I would like to start a discussion regarding something I’m myself guilty of. I feel there’s no communication between chapters. Sure, we meet every two years at our conference, some are very active in the discussion mailing list, but this is definitely not enough. Chapters are at the battlefront of the issues we are fighting, like closed universities, net neutrality, and copyright law reform.
Currently I feel we are working independently. I think this is not the best approach. Chapters should be collaborating with each other. Sharing ideas and planning activities together. Telling everyone else what they are doing, and how they are doing it.
This is very helpful for many reasons. First, for already established chapters, it’s a way to organize new activities. We can copy and remix what others have done. For new chapters, it is invaluable information. It shows them what we are doing, what they can do too. We have already prepared a chapter kick starter, Year One, but more information is always better.
I also believe this speeds up the planning of activities. For example, if I plan a FOSS Gaming Night for FC@UPRM, I need to prepare a flier to post in the bulletin boards around campus. But, if a chapter decides to host a gaming night as well, or something very similar, they shouldn’t need to make a whole new flier. They should be able to use the same flier/art a chapter already used. It’s only a matter of changing some text and, perhaps, a little bit of remixing. It’s the model we support and sponsor, a bottom-up way of making things. Like Newton once said “If I have seen a little further it is by standing on the shoulders of Giants.”
This is not a new idea. I know there are a couple fliers somewhere in the wiki, but I have no idea where they are, and that’s a problem. There should be a centralized place for all this, and something that is chapter friendly. The wiki can be a good place, but it’s currently more like a labyrinth. Perhaps a couple people from various chapters can join the webteam and do something together. I recently joined the webteam and I’m ready to work on this. Who’s with me?
- The creation of a new mailing list for chapters. Think of it like chapter news. We tell each other what we are doing. It might be short and sweet. Something like “We are talking about ACTA next Thursday.” Or better yet, attached to the message is some art for the activity.
- UPDATE: Well, this mailing list exists. I had no idea about it. I don’t know if I’m the only one that didn’t know about it, but, let use that. It already exists here.
- A centralized place for fliers. Something that’s organized and usable.
- Meeting in IRC. I miss the days when chapters would have meetings in IRC. These were planned meetings, not just “Hey Sparragus, what’s up? How’s FC@UPRM doing?” It would also be awesome if the board attended the meetings, too.
- Blogging more! We should be blogging more. In the SFC website, under chapter news, I always see a couple posts every other month. This is great. However, I would love to see more, and specially from more chapters. Blog once for every activity you have. And this is not necessarily blogging for SFC, but blogging for our members, our university, and for the world. We need to make sure the name of Students for Free Culture stands up high, and so does our chapters. Blogging is the easiest and quickest solution for this. Once again, it’s a great way to know what others are doing.
Let’s start conversing with each other! I would love to hear your thoughts on this. What should we do and how should we do it?
See ya all around!