Archive talk:Spring 2005 Strategy Paper

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If you're looking for the discussion about the Constitution, go here: Talk:Constitution

Tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow

There are currently enough projects listed on this strategy paper to keep us busy for the semester. It looks like these are the questions now:

  1. Is there anything missing? Are there any egregious omissions? Any other ideas?
  2. Does it all belong? Are these all projects we want to undertake? Are they all projects we want to start now? Which should be moved into the "indeterminate future" category?
  3. Okay, so we have ideas for projects. How will we accomplish them? Let's flesh them out.
  4. For some projects, the responsibility clearly rests with someone (e.g. some are clearly for the Media Committee). For others, not so. Tying in with the above, who is responsible for what? Which projects are ones to be coordinated on a national level, and which are suggestions for local chapters to undertake of their own volition?

In short: What should be added? What should be removed? What should be postponed? What is our specific strategy for each project? Who is responsible for each project? Which are national priorities and which are local "opt-in"?

Also, when is the strategy paper done? We need a deadline in the near future so we can move onto working on the Constitution, the external policy paper, and appointing members to committees, as well as our national projects and local concerns.

When these questions are answered, the strategy paper will live up to its name and be complete & useful, and we can springboard directly from there to a to-do list for the semester with deadlines. -- Gavin 3:30 a.m. 2 Jan 2005 (EST)


I didn't want to renege on the "VIP" designation after already implementing it into the wiki, but I think a better system of categorization would look like this:

  1. One-time national concerns. Almost all labor is done by standing committees. These are projects of largely internal consequence. Examples:
    • Complete campus organizing handbook
    • Equip chapters with weblogs
    • Install RSS aggregator
    • Streamline communications
    • Defining FC.o
    • External policy paper
    • Make FC.o more press-friendly
    • Educate, educate, educate (project to create educational resources about free culture issues)
  2. Ongoing national concerns. Almost all labor is done by standing committees. When new responsibilities are established or responsibilities are reassigned/reevaluated, this belongs in the strategy paper. For now, everything's new, so a lot is laid out in the strategy paper; in the future, this will be routine and natural, and not something we need to plan for or alert our allies to. Examples:
    • Regular responsibilities of press team
    • Regular updates, clean-up, etc. of Web site, wiki, etc.
    • Regular communications among chapters, members, via aggregator, conference calls, chats, email lists, (message boards?), etc.
  3. Campaigns. These are one-time national projects related to ongoing concerns, coordinated centrally but with the labor and/or cooperation/collaboration of local chapters. These are really what we'll hold up, as a national organization, when someone asks what we're doing. I think a good rule of thumb is 2-4 per semester. Examples:
    • DRM/broadcast flag resistance project
    • Work with Creative Commons to promote CC licenses
    • Digitize public domain literature with Project Gutenberg
    • Work with libraries on Open Access
    Past examples:
    You'll notice a difference between the past and upcoming examples. The past examples deal with ongoing concerns, but are manifested as one-time projects; our upcoming projects deal with ongoing concerns, but haven't been shaped into projects yet. Of course, after this semester we'll still want to promote CC licenses; the idea is to come up with a one-time publicity grab that gets people interested & informed.
  4. Suggestions for locals. These are ideas for projects local chapters can undertake which deal with ongoing concerns. When someone has a really good idea, or a really good experience with a project, the idea is shared so others can participate. Currently, some of these are written into the strategy paper. However, the strategy paper probably isn't really the place for it. Hopefully, a lot of this will be handled by the aggregator. A wiki page might be helpful in addition. Examples:
    • Parties to strengthen existing campus groups
    • Showing films about free culture issues
    • Broadcasting CC-licensed music on campus radio stations
    • Trying to make your college a "Free Culture Campus"
    • Even the Free Culture Tour sort of falls into this category, since although it's being coordinated centrally, it's entirely up to the chapter to opt-in
    While these all may be good ideas, I don't know if they belong in the strategy paper. The question might be, how much does the national organization participate? If FC.o is involved in helping groups to plan parties, exhibit films, etc. then maybe it belongs in the strategy paper. If it's just a suggestion and groups are left to themselves and to the advice of other chapters to get it done, maybe it shouldn't be in the strategy paper. I'm not sure there is a black-and-white line on this one; this may be a hard issue to hammer out.
  5. Local chapters looking for help. I'll admit, mine is the only example currently in the strategy paper. I don't know if these should be in the strategy paper or not. On the one hand, the national core isn't really involved -- it's one chapter looking for volunteer help from other chapters. On the other hand, what affects one chapter can surely have an impact on the national organization. Example:
    • Help Florida Free Culture have a presence at UFlorida music law conference

