Changes for me in 2009

(UPDATE: if you’re looking for me, try my homepage: http://ciaran.compsoc.com )

I look back on 2008 as a year of personal achievement. I worked hard at learning French and Dutch, and having passed various exams, I’m now studying for a law degree through French. The course involves a lot of work, and with exams in January, I had to make a very hard choice: after three and a half years with FSFE, I decided to not seek renewal of my contract for 2009.

My primary interest is still free software; legislation and policy in particular. In the long term, I think a formal degree in law will be very useful for this. This needs my attention in the short term, so I’m prioritising it now.

I’m proud of what I’ve done with FSFE, from fighting EU software patent legislation, through driving community participation in GPLv3, to helping to build the Fellowship community. I also feel I’ve had positive influences on general aspects of the organisation such as communication and legislative policy setting.

In turn, I’ve gotten to work with some very talented, very dedicated people. The staff and board of FSFE are people who really care about free software, and I continue to recommend that people donate to FSFE and join the Fellowship.

I see a sturdy future for FSFE and I’m happy that building the Fellowship community is a top priority. The two Fellowship seats on FSFE’s General Assembly is one sign of this, and the upcoming software overhaul of the Fellowship website (including a wiki) is another.

Community building is essential because knowledge, experience, and contacts must remain connected after any particular campaign ends. We can’t start from zero each time, and everyone needs a group that they can ask help of from time to time. By relying on the free software community for funding, the Fellowship is also an important way for FSFE to be as financially independent as possible.

But this isn’t a goodbye. I’m still active, just in a different and somewhat reduced capacity for a while.

– 
Ciarán O’Riordan,
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