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Sarah Watz

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Oct 31, 2015, 6:43:59 PM10/31/15
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Hi Tessa,


Thank you for your email and your Open Letter to OSM President of Joomla on your blog. And thank you for proposing other possible ways to investigate further if these suggestions could be a way forward in this discussion. I will pass this information on to the Capital Team, who are in discussions with Google.


Let me continue with saying: We are one organization. We are organized in three leadership teams responsible for different parts of the project. Still we are one organization. At this moment in time we are in a transition period and a new organization structure and methodology is soon to be implemented. There is no “them” and “us”. It’s us together as a whole. We have three teams and a lot of tension and miscommunication between the teams at times. Still we are one organization.


We all are volunteers that try to find a way to contribute to something that would be beneficial for Joomla. We have different mindsets, see different ways of trying to solve issues and on top of that we come from diverse cultures and languages which makes it very challenging. We can debate our views and disagree completely at times. But at the end of the day we are all aware that we need to come together in order to move forward, I’m sure. The most important thing is to be respectful and curious about the other Joomler’s point of view, make sure we understand each other's stance and see if there are common grounds or even better ideas growing out of that discussion.


I am not sure what you exactly mean with “OSM is getting paid at the expense of the Joomla users”. No matter how you look at things, each organization, even an not-for-profit organization needs a formal body to handle financial and legal matters, I’m sure you are aware of this fact. In the Joomla Project, Open Source Matters Inc (OSM) operates as that very legal body. Still at the same time we are one organization, we have ONE budget with different budget lines. Budget items that contain expenses as well as budget items that contain revenue from partnership and sponsors. Whilst that revenue is on OSM budget items, it doesn’t mean that revenue is only spend on OSM expenses. The money will be equally allocated to the budget lines of each team’s budget items that has expenses in consultation with those teams. And that is how the budget each year is created.


I’m sure you are well aware that each year the budget is created during a process that involves liaisons from all leadership teams and when ready voted on by the board to become an approved legal document. Here is the current one: http://opensourcematters.org/images/financials/2015/2015_OSM_Budget_Combined_final.pdf


In my email response to PLT I did not say that “PLT needs money for code sprints” and this is the only way to make it happen. I said: “Given the financial challenges we have and the need to find new ways to bring income so we can continue the good effort with code sprints (which I personally think is an awesome way to invest our income), representing Joomla at Joomla and non-Joomla events etc. we need to continue to bring in money to finance these activities.”


Given some recent negative changes in our revenue, a process to re-budget is currently initiated by the Treasurer to make sure we are not overspending for the rest of the year.  Liaisons of each leadership team are involved in this process. There is no need for spreading information that is not based on any facts. Our Treasurer works together with liaisons of each Leadership Team, so all information about it can be shared within the teams. Whether the liaison updates the teams on a regular bases and keeps the team informed, or if team members turn to their liaisons is of course up to how the teams themselves like to stay informed during the process. The board is not and cannot be held responsible for how liaisons bring information to their respective teams, it merely gives all the opportunity to keep teams informed and give feedback by involving liaisons in the process.

One thing we do admit is that regular financial reports has been lacking for some time. We all realize that this could help preventing disinformation and benefit to understand what exactly is going on. Our Treasurer answered a number of questions already in the recent past about the missing reportings, and the challenges the financial team faces to get this in order. We can only ask to try to understand the issues they face and with that, to not spread untrue information or distrust. Awareness of having this information public is big in OSM, however the issue at itself does not justify to suspect mischief, irregularities, unfairness or any suspicious activities.


The Capital Team is the team that is tasked to handle the difficult task to work on the income side of our organization. Besides the huge challenge to bring in revenue from partners and sponsors, maintaining a good relationship with them is of importance too. To their support they have the Legal Team that helps with the legal aspect of the partnership, negotiations, contracts etc. The board of directors get’s a briefing from the Capital Team each monthly board meeting were the board gives advice or approval when needed.


Our project includes many great teams that have goals we all want to see happen. Though a good number of them are achieved by the great help of volunteers who freely contribute time and efforts to the project to achieve these goals, we all are realistic enough to be conscious of the fact that expenses are involved where there is no other option, or where it would be beneficial to reach this goal in a better or faster way. Needless to say that the Capital Team is one of the most important teams we all rely on regarding revenue. Their work and efforts are the source we use to gain these goals.


At the same time the success of the Capital Team depends on the success of the project. A balance, a yin and yang situation we should all take into consideration. The marketing and advertising space has changed radically the last years. Organizations that would like to partner with organizations like Joomla are more demanding than before. They are looking at the partnership from a business standpoint, a partnership where both of us wins - i.e. partnership with shared revenue. The Capital Team needs all of our support to find creative ways of packaging partnerships that are valuable for our partners. As an organization we need to be an attractive partner and treat our partners with respect and show our appreciation. Organizations wants to partner with organizations they feel is good for their brand - not just ROI.


