list helps to explain and what we expect from our
> Ambassadors. This shouldn't be anything new or surprising to our
> ambassadors, but I include it here as a reminder.
An Ambassador should:
Be an active contributor to the Fedora community.
> * Show a basic level of knowledge about Fedora and its key marketing
> messages (as shown through a mentorship program). Know the teams,
> subprojects, working groups, and special interest groups, to help
> guide new collaborators to areas of interest.
> * Lead public-facing events with a Fedora presence, and request
> reasonable funds to support such events. Be able to work in a Fedora
> booth and both represent the Fedora community, but also demonstrate
> Fedora in a way that attracts new users and contributors to the Fedora
> * Be available for contact from new users and contributors who need
> help getting started in Fedora.
> * Understand Fedora's limited resources (volunteer attention, time,
> and budget) and uses them efficiently and effectively.
> * Communicate with the rest of the community, and stay current on
> developments in Fedora
We think it is important to note that an Ambassador may not do all
> these things personally all of the time. In particular, an Ambassador
> should be willing to sponsor the attendance of others at events to
> speak or work booths where their specific expertise is valuable. For
> example, sending someone from the Kernel team to a kernel conference
> to represent Fedora may be a better use of our resources than sending
> an Ambassador who is not a kernel expert. This is a great way for us
> to address audiences with specialized needs that Fedora can help but
> for whom we may not have skilled ambassadors.
> It is also important that ambassadors are communicating with related
> groups. For example, communicate with the Join SIG if you're focused
> on being available for new users and contributors or communicate with
> the Rust SIG if you are going to attend a Rust event.
- - Comment: This is a good start to getting everyone on the same
page. My concern is we need a centralized documentation and
information that when someone does have a question we do not spend a
lot of time trying to figure things out. I totally agree with all of
Absolutely. I know that converting this document into processes will take
some time. I believe that we should consider laying down a simple
framework and then trusting Mindshare to make decisions as things arise.
Trying to plan for every contingency and every situation from Day 0 will
result is us never getting this done.
For very biased reasons, I want to see the documentation maintained on the
site so we can accept PRs and issues as a way of
driving clarification and change. This also gives us a single clear
resource to look at without worrying about whether a given wiki page is
current or not.
== Messaging ==
> As the public face of Fedora at many events, we expect Ambassadors to
> be aware of the areas of focus that have been set forth by the Fedora
> council. The primary focus for ambassador messaging at this time
> should be on the three editions (Desktop Edition, Server Edition,
> Atomic Edition) plus the three current Council objectives (Modularity,
> Fedora CI, and Internet of Things).
> The editions and objectives represent the goals and overall direction
> of Fedora. We want to communicate the exciting things that make Fedora
> unique from other distributions and projects. Ambassadors are the
> communicators of these goals and direction.
- - Comment: Communicating what you want us to accomplish is the most
important part of this area. It has not been done very well in the
past and I hope it gets better.
I think this email represents a good start. The comments about editions
and objectives jives with the project output and the Council's thoughts.
This gives us a lens to think about our activities through. This doesn't
mean we can't do other things, but it will help us make resourcing
decisions where needed.
== Administrative Functions ==
> It has been my experience that our ambassadors really enjoy sharing
> the Fedora message to those they come in contact with. However, when
> it comes to administrative functions such as budget allocation, many
> of our ambassadors are less eager to participate.
> Therefore we suggest that the regions and individual ambassadors, as
> much as possible, be relieved of the administrative functions
> (approving budget requests, and so forth). We propose to split the
> administrative roles between the Mindshare Committee (budget approval,
> driving conversation, etc.) and FAmA (FAS group management,
> administrivia, etc.).
> The purpose of this change is to enable Ambassadors to focus on the
> details that matter most: finding meaningful events that align with
> Fedora's goals and initiatives and how to deliver the messaging.
> Mindshare wants to support and enable Ambassadors to succeed at
> messaging. Mindshare, with the help of FAmA, also wants to alleviate
> the burden of administrative work, and provide greater transparency
> into budgets and the decision-making process. More information about
> FAmA is below.
> To this end we are going to make budget requests more predictable. See
> below for details about Release Parties and the new Advocates.
