Some nice tips for FSFE local meetings organisers

FSFE is a very distributed organisation: most of its active members and contributors live all across European cities. Even if you look at the staff, they’re not that concentrated geographically: while the headquarters are in Berlin, the president of the organisation lives on the other side of Germany (way closer to Brussels and the Dutch border and actually not so far from Paris; Come on Karsten, visit us more often! ☻), our legal coordinator lives in Slovenia, etc.

Back to the point, organisation-wide, FSFE relies on a networks of lots and lots of people, who sometimes group themselves and meet regularly in a European city (Düsseldorf, Ljubljana, Munich, Vienna, Berlin, sometimes Paris, soon Brussels, etc.)

Organising such local group meetings can be hard, especially when the group is not well established yet. (Just to compare, the Berlin fellowship group has been active since 2005 and I suspect the Vienna group shortly after).

Fortunately, there are many ways in which others can help organise a local meeting to participate in FSFE’s campaigns, start new activities for Free Software, organise talks etc.

Lucile and Guido have started gathering some advice and pointers on a Wiki page: MeetingHowTo.

You will find there useful reminders, but also nice pointers:

  • Did you know FSFE had a limesurvey instance at your disposal? vote.fsfe.org
  • If you need to introduce some basic tools we use within FSFE, Erik made some slides about that (ODP format).
  • You can add your events to the FellowshipEvents calendar.
  • In case you have doubts, never hesitate to ask somebody!
    • email: fellowship at fsfeurope.org
    • irc: #fsfe on irc.freenode.net
    • jabber: fellowship@conference.jabber.fsfe.org

My opinion on the General Assembly

FSFE’s General Assembly was held at the beginning of the month, in Ljubljana, Slovenia. This was my first important meeting since the election. Many topics were discussed there. It’s very motivating to work with people who are so dedicated to Free Software. Although we didn’t always agree with each other on everything, the days of the GA were very productive about what we can do for Free Software in the future, as an organisation with so much diversity.

It’s clear that members of the GA have an incredible experience of Free Software, and looking backwards 11 years ago, FSFE has done a lot. With new challenges ahead (funding of Free Software; software as a service and “cloud” computing), and also with a whole lot more people in the Fellowship, it seems that our work here isn’t over.

There is also much room for improvement in the organisation itself:

  • How we communicate to the public, and with other Free Software organisations in Europe and elsewhere.
  • How we promote cooperation within FSFE and in the wider community.
  • How we can make the organisation grow, to reach upper goals.

But together we’ll get there I am sure. FSFE is a very lively organisation, and it was a real pleasure to meet new people at the GA and to see again old fellows :-)

I really encourage all fellows who feel at home in this community and want to promote Free Software further to dive in and try the experience!

PS: /me working on the fellowship roadmap for 2011/2012. Stay tuned!

New Fellowship rep.

So it’s news, the fellows of FSFE have elected me as their representative for the General Assembly! Thanks to Kostas, to whom I wish all the best for the progress of Free Software in Greece (and elsewhere)! I really look forward to these two years, and I will keep you updated about our program.

Thanks to all fellows!

Fellows: getting started with Blogging!

You just joined the Fellowship and you are thinking about publishing some thoughts you’d like to share about Free Software. Then, I hope this little guide will ease your blogging and help you enjoy at most your experience inside the FSFE Fellowship.

Create your own blog

Once you have successfully completed your Fellow subscription, just go to http://blogs.fsfe.org/YOURNICKNAME/wp-admin and enter your password (the same as in the other Fellowship services like Jabber). You have now accessed the WordPress administration, from which you will be able to write new articles, organize your content, customize your blog, etc. If you are not familiar with the blog application, there are several documentations on the Web.

If you already have a blog and that you don’t want to use blogs.fsfe.org ; keep reading to know how to integrate your blog into the Fellowship planet.

Tags, Categories and Language

Organizing the content of your blog is important if you want people to find easily what they’re interested in. Tags also give your audience a clear idea of what you’re talking about precisely. However, you might be confused between tags and categories. Well, you’re not the only one in that case.

Moreover, we aren’t all English speakers, and most of us want to blog both in English and in our mother tongue.

So we came up with a quite simple solution. Tags are used to carry content, subjects, whereas Categories are used for languages (and if you want you can also use categories for classification).

This blog post is categorized as English, and tagged as Fellowship, FSFE, Howto.

Get your blog in the Planet

The Fellowship Planet is an aggregation tool that publish blog posts from our fellows. There is a planet for different languages: English, German, French, Spanish, etc.

If you want to get into this planet, please send an email to fellowship-hackers at fsfeurope dot org with the following information,

  • RSS feed for the language; so, if you’ve created an English category you should have an RSS feed for that category, e.g. see Matthias’ English category, http://blogs.fsfe.org/mk/?feed=rss2&cat=708. Note that you can play with the options to have a little more explicit RSS URL.
  • The name under which you would like your blog to be published.
  • Your Hackergotchi, in 80×80 px and PNG format

Pimp your blog

We have several plugins like Sociable, Identi.ca Tools, or Spam Karma (though some don’t advise to use this tool). To be continued. Tell us, how did you pimp your blog? What do you advise?