Great news:We saw several new members Join the Game in July.  With Akademy and with the recent release of 4.9, I expected to see some additions, but it’s always good to have the supporting evidence.

Welcome to the new members!  I look forward to better understanding the motivation for these recent additions, but won’t be reaching out directly.  So don’t worry, I will not be knocking on your respective doors with a clipboard any time soon.

Instead, there will be a survey in short order to learn more about new members (what are important factors in joining), existing members (what they like, don’t like; what are factors in renewing), potential members (what’s keeping them from joining) and even members that don’t renew (what went wrong).

No need to wait though: if you’ve got ideas to stimulate membership growth or concerns that keep you from joining, reply here or better yet reach out to us on the [kde-ev-campaign] mailing list.

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I spend my days thinking about such thrilling topics such as RFPs, RFCs, weighted requirement coefficients, prioritizations, reprioritizations and deprioritizations.  (Control your jealousy)

Like any person at any stage in FLOSS contributions, I spend my nights wondering what skills are applicable, beneficial or downright irrelevant (puppet shows anyone?) to the community.  It’s also a worthwhile pursuit to wonder what personal weaknesses can be addressed through practice and effort in a community.

For me, I’ve decided to keep it simple: I want to help Join the Game.  However, all of my mental gymnastics over reviewing, planning, organization, research, communication…has led me nowhere.  As if tactics, strategy and moving chess pieces were the end goals themselves.  And so I ask myself: “Am I trying to actually help KDE, or am I going through just enough motions to make myself feel better like clicking Like on a Kony 2012 video and then sleeping peacefully?”  “Do I want to assemble metrics to educate myself or to talk myself out of a daunting task?”

So I find myself in the prone position of the couch potato that needs to blurt out “I’m going to run a marathon this year!” to force the issue.  With blissful ignorance I’m declaring a personal BHAG: I am going to get 1,000 JTG members for KDE before 12/31/2013.  Let’s hope long before.  But I need a deadline.

I’m now going to look up the current number of members to see whether my declaration is even sensible (“Wade we only have 3 people” or “Good job genius, we already have 14,000” is going to make this post awkward.)  260 made public.  Ok, we can work with that.

To those that wonder if I represent any current JTG community:  I don’t.  I’m just a lazy dude declaring, “I’m going to learn Hindi in 30 days!” to counterattack their symptomatic mental lethargy.

To anyone currently involved in JTG that is wondering what to make of this mavericky and naive rookie running out with his helmet on sideways: We’ll figure it out.

Personal BHAG: 1,000 people.  Before 12/31/2013.

Two years ago, I was pleasantly surprised when two representatives from the Pardus distribution arrived at Camp KDE 2009 in Jamaica.  Great guys and here’s how I remember them: One never got his luggage the entire trip and the other jumped off a cliff.

At that time, I declared that I would always refer to them as the Pardus Dudes, proof here.  So imagine my surprise when I turned around this morning during a break in the talks and two Pardus Dudes magically just arrived and were sitting behind me.  If the Europeans looked tired upon arrival, you can imagine walking off a Turkey->Cali flight and straight into a conference.  “Pardus Dude who never got his luggage” was here, but “Pardus Dude that jumped off a cliff” has been replaced by someone who does not yet have a nickname.  We’ll call him “Pardus Dude who does not yet have a nickname.”  Pardus Paradox?

They have a stack of install discs right now on the table, which is perfect timing for me, as I finally built a home desktop right before leaving for Camp KDE and my plan was literally to put images of openSUSE, PC-BSD and Pardus on it.  All three groups are here.  Coincidence?  Pardus 2011 will definitely be on my machine within the next week.

I continue to have the suspicion that Pardus falls into the category of a project that may not be visible to many, but has a lot of activity, momentum and backing.  I will try to get a video interview with both Dudes.

Tonight, nearly all of the attendees (those who didn’t attend know who they are) went over to Noisebridge for the evening.  What’s Noisebridge?  I’ll let the website speak for itself, but it’s a pretty comprehensive hacking lifestyle.  Sewing, carpentry, electronics, food, books….it’s all fair game.

Noisebridge is about creativity, learning and re-use.  As Frank and I discussed on the way over, there’s a different sense of satisfaction that you get from building a bookshelf than from getting a program to compile; this seems to satisfy a very basic and fundamental need.

Photos?  You bet.  The first is one of Rex and a flag that many may not recognize.  But Frank promised me some would – are you one of them?