At the same time this does not imply we need to ‘sell our soul’. Mutual to these organizations, we want to partner up with partners we all feel good about. Which at itself forms a new challenge, as we should stay realistic and recognize that it would not be feasible to simply decline partners that work in ‘non-open-ways’. That would decrease the pool of partners to an extend where finding funding would be almost impossible. Collaborations we had with Microsoft in the past would never have happen just to name an example. Exploring ways and options both sides are happy with is the way to move forward. And that is exactly what the Capital Team is tasked with and the Legal Team helps to achieve by drafting agreements and contracts to prevent confusion or conflicts.


A process where nothing is set in stone or decided before anything is signed, instead is presented to the board and where the board discusses how to move forward on it. Compared to other cases where teams draft contracts, it is exactly the same process. We’ve seen a number of examples in the recent past, where the Marketing Team worked on a contract with a service partner, where JED Team worked on a contract with a service partner, just to name a few. The board reviews, asks questions where needed, the Legal Team is involved to make sure all is in compliance with rules and regulations we need to take into account. And only when all parties are satisfied an agreement or contract is signed.


In this specific case there are no differences with the process above. On the monthly meetings of the directors of OSM, the board was debriefed by the Capital Leader about ongoing conversations with Google who was seeking some kind of partnership with our project. No details were at that moment available, just the fact that we have Google at our negotiation table. At it self for OSM, that is great news, who would not want to sit on a negotiation table with a partner like Google and simply decline the chance to improve our relations with them? An opportunity like this is something to explore. That is what happened up to the point where more details about it were presented to the board. Details the board realized the input from PLT is needed in order to move forward. Again nothing different than in other processes we followed. As the team working on this deal with Google included a PLT member as liaison, it’s only natural that OSM was confident that this liaison will be able to inform the PLT the best way, and give their feedback. Feedback where OSM obviously was looking for to base a decision on, otherwise feedback would not be requested.


Knowing what we all know now, unfortunately due to the chosen wording in the mail to inform the PLT about it, PLT members got upset and it all lead up to a situation that no one really intended but that happened anyway. Upon that a response to a question that was sent to me if this was a done deal, and where I responded in a timely fashion that it surely is not but we are seeking for input from PLT, was not received by the PLT but forwarded by one of the PLT members who received it. Unfortunately more than 24 hours later on, and within that time frame already all kind of misinformation and suggestions that are not based on any facts were spreaded and got their way around in a heartbreaking way.


I can only hope that in some way we will all take the opportunity to learn from this situation, that includes myself, and my fellow board members. As you might understand the first place to explore improvement is to look at where we as the board can communicate better and prevent any misunderstanding. On the other hand, I think, it’s not only the board that needs to fall on this sword. Improvement in communication includes all sides, not one side. We all need to investigate and explore how we deal with mistakes or miscommunication without losing trust in each other. Because I am sure it can only be prevented as much as we can, but can never be fully excluded. To me, our new structure can’t arrive soon enough, though I realize it still depends on the people executing it. Patience, respect and trust are keywords in that for us all. At the same time we need to control our passion and emotions and always believe that together we are able to do things in the best way possible, whether that is coding, promoting, seeking revenue or anything else. Our project can only evolve if we keep faith in each other.

With warmth,
Sarah

Sarah Watz
President, Open Source Matters, Inc.
http://opensourcematters.org/

Jessica Dunbar

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Nov 2, 2015, 10:59:46 PM11/2/15
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Sarah,
We are being asked for an official update.  Can you kindly share the status here or on the dev mailing list?
https://groups.google.com/forum/m/#!topic/joomla-dev-cms/gQDRVTR0eGs

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Sarah Watz

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Nov 3, 2015, 1:03:35 PM11/3/15
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The Capital Team and the board have listened to the feedback on the proposal to place a banner for Google Apps in "Install from Web". We are now focusing on looking at other possibilities and suggestions for this partnership. During the past days community members have given a lot of input to the discussion and have come up with actionable alternatives / suggestion for partnership that will be taken into account as well. Thank you for your feedback.

Sarah Watz

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Nov 3, 2015, 2:51:17 PM11/3/15
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1) No contract has been signed. I'm the only one that signs contracts on behalf of Open Source Matters, Inc.
2) No.

For your information: I'm getting ready to travel to JWC in 12 hours.
I will meet with some of the membes of the Capital Team at JWC that are attending to discuss what we have learnt.

//Sarah

On Tuesday, November 3, 2015 at 8:20:06 PM UTC+1, Webdongle Elgnodbew wrote:
@Sarah Watz

Two straight forward questions
  • Was the deal verbal or was a formal contract signed ?
    • If so who signed on behalf of Joomla

  • Are you or any member of the OSM or Capital Team receiving any inducements (either financial or otherwise) for pushing the deal onto the Joomla community ?
    • N.B. This is a Yes/No question not a question that requires a procrastinated answer.

Tessa Mero

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Nov 3, 2015, 2:56:01 PM11/3/15
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FYI thank you Sarah for your replies. Very professional and patient (although the first rely was extremely long). If I have any other concerns or questions I'll let you know too but I'm good for now. :-)
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Ronni Christiansen

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Nov 4, 2015, 2:18:09 PM11/4/15
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Paul: I can not account for someones leaks of partial data nor for their reasoning behind that not is it my role.

