[OpenStack Foundation] Individual Member Election Statistics (January 2013)

Matt Joyce matt at nycresistor.com
Mon Feb 11 20:02:57 UTC 2013

I've been largely silent on this issue, despite my earlier loudness in
the last election.  I think, that the issue we have today, is that
there are a great many members of the foundation who may or may not be
inadvertent astroturfing.  ( I prefer to believe no one would
intentionally astroturf us. )

In short, we may have members who are not really invested or even
interested in the success of OpenStack who are voting in large
numbers.  This poses a problem.  Our signal to noise ratio on the
voice of the community could be too heavy on noise, and the signal may
be impacted negatively.

The concern is equal parts unquantifiable and unprovable.  But, the
numbers we see during voting, are alarming enough that we voice
concerns in spite of the lack of clarity on the issue.

I think ultimately, we want to remain open to membership, but at the
same time we need a barrier of entry that will reduce the possibility
of astroturfing in our community to acceptable levels.  More signal,
less noise.

We've discussed this before and there were many possibilities laid
out.  I think the discussion we should be having lies along those
lines.  How do we cut back on the noise so that the signal can be
heard better?

-Matt Joyce

Astroturfing def:  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Astroturfing

>> Under analysis here is how the membership votes, and the successfulness
>> of measures to encourage the membership to vote not based on their
>> affiliations. The bylaws' -- possibly only because of delaware legalize
>> -- diversity rules have some language around "in the most recent twelve
>> month period", though it is specific to /$60,000+ /contractors.
>> Although, my preference would be for affiliation to be strictly based on
>> current relationship, contractor or employee, I'd still find as a
>> confident, data-interested community candidates recent employment by a
>> large-membership affiliate is essential data to understand the success
>> of the measures already taken and more generally to all the processes
>> and mechanisms used.
> Totally agree - although I still think we're focusing a bit too much on
> corporate affiliation and not enough on the voting mechanism and the
> make up of the foundation membership itself.
>> Making the OpenStack Foundation approachable and accessible for
>> membership, industrial partnership, and industrial and media analysis
>> requires more balance and diversity.
> Yup. Agree.
> I'm guessing that if we get voting mechanism fixed, we'll see several
> improvements.

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