Flock 2017 - Fedora Ambassadors, The Future

As a Fedora Ambassador and the regional treasurer for EMEA, I simply could not miss “Fedora Ambassadors: The Future” from Jona Azizaj and Nick Bebout.

Nick and Jona started their session by presenting to the audience the steps they have to follow in order to organize an event and ask for budget. Although this process was quite clear to experienced Ambassadors, we had new Ambassadors on the talk and the organizers wanted to make the process a bit more clear. The regional budget is intended to be used by the Ambassadors, but there were cases were a Fedora contributor that is not an Ambassador request funding in order to participate at an event that is an accepted speaker. In the past we were not “restrictive” and our first response was not a “no”, where there was a relatively good reason for the specific person to be there. But we wanted to decide a process to handle these requests not case-by-case, the moto “if the person should be at that event, then we should sponsor him” I think is the best one to handle these request. In the past, a fedora contributor requested funding from the EMEA budget to speak at an event where his talk was accepted, and there were not clear rules of what to do in this case. This person was the most capable person to make this talk, as he was going to speak about Modularity which is a very hot topic nowadays in Fedora, and a long time contributor in the Modularity project. As Brian Exelbierd said on a general note on this matter, “We should try and fly this person if he is the right one [to participate in a conference], even if it will cost us more than a local Ambassador to get there”, and I totally agree with him.

Metrics is the only way for the Fedora Community and the council to understand the impact of the event you participated at. Nick and Jona highlighted the importance of event reports, and even more the importance of the event reports being published on the community blog for maximum exposure. Justin actually pointed out a very nice and complete event report that was published in the community blog. It’s the Scale x15 event report, and it is a very concrete report, with lots of feedback from the attendees, but also feedback from the Ambassadors, which was collected at the end of the event, and included feedback and concerns that they heard from the attendees that visited their booth. I’ll definitely try and write more meaningful reports in the future, and try to publish them in the Community Blog as well.

Last but not least, we discussed the issue of giving away swag to non-Ambassadors, as we faced a similar problem where a non-Ambassador and more specifically someone who was not even an active contributor, requested swag for a Fedora event that he was organizing. At first we were a bit surprised from his request, because our ticket tracker is not public and someone not from the Fedora community couldn’t have know how to request swag. His request was quickly rejected by the community, and we pointed him to find a local Ambassador and ask for swag directly from him. Although we should have looked more into this, before turning him down. The fact was that the person was from UAE, and there were no Ambassadors in his region, to go and request stickers and promo material from. Eventually we sent him some stickers for his event, and we agreed that in similar cases, we should help non-contributors with swag, if there are no Ambassadors in their region to help them with their event and provide them with swag.

Overall it was a very nice workshop, organized from Nick and Jona, and I believe that we tackled some issues to the best of our ability.