I can however tell you that once the formal budget process, which is in progress now, is finished everything from all LT's etc will be shared as allways.

I do realize you think you should have some insights in this now - but when you where the president you didnt offer the same insights into process details like this so i dont know what has changed - in many ways the procedures now is a continuation of earlier procedures however with more decentralization of budget power than ever before.

Webdongle/Leo: your continueing down the same old path as many times before - facts are cleary not on your side - this was not negotiated by 1 person but by people from a TEAM which role it is to do these things. Lets also make it quite clear that PLT was brought onboard by the PLT Liaison - before anything was leaked. Again this is the factual matter and anyone from PLT can confirm this (as so did Chris on the public leadership mailinglist). And just a FYI my flight was on economy class as it always is and is not funded by the project - but by the JWC where i also sponsor for the 4th year in a row - in the last 8 years or so i have sponsored around 150000 USD to joomla events all over the world - setting the rate high by total cost for the project as a whole has been less than 5% of that - so please spare me from your petty accusations.

Its very simple to check those facts - but the question remains if you are interested in the facts.

Changing the facts and truth to fit your person attacks is just to low - its not befitting for any debate at all.

Its perfectly OK to not approve of the overall idea, its perfectly ok to be against it - again those topics are as such outside of the scope of the capital team which role is quite clear.

Once a working group / team is mandated with a job and the volunteers does that job - we fundamentally need to respect that effort and contribution to the project and community - we may disagree and we can offer alternatives and better proposals etc. but at the end of the day you are not really contributing anything if your primary role and goal is to take a dump on people whenever the chance arises - your just part of the underlying problem.

Its not like we send every PLT vote to a public debate after each of their meetings right? Its not like anyone who was ever in leadership and seems to find somethings problematic now ever in any way did anything that added more transparency than there is now.

Michael you have some interesting stats / facts - when we tried to get stats / facts out in the earlier parts of our negotiations we where told there where none to work with.

In general the Capital Team nor OSM for that matter has any insights or access to data from the websites etc. those lies entirely within the PLT and CLT.

So if you are looking for concrete data and numbers i am affraid we dont have them - when we requested numbers on the IFW and the JED the closest we got was some estimations.

I think its super important to figure out why it is that there is such a decrease in income from the JED - i also think its super relevant to debate weater the commercial parties should pay some form of symbolic yearly payment too - after all they do have a commercial interest - but maybe if we increase banner positions that will happen naturally (i personally suggested adding 1 more banner on category level and 1 banner on all extension landing pages on the JED as it has none now and in my estimations that alone can account for quite a lot).

FYI: The same people who has been working on the google proposal has also assembled a team with the JED Leader and Marketing Team Leader to make a new global banner rotation system across all the joomla websites.

Also lets clarify a few things just to keep it factual.

OSM did not initiate anything in relation to the proposal from Google - i see people who still wants to paint that picture its simply not true.

The entire process was handled in the capital team via liaisons to OSM and PLT and was brought up 100% in the correct procedure.

I am very sorry - but not every deciousion in joomla is raised in a public forum - specially not when involving partners. sponsors or individuals - it never has in the last 10 years of history of joomla and it shoulndt.

To handle individual related cases you need to respect the individual - to handle negotiations with sponsors or partners you again need to respect them.

That is the real world implication of doing partnerships and sponsorships - and its been like this all the time.

If a public RFC is made for anything then the foundation of whats happening is known - but none of the bids are, none of the negotiations are and only once the final agreement is in place (and handled by X amount of teams / leadership) the final data is shown in the budgets etc. which are all public and fully transparent including lineitem owners etc.

I really appreciate some of the very concrete good ideas that has been posted in this thread - it makes me positive for finding future solutions to mend the gabs that has arisen.

As you have most likely also realized by now - i am actually going for the ball - we have a problem and we need a solution.

If you care about the community and project you will try and chip in and find solutions - any idea is welcome and i am sure this threas as the attention of all interested parties.

Id love to end this off with a proposal myself:

A cross team action team focusing on the JED / IFW and how to optimize the monitization within the scopes of what is found acceptable (again - i dont have a personal reference for me what matters is enabling others in pursuiing the activities that grow and empower Joomla).

On Wed, Nov 4, 2015 at 7:51 PM, Webdongle Elgnodbew <in...@weblinksonline.co.uk> wrote:
The person and the issue are interlinked in this case. Vis-à-vis
  • The negotiation was conducted between Google and one Person
  • That persons ability to understand (or deliberate ignoring ) the ethos of free software
  • That persons intentions
  • That persons ability to balance expenditure to income without turning Joomla into shareware/adware
  • That persons connections with Google

Are all interlinked



Leo (like myself) can sometimes get 'hot under the collar' but that is because he is passionate about Joomla. imho in this issue he is asking pertinent questions that are not being answered correctly by Ronni Christiansen.  In fact Leo has very clearly pointed out where Ronni Christiansen has made totally erroneous and false statements.  How