Next up we have a panorama shot of the some NBers at work on various projects.  Click on the image for a larger version:

Finally, an example of the lightning talks given by some of the Camp KDE attendees.  Here we have Leo discussing a new project Tomahawk.  He goes over the incredibly typical use case of a new music search for a combination of Led Zepplin and Michael Jackson while Jeff looks on in disbelief.  It’s safe to say we’ve all asked that at some time in our lives:

Thanks to Noisebridge for hosting us and allowing us to bring beer.  After a slow start, the two groups started mingling and talking; in particular Leo and I spoke to a guy that was surprisingly knowledgeable on KDE, gnome, Meego, licensing, project plans, etc.  Really impressive.

Now to bed and back at it tomorrow morning.

Starting a conference within 12 minutes of the projected start time might be a record, if only we had a certified official here.  This morning the attendees were punctual.  Even more importantly, Celeste got a Real Time Coffee Infusion ™ with minutes to spare and was ready to kick off the show.

Speaking of, we had a sub-community meeting of all North American contributors named Celeste.  Here’s the group photo:

She was looking for the other members in vain.

I won’t go into details on the presentations here, as Justin has diligently been recording them, uploading them, and taking notes for a Dot article on the first day.   Keep an eye out for article recaps and a proper group photo of everyone, regardless of whether they’re named Celeste (quite inclusive).  Teaser: One speaker readily confessed that they were on a combination of “narcotics, painkillers and laxatives” at the time of the speech.  I suspect at least 2 out of 3 were correct.  And I’m not joking.

Tonight, we head to Noisebridge, which based on Google maps Street View, does not look like it’s near a noisy bridge.  That leaves being a metaphorical bridge to noise or false advertising.  TBD.  And for tomorrow, I’ll be doing some brief video interviews and uploading them to the KDEPromo Youtube account – links to follow.  So attendees, if you’re reading this, no hiding.  Be brave and give an interview.  Knut has been asking for a professional make-up and touch-up crew; I guess internet and TV fame will do that to you.

Camp KDE 2011: Day n-1

April 4, 2011

Jetlag wore off for most.  More importantly, Camp KDE organizers were insightful enough to schedule fantastic weather; I ended up walking at least 10-15 miles throughout the day (read as: Wade got some sunburn) and soaking in as much of the city as possible.

You want proof?  Such skeptics.  Here’s some photos throughout the day, and it’s up to you faithful readers to trust that I just didn’t pull them from a Google image search.

While other Camp KDE’ers were still safely nestled in their beds,  this intrepid reporter was already snapping clichéd photos for consumption.  First up is an early morning shot of the Transmerica tower from the southside of the embarcadero.  The total population of this pier at this time consisted of: 1) Tourists like Wade Olson and 2) Some homeless people.  I did not poll them on their interests in free software.

Later in the day we have our fearless KDE manager (and that much more) Claudia with the golden gate bridge behind her.  What you don’t see is that behind me, there was a naked swimmer.  Not someone skippy-dipping.  Just swimming and being naked.  Yes, I have 1080p of this – for educational purposes only.  No, I am not hosting it here.  Jeff Mitchell prudently recommended a Members Only ™ section of the KDE site as a revenue model.

Up next we have a great representation of pasty NoCal residents getting some sun by the bay at Fort Mason.  Our feet got some short, but well deserved rest at this point.  All of these sun bathers, although they didn’t technically say this, were clearly trying to represent the way that we all bask in the glowing warmth of KDE and free software.  It’s basically performance art.  A flash mob for our benefit most likely; I can’t think of any other reasonable explanation for all of these people drinking in a park on a sunny day.

And finally to wrap up the day, back in Japantown.  Doesn’t really roll of the tongue like Chinatown (also visited), but here we have a small open square next to the Hotel Kabuki.  Jeff Mitchell and I finished up the night by going to Benihana to watch some culinary acrobatics, joking with the other patrons at the table and gossiping like school girls.

 

 

Camp KDE 2011: Day n-2

April 3, 2011

Arrived in SFO this evening, despite Delta’s best efforts.  A surly cab driver was then able to get me to a specific restaurant to meet up with Justin, Celeste, Frank and Claudia.  Everyone looked pretty weary from travel, but I did manage to get in a very good conversation with Frank and Justin over some beers afterward.  Turns out, just as I suspected, I don’t need to be informed on issues whatsoever to have strong opinions on them.  Go figure.

Jeff Mitchell just texted me that he’s arrived this moment – he just missed out lively discussion in which we did not fully solve all of KDE’s issues and Middle East peace, but Justin is confident that we can get answers to both with a  couple lightning talks and some more beer.  Stay tuned.

Time to get some sleep.  Tomorrow I promise pictures and updates on the day’s activities, including the room preparation.  Good night everyone!