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Re: On what we want to support: travel?

From: Josh Berkus <josh(at)agliodbs(dot)com>
To: pgsql-advocacy(at)postgresql(dot)org
Subject: Re: On what we want to support: travel?
Date: 2006-10-30 22:38:48
Message-ID: 200610301438.48875.josh@agliodbs.com (view raw or flat)
Thread:
Lists: pgsql-advocacypgsql-www
Andrew, Greg,

> I have: we just had someone objecting to the very idea of either
> speaker subsidies or trade show booths.  And that was one of the only
> people who are not part of the funds group to speak.

Um, who other than Greg?  Who is a member of the FG.  I don't count Michael 
Dean because his posts are off-topic most of the time, and he's not 
exactly a contributor.  Anyway, discussion with Greg continues below.

The fact that it's members of the FG who have issued opinions on how to 
spend money is unsurprising.  People were selected for the FG in the first 
place because they were interested in fundraising.  All that we've proven 
here is that we actually made a pretty good selection: we seem to have 
everyone who cares.

> Well, number 2 could certainly be broken apart a little bit.

Sure, but I was hoping to avoid getting into vague arguments of 
hypotheticals, which have a tendency never to conclude on this list.  I 
think that concrete funding requests are a lot easier to resolve than 
general rules.

> Specifically, I'd list the priorities therein as:
>
> 1) Membership in important organizations
> 2) Promotional literature
> 3) Paid development work
> 4) Speaker travel

See, I was trying to avoid this because I don't think that we can make 
hard-and-fast rules about priorities by category.  For example, a full 
membership in TPC is $20,000 and we'd be unlikely to be listened to even 
as full members.  Would you rate that over paying for 15 different trips 
by PostgreSQL keynote speakers to South America, Asia and the Middle East, 
each speaking to between 200 and 3000 people?  I wouldn't.

I really think that actual decisions about spending money have to be based 
on "bang for the buck."  Now, if you were to day "bang for the buck being 
equal, we should prioritize things this way ..." I might agree with you 
(probably not, though ... I have a low opinion of memberships).

How would you prioritize in development tools, like test machines and 
benchmarks?  #5, or somewhere in the middle?  Personally, *all other 
things being equal*, I'd tend to address concerns in this order:

1) Promotional literature etc.
2) Developer Tools
3) Speaker travel
4) Paid development work
5) Membership in other orgs

... however, as previously said, that would be considerably slanted by the 
invidual opportunity being discussed. 

> Number three is important but probably unlikely outside of a
> bounty/summer of code thing, due to the heavy costs and legalities
> involved in employing someone full time. 

Well, that was actually *exactly* what I've been thinking of.   We had 
probably 15 really good Summer of Code proposals and Google only paid for 
7 of them.  What if the PostgreSQL fund picked up the other eight next 
year?

> Number four is usually handled 
> by people's employers, and should be a fairly rare event.

It's not rare.  Please read over prior posts on this thread.  We are 
*frequently* asked to speak at conferences which, due to excange rates or 
being new conferences, are unable to pay full airfare and hotel for 
PostgreSQL people.   As previously mentioned, only three or four people in 
our whole worldwide community have employers who pay for PostgreSQL 
appearances regularly.

> Numbers one 
> and two are most important as they spread Postgres' credibility with
> managmement and help people to
> explain/advocate/discover Postgres.

Yes, but we need to go to conferences to get them that literature in the 
first place, and for that matter membership in standards bodies doesn't do 
us a lot of good if we don't send someone to the meetings ... which *we* 
will have to pay for.

> I'd also put infrastructure lower than all of those, only because lack
> of funds seems not to be the issue there, judging by the number of
> companies and individuals who have offered to help out.

But if funds *were* needed, wouldn't it be the top priority?

-- 


-- 
--Josh

Josh Berkus
PostgreSQL @ Sun
San Francisco

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