At Large Election 2012 - The Drupal Association

The Drupal Association Elections - I'm Running

Submitted by matthew on Mon, 2012-09-10 22:59

Vote in the Drupal Association ElectionsThis is the first in a series of posts I'm going to write leading up to the Drupal Association elections. I've put my hat into the ring because I feel like I can make a substantiative contribution to all of you through helping with good governance of the Drupal Association. I want to encourage others to do the same!

A friend in the community asked, "Why on earth would you want to do this? It'll eat your time and what will you get back for doing it???" This is pretty simple to answer.

I believe in contributing value back to supportive communities. I am grateful to the men and women who have made Drupal successful. When one views the world through a filter of gratitude, it has the effect of increasing a person's desire to contribute and help nurture those who are also participatory. You genuinely care about the people who are also involved in that community and they genuinely care about you. For me, this belief has borne itself within the Drupal community so many times that it is hard to express how thankful I am for you all.

While I started experimenting with Drupal in 2006 it really became the way I've earn my living in 2007. When I started participating in the community, first by attending meetups but later by making presentations, evangelizing, contributing a bit to documentation, engaging in governance discussions for the community, and helping organize events, what I gave came back double. This deepened my commitment to the community as a whole. When I've had challenges, suggestions and help are only as far away as an IRC client.

The Drupal Association Elections - Why I Can Do The Job

Submitted by matthew on Thu, 2012-09-13 01:08

Vote in the Drupal Association ElectionsI've described myself as a cuckoo. I'm that fellow who defies the standard path for making a career in technology. My background is in Theatre and Visual Arts. This is the VERY reason you should consider me an amazing candidate for the Drupal Association Board. I have a strong background in non-profits and non-profit leadership.

So here is how it happened. When I completed my degree at Bishops University in Quebec, I had a pretty marketable skill. I could read lighting plans for the theatre and I could hang and focus lighting instruments. I knew the difference between a fresnel and parcan. I knew how to run a followspot and how it differed from an ellipsoidal. I knew that a gel wasn't something that you put in your hair and a gobo wasn't really a character from Fraggle Rock. So I supplemented my income as a bookstore guy with lighting work. I did pretty well at it, but quickly realised that the hours were hectic and the work was exhausting. I enrolled at the University of Ottawa and completed a certification in Arts Administration and I focused on Nonprofit Organizational Management.

One of the main requirements at the end of the program was to work in an Arts Organization for several months. I found work at an experimental dance company in Ottawa, Canada called Le Groupe de La Place Royale and quickly dug into helping produce marketing materials for the annual fund raiser called "The Edge". The year I worked "The Edge", the team had set up a wonderful experiment between dance companies across cities to allow real time collaboration over high speed video link.

My life changed in that moment.

The Drupal Association Elections - My World View

Submitted by matthew on Mon, 2012-09-17 23:34

Multiculturalism and Diversity

My last two blog posts were about why I want to serve on the Board and how my experiences make me a good choice for the position. This one is about my belief in diversity and a commitment to multiculturalism and recruiting youth. A couple of weeks ago I was writing on the Marketing of Drupal about the current cultural fabric of the Association.

We must put a focus on helping internationalise the project (do-ocracy or not) in order to fuel sustainable growth across the globe. And we must understand and embrace the cultural differences of how different peoples approach contributions and participation in the project. This will allow us to nurture future leaders that would never have come to the surface in the current environment greatly enhancing and enriching who we are as a community. We must not simply say that we're a do-ocracy so those that do things will lead - if we don't make a conscious decision to move beyond this mind set, the squeakiest wheels will continue to be oiled and we will live in an unintended never intended circle of hegemony.

Drupal Association Elections - So How Do I Vote?

Submitted by matthew on Wed, 2012-09-19 07:18

get out the vote

How and for Whom can I Vote?

With elections opening up at 00:00 24 September UTC, there are bound to be questions about how one can vote. I'm sure that people are wondering who they can vote for as well. I've put together a little cheat sheet below on how to register to vote and then a list of candidates you may vote for. I do hope that you'll spread the word (and that you will vote for me).

Do I Qualify to Vote?

1) Anyone with an account on (D.O), who has been active in the past 12 months, and created that account before 31 August is eligible to vote.
2) Use your D.O login details to login to to be added to the electoral roll
3) When the polls open you will be able to vote at
4) Polls are open for two weeks.

Spread the Word!

Encourage members of the community to vote. Write a blog post about the election. Tweet it and hash tag is #VoteDrupal. Get on Google+ and shout it out. Use Facebook and Linkedin!

Meet the Candidates Session 1 - My Answers

Submitted by matthew on Thu, 2012-09-20 18:03

This is cross posted from Donna Benjamin's request for the candidates to post responses from the questions fielded during the phone call.