> Requests that don't fit in those categories will come to Mindshare (or
> a later designated group) for approval. The goal is not to centralize
> control, but is instead to get a way of thinking about the impact of
> each request relative to its budget request. The council has indicated
> that local events are better than large events. This doesn't mean no
> large events, but it means we need to understand why flying people
> around the world is better than having them advocate on a regular
> basis in their own "backyard".
> Continuing with the theme of predictable budget requests, we would
> like to make things as streamlined as possible. Mindshare will try to
> work in tickets as much as possible. A request can be approved by a
> variable number of Mindshare committee members. Tickets will stay open
> for some time as well to ensure consensus.
> * Budget requests of $250 or less require two Mindshare members to +1
> and must be open for a week.
> * Budget requests of $500 or less require three Mindshare members to
> +1 and must be open for a week.
> * Budget requests of more than $500 require a majority of Mindshare
> members to approve and will typically be brought up in a meeting.
- - Comment: I agree very much with a centralized process, this
relieves the burden of meetings for most of North America. We went
from weekly meetings to twice monthly trying to get participation up
in order for us to get events pushed through for our area. My only
concern is the meeting frequency of Mindshare Committee and the
ability to have enough participation to vote on events. It seems to be
running well now, but things can change and cause some back ups.
I don't see Mindshare ever not meeting weekly (except for holidays and
other similar issues). I also think the idea of having less than a full
committee needed for some decisions should make it clear how we reach a
decision and when we have quorum/consensus.
== Advocates ==
> We would like to create a new "level" for people who want to be
> advocates for Fedora, but aren't yet willing to go through the formal
> Ambassadors mentorship program. While this is a bit of an experiment
> and may need to be changed over time, we hope that having a new "lower
> friction" process will help future Ambassadors get started. Unlike
> Ambassadors, the Advocates will only be able to request up to $100 in
> budget for a particular event. While we haven't decided on the exact
> mechanism for allocating budget for Advocates, we anticipate it will
> be similar to the low-friction process for Release Parties (see
- - Comment/Concern: How to you vet Advocates? My concern is you have
a person that want us to pay for an event admission to advocate for
Fedora. My experience with this type of program usually proves that
the same person we task with representing Fedora doesn't really put
Fedora as a priority but either only wants to attend an event at our
expense and have their own agenda. Sure we can have a reporting
process but if there is no one else there to validate what we tasked
individuals with and what they really do at the event. I would set a
specific set of guidelines for this type of program. We will find
ourselves with a steep learning curve and/or failure to control the
amount of requests.
Possibly. Because of the trust the Fedora community puts in contributors,
I am less worried. Advocates should have limited ability to use resources
without an ambassadors help. Repeat "offenders" can be prevented from
making future requests. Right now, in some regions, there is a lot of
friction to get to do anything. Let's try reducing that and see if we can
get some momentum.
== Low Friction process for Release Parties ==
> We are proposing a new low-friction process for funding release
> parties. Anyone (not just Ambassadors or Advocates) can request up to
> $100 USD in reimbursement for a release party. The general stipulation
> will be that the person requesting the funds must provide some
> critical pieces of information both before and after the event, to
> ensure the event meets with Fedora's release party guidelines. Only
> $25 USD of the release party budget may be used for transportation
> costs, and a limited amount of swag (stickers, buttons, pens, etc.)
> will be sent to the organizer.
> The idea is that if someone wants to get a reasonably sized group of
> people together to celebrate the newest release, we'll happily buy
> some chips/sodas/pizzas/snacks and send a small bit of swag.
> === Before the event ===
> Open a Mindshare ticket with the following information:
> * Time/Date
> * Location
> * Expected number of attendees
> * Expected cost
> === After the event ===
> Update the Mindsare ticket with the following information:
> * Actual number of attendees
> * Photos of the event
> * Actual cost
> * Any lessons you learned from the event, or tips for other events to
> help them be successful
> * A link to your blog post, ideally in the Fedora CommBlog, or on
> Fedora Planet about the event
> === Other notes ===
> * Costs (up to $100 USD) will be reimbursed after the event. We will
> not send money before the event. No more than $25 can be spent on
> transportation. No money may be spent on swag.
- - Comment: This is fantastic! The low Friction Process Idea is
great and in my opinion get more people to conduct release parties.
== Becoming An Ambassador ==
> In order to make this easier, we'd like to unify the processes, where
> it makes sense, around the world. Ambassador's time is a precious
> resource and having it spent on administrative processes or
> unnecessarily duplicative onboarding is not a good use of it. Similar
> to today, Ambassador candidates need to be mentored. Ideally a mentor
> is someone familiar with the candidates location who can provide
> guidance, however any mentor should be able to mentor any candidate.
> Once a candidate has met the goals of mentorship (see below), they get
> made an ambassador after a ticket is filed in FAmA and an announcement
> is sent to the ambassadors mailing list. This isn't to trigger a vote.
> Instead this is an announcement to ensure there are no concerns.
> Typically this ticket is assumed to be ok after a week (a bit more
> time is appropriate if there are lots of holidays during the week).
> Objections aren't automatic "failures" they just lead to discussion.
> Where needed, Mindshare will help with guiding the conversation and
> getting us to a decision.
> The goals of mentorship:
> * Ensure the candidate knows about Fedora and is active as a contributor.
> * Ensure the candidate understands the role of an Ambassador.
> * Help the candidate generate ideas for their first two events.
> * Ensure the candidate understands how to request assistance, file
> tickets, and knows what is expected of them before and after an event.
> A mentor should expect to be a primary point of contact for the
> candidate for some time, including after the candidate becomes an
- - Comment/Concern: This is where the documentation and guidance
needs some real work. As a mentor I know where the best areas are for
teaching new Ambassadors,
I hope you'll share this in a concise way we can use to build a new
document from. Can you collect your experience and the experiences of
others (including our wiki guidance across the regions) together for the
group to work on?
but there is a vast amount of areas that are
either not used, need updates, and not maintained. For example, the
ambassadors list for North America. There are a lot of people that
need to be moved into the Emeritus ambassadors group (in my opinion),
for many of the names I see there have not been an active Ambassador
for years or attended any event in several years
I believe we should ask FAMA to immediately work on the Emeritus status
once it exists. Finding out who we are will really help us understand our
which leads me to the
beginning of this email and what ambassadors should be doing which
includes involvement, communications, and availability. Since my
involvement with the project I have seen only about 50% of the North
America list at either events or irc meetings. That doesn't mean that
they have not been involved in the project but just in some aspect
that I haven't seen. Also, have experienced individuals that have
been disconnected and then pop up out of no where and want to plan
events without the knowledge of what is required of them to plan the
said event. So this makes my job harder than it should be gathering
documentation and links to the changed requirements and getting the
process back on track. And some of the problem is that the ambassador
finds the new requirements outside of what they wanted and find it
difficult to readjust. I guess what I am trying to point out that as a
Mentor and Ambassador the documentation really needs attention. In
order for us to all be on the same page, the documentation and
communication of the same needs to be corrected.
Absolutely we need guidance on events. Right now it is very different from
region to region as each region imposes its own rules, makes its own
interpretations of what others have said, and in some cases believes other
regions are doing it "wrong" instead of accepting that they do it
This is another area where we need someone to help us collect the best
practices together to give us a starting point. Like with the mentorship
information above, it won't be perfect from Day 0, but we can adjust as we
== Becoming a Mentor ==
> In the same way that we'd like to clarify how to become an ambassador,
> we'd like to also make it clearer how to become a mentor. In general,
> a mentor needs to:
> * Ask to become a mentor.
> * Demonstrate their ability to meet the goals of mentorship by
> specifically describing how they are going to do it.
> * Acknowledge they have the time to be a mentor.
> Similar to the Emeritus ambassadors below, mentors will be surveyed
- - Comment: Again the documentation needs to be finalized as stated above.
== Emeritus Ambassadors ==
> We are also creating an "Emeritus Ambassadors" level for people who
> were Ambassadors at one time, but are no longer actively engaged in
> the ambassador efforts. This is a way to publicly recognize them as a
> former Ambassador and thank them for their work, but they will not be
> actively listed as an Ambassador so that new contributors do not
> continue to contact them.
> Annually, we will contact every ambassador and ask them if they want
> to remain active. This is based on the idea that stepping back because
> of burn out is hard for many people. However, when asked if they want
> to continue many people will feel more comfortable with saying they
> are ready to take some time off. The goal is not to encourage people
> to step down.
> However, we also recognize that we need active, responsive
> ambassadors. Every year will also survey our ambassadors about their
> activity. This will be combined with the above request. In general,
> we'll assume they are active an only ask what they've been doing if
> there is question. This way we don't wind up with ambassadors who
> receive requests from the public and never answer them. It also
> answers the questions about title-seeking that have been raised in
> some areas. There is no minimum threshold of activity, just that
> ambassador activity is happening.
- - Comment: I am all for this! It will allow those who are not
actively involved stepping back (not out) and also allows them to
comeback when they are ready.
== What about FAmA? ==
> The FAmA group remains an important administrative body. The goal of
> FAmA is to help the Ambassadors drive administrative functions. The
> FAmA group will consist of 2-4 people elected by the Ambassadors.
> Members must be either current Ambassadors, Emeritus Ambassadors or a
> current member of Mindshare. People serve a two release staggered term
> and are able to be re-elected as long as they remain qualified to
> stand for election.
> The positions in FAmA are administrative. They are not in place to
> serve as decision makers but are more focused on helping
> administrative requirements get met and to make sure that things that
> need conversation get surfaced. They help ambassadors succeed.
> Initially they will probably focus on:
> * Maintaining the Ambassadors Contact List.
> * Maintaining the FAS groups.
> * Moving people, upon their request, to the Emeritus group.
> * Moving people from candidate to ambassador as they finish their
> * Maintaining the list of approved mentors.
> * Surveying ambassadors yearly about their continuing desire to be active.
> * Helping make sure budget entries get made in support of
> treasurers/card holders.
> We plan to keep regional card holders in place to help with managing
> reimbursements. We'd like the regional treasurers to shift to
> supporting the card holders, FAmA and Mindshare.
> Surfacing conversations that are needed, for example, candidates that
> want to become mentors about whom there are concerns.
- - Overall Concerns: How does one know that the documentation and/or
information is official and approved? There is so much out there on
the wiki that is outdated, or incorrect. We need to have an
official/approved identification with respect to our information.
I'll repeat my comment about putting the final information on
. This where there is a clear propose, accept,
publish process and that removes this concern in many ways.
-What is the requirements for reimbursement with respect to the
mindshare committee? Has the requirements changed? Will there be a
page listing these requirements? Does it apply to Fedora Advocates?
Reimbursement requirements seem to be the same, from my perspective at the
project level. Approval, receipts, report. If a region had different
requirements, we need to figure out how those should be included, or if
they are needed.
On a related note, I'd like to see the entire project have, as much as
possible, the same requirements for reimbursements. This way we are all
operating from a common set of rules.
-With respect to administrative burdens on ambassadors how does the
mindshare committee communicate an event that an ambassador is
requesting gets approved? I realize that an email is generated when
comments are posted on a ticket (which getting several of those a day
from various areas) can be confusing causing the same to check the
status on every time someone makes a comment can also be burdensome
checking the ticket every time.
Tickets remain a great way to track a conversation and maintain status.
There are lots of ways of handling pagure notifications, perhaps others can
share their best practices with you. Personally, I use a threaded mail
reader. This way, even if I get 27 emails about the same ticket in one
day, I only see one entry. I tend to read tickets no more than 2-3 times a
day, unless they are "on fire."
-With respect to Mentors, has the process for selecting new mentors
changed? if so where is the documentation? What is the process if it
See above. Can you help us build this?
-Communications and Messaging has been a sore spot with me for quite
some time. We need to streamline how to communicate with ambassadors.
Mailing lists are good but when you get several along with comments
from others can be confusing and distract from the original message. I
think that we need to detail what information is approved, where the
information can be found and what you require from us.
-Documentation and approved documentation need to be completed. If you
are going to hold ambassadors to a standard, the documentation needs
to support the same. Without solid documentation you will not have a
solid foundation to bring new people in or help those who have been
involved for awhile to train those new people.