If you become a Director of GNOME Foundation
When I ran for a seat for the Board of Directors of the GNOME Foundation one year ago, as many other contributors, I did not have a clear idea of what a director was supposed to do. However, I had an idea of the results I wanted to see.
For people still hesitating if run or not, you should consider:
- What are the results you would like to see?
- Be aware of the results that other board members (and the community) would like to see
- Do not block tasks (for my personal taste, responsiveness matters)
- It takes time (read Federico’s Board member mini-howto and Paul’s post A Peek Under the Covers)
As simple as that.
There are good things, such as being a facilitator for getting things done, collect and provide good information for taking better decisions, encourage and follow other people ideas, “extend” the board to reach other communities (diversity is good).
Sometimes, it can be overwhelmed. There are plenty of discussions on the board mailing list. There are only 9 people subscribed and all of them must follow and participate in the discussions, because it is part of their role. For instance, if you are motivated and you start 5 threads with good ideas, the next time you will check your email you might have easily 20 replies to follow up, and so on. And an idea without execution does not worth. However, it is much better to feel overwhelmed that does not receive any reply at all.
On the other hand, the board is different than other parts/teams of the project. Usually, when you are hacking on a project, and other hackers are busy in their own life, you can continue your work and take decisions (meritocracy rules). With respect to the board, if there is not enough votes to take a decision, simply you get stuck on that item. There are workarounds, but basically you must insist.
As everything, it has ups and downs, but -as Vincent said- you can make a difference.