I bring 17 years from the technology world, 13 years in Opensource, 6 years of highly active participation in the Drupal community, 8 years of nonprofit management in a US based Technology focused nonprofit, two VP board positions in nonprofits including policy development, and two university qualifications - one a Masters - focused on organizational management for nonprofits.

I'm passionate about Drupal and adore the Drupal Community.

You can read more about my candidacy as I continue to write about it here: At Large Election 2012 - The Drupal Association.

1) stevepurkiss: If you could wave a magic wand and change one thing about the Drupal Association, what would it be and why?

I think it is critical to not cycle onto the Drupal Association board with a strong personal agenda. The point should be about serving the Drupal community as a whole and not seek to disrupt the DA because of an axe to grind. It is a natural progression, when working with experience board members, to direct the overall mission of a nonprofit in a 10,000 foot view. So, my first job would be to observe and absorb. I do think that the Drupal Association needs to continue to focus on outreach with a goal of strengthening membership in underserved populations. This includes untapped markets with potential and culturally diverse populations who can add their uniqueness to our own. The magic wand is hard work continuing to push forward the DA's mission and expand.

2) Senpai: QUESTION: How much money should the DA spend each year on furthering Drupal? Followup Q: How much of that money should come from the users of Drupal vs sponsorships or advertising?

This question is a bit like asking "How long is a piece of string". The amount that the DA should spend ought to be budget driven, so we really should be looking at percentages rather than how much. Some of the other candidates expressed that "The DA should spend it all!". This is naive at best and reckless at worst. All non-profits should have 3-4 months worth of operating budget at hand to weather bad times or needed expenditures such as new servers. This is just simple math. The exception to this rule is if the nonprofit has a desire to build an endowment for scholarships, grants programs, etc. In this case, the goal is to build up enough of a reserve, for this fund, to pay out scholarships/grants/program cash largely through interest. Outside of remaining fiscally viable and being a responsible 501(c)3, every last available dollar should go towards supporting the Drupal community.

Questions From Meet the Candidates Session 2 - Drupal Association Elections

Submitted by matthew on Sun, 2012-09-23 19:16

I didn't participate in the second session, but I did want to give a few short answers on the questions asked. If you want to read my answers from session one, they are available here. I'll do the same for sessions three and four in the next couple of days..

1) nnewton: Should the Infra team be represented on the (governance) board or the advisory board. Or both?
(but anyone can answer if they have a view)
The board can include anybody who is active in the community and has a desire to serve. It isn't a matter of should or should not, it is a matter of interest in furthering the mission of the Drupal Association and wishes to engage in good governance. I do think having a presence either on the board and/or the advisory board is attractive.

2) highermath: What should be the number one goal of the Board?
Growing the community and attracting new young members.

3) highermath: What should be the relationship between the Board, the ED and the staff.
See Question 7

4) KatteKrab: In 2012 the DA was trying to achieve 6 goals as outlined here Which one in particular would you champion?
Drupal in Schools. This serves two directions I think that the DA ought to be working towards. First, growing the community. Second, attracting new young members of the community.

5) jthorson: What specific initiatives would you suggest as a DA board member, to help drive growth of the Drupal community in new regions and communities which may not currently be represented?
See Question 3

Questions from Meet the Candidates Session 3 - DA Elections

Submitted by matthew on Mon, 2012-09-24 23:26

The following are the new questions that emerged from Session 3 of the DA Elections "Meet the Candidates". I didn't attend that session but thought a few short answers would be good to share. If you want to go back, you can read my original answers.

Share this post across your social networks and VOTE. I need your help to be elected to the board and I very much want to serve. Thanks for your support!

1) simesy_: I'm interested in what the other candidates think about Narayan as a candidate who will fill the gap of having infrastructure representation on the board.

I know Narayan quite well from the days. He brings a thoughtfulness and intelligence to every project, conversation, and challenge he faces. I said in Session 2's questions:

The board can include anybody who is active in the community and has a desire to serve. It isn't a matter of should or should not, it is a matter of interest in furthering the mission of the Drupal Association and wishes to engage in good governance. I do think having a presence either on the board and/or the advisory board is attractive.

Narayan would fill the current gap nicely and would be easy to work with.

Questions from Meet the Candidates Session 4 - DA Elections

Submitted by matthew on Wed, 2012-10-03 00:17

This is the last of the questions asked in the Question and Answer sessions for the Drupal Association elections. There were only two new questions that were asked during that time. Here are my thoughts.

1) valthebald: What threats to the Drupal community do you see, which are not handled by DA? How CAN they be handled?

The biggest threat to Drupal and the Drupal community not handled by the the Association is competition. This competition manifests itself in both other opensource projects and from the closed communities. At the end of the day, most looking for a platform or a CMS seek something that:

  1. is cost effective
  2. reflects the client's brand and aesthetic
  3. scales to the traffic they need it to scale to
  4. is easy to use

In general, we can eke out reasonable results on 1-3. There is still work to be done - but the fact is folks looking for the CMS do not...

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