The "VIP" designation currently corresponds to essentially 1 & 2. It might better be called "Very Internal Projects." I'm not quite sure where I stand as to what belongs in the strategy paper and what doesn't. I'm sure Campaigns (#3) do. I think #1 does. The others: maybe, maybe not. Some of them may depend on the situation (i.e. projects that fall into the category may belong in the strategy paper or may not); some may universally belong or not belong. I think it's something we need to hash out as a group. It's another important step towards assigning responsibilities and setting priorities. -- Gavin 3 Jan 2005 (Can someone tell me how to set my sig & timestamp? I'm tired of typing this every time I comment.)

These are all good thoughts, and hopefully we can start on them in the chat tonight to get a consensus on the categories. For now, I was responding to your question on the signature: just put four tildes (~) in a row for your sig and time stamp -- Scudmissile 17:28, 3 Jan 2005 (EST)

Less is more

Good thoughts. I think we should move several of the goals from the strategy paper to a page of suggested projects for local chapters. For example, Free Culture film fests and campus radio stations; both are worthy initiatives, but I don't think they should be included in our internal strategy paper for this spring. These are things that local chapters can pick up on whenever they have the time and inclination.

I think if we can boil this paper down to its essentials (and perhaps figure out some sort of benchmarking system -- nothing too rigid, just something that can allow us to more easily see the progress we're making), we'll be all set. -- Nick 3 Jan 2005.

Minutes from last conference call

Minutes - a general page to post minutes?

New categorization system

Although we didn't quite formally agree on it, I've implemented the organizational system I proposed above. When it cropped in discussion in the 2005-01-03 chat, everyone seemed to basically agree on the first three categories, with some contention about the fourth. I personally don't think the fourth should be included. However, things in the fourth category could be included if they were adopted as a national campaign. The definition of a campaign and a suggestion is really only different in that a campaign is coordinated centrally; it's still up to the chapters whether to implement it or not. So while I had classified the Free Culture tour as a suggestion, if we coordinate centrally it could be a campaign instead -- and as someone on the chat implied that we intend to coordinate centrally, I've left it in the strategy paper. However, even after the tour is over per se, a chapter could still do essentially the same project -- get the same speakers, use the same materials, etc. Similarly, the Free Culture Campuses project is currently classified as a suggestion. It's something that any chapter can pick up at any time and work on. There's no coordinated central effort. However, I think it'd make a good future campaign if coordinated, so I've included it under Future Projects. Everybody with me?

Short version: a "campaign" is just a "suggestion" that has been coordinated nationally. If you're coordinated nationally -- if you're a campaign -- you're in the strategy paper. If you're just a good idea that chapters are encouraged to pursue on their own, you're in Local_projects.

If someone disagrees with this distinction -- or the organizational system altogether -- we can talk about it on the conference call. But I think it works pretty well.

Another note: our first few strategy papers will probably have quite a few 2's (ongoing national concerns) in them as we assign responsibilities for the first time and shift them around to see what works best. When we stabilize a bit more, there will likely only be a few entries in that category in each strategy paper.

I think the only thing this system doesn't address is chapters looking for input/help from one another or nationally, and hopefully that's something the RSS aggregator will solve. -- Gavin 02:32, 4 Jan 2005 (EST)