Minutes of Management Committee Discussions May 2006

Conducted by e-mail.

1. Participants

Eric Lindsay, President
Jean Hollis Weber, Secretary/Treasurer
Adam Moore, Committee Member
Lin M Hall, Committee Member

2. Updates on activities

OOoAuthors books:
Four volumes of the OOoAuthors user guides have now been published: Getting Started, Writer Guide, Draw Guide, and Migration Guide. All except the Writer Guide are up to date for OOo2.0.2, have indexes, and have ISBNs. The Writer Guide is being updated .

3. Discussion topics

a. OOoAuthors books

Jean: It has become obvious to me that frequent updates of the OOoAuthors books will be needed, both to correct errors and to keep up with the frequent updates to the program. (The alternative is to have out of date books, as happens with the "big" publishers.) With on-demand printing, the only limiting factor is my time.

The books with ISBNs have the Basic Distribution Service ($34.95 each). This means that they are listed in Books in Print and can be ordered by bookstores. They will also be listed in the Amazon Marketplace for one year at no extra charge.

I think we should decide NOT to buy the Global Distribution Service for these books (even though that would enable us to get listed on Amazon.com etc), because:

i) Uploading a changed PDF costs USD79.95 (if the changes are minor and the book does not require a new ISBN).

ii) Significant changes (such as a major rewrite to a chapter) require the revised book to have a new ISBN, at a cost of USD149.00 for the Global service or $34.95 for the Basic service.

iii) The requirements for PDFs for the books under the Global service are much stricter than for the Basic service and will be more work for whoever produces the PDFs.

Lin: I agree.

Adam: I definitely agree. I think with all books we should do it that way. The ideals of opensource "Release early and release often" dictate that we should stay as flexible as possible.

Eric: I agree.

b. FoOD website

Jean: Eric and I have been talking about the FoOD website and how we might expand it and make it more of a resource (also improve its search-engine ranking).

I’d like to brainstorm a bit about what we could or should have on the FoOD site, keeping in mind a probable lack of resources to do much with it.

Lin: I don’t have the skills to help here. You three are more cognisant of the needs and I’ll go with your suggestions.

Adam: All this depends on what we want to offer. I think we are in a strong position to offer people who make OpenDocument related software a way to sell their OpenDocument related books.

Jean: Yes, I think that could be a primary function, and it’s one I enjoy and know how to do. If I ever find a bit of time, I might start "selling" the idea to other groups, perhaps starting with KOffice.

Adam: I like this idea. I imagine translations to other languages would be something that would definitely sell. I’m wondering how difficult it is for people who speak languages other than english to get documentation. I wonder if we could get a grant that covers making books available in different languages.

c. FoOD membership

Jean: Should we have a membership drive? Would having more members be good, bad, or neutral? Potentially more members would give us more resources to do things, but I suspect that as with most groups, few people will be available to actually do anything.

Lin: I suspect that you’re right about more members leaving it to few of you. I’m neutral.

Adam: What would we do more that the OpenDocument Fellowship doesn’t already do?

Jean: We could recruit people to work on book publishing with me… especially people who can read and edit languages other than English. I think targeted recruiting would be good; that is, identifying specific people who have the skills and interest, and might have the time, to actually do some work (for example, book editing and publishing), and then approaching them directly… but not a general membership drive.

A related idea is to approach some businesses or organisations that might be able and willing to contribute some money, esp. for specific projects, and offer them organisational membership in exchange.

Eric: I agree with targeted recruiting.

4. Decisions

No motions were put, so no formal decisions were recorded. Consensus on discussion topics:

a) Not buy Lulu’s Global Distribution Service for any books at this time.

b) Expand publishing activities as time and resources permit.

c) Pursue targeted recruiting, but no general membership drive at this time.

Minutes recorded by
Jean Hollis Weber
Honorary Secretary

Page last updated 1 January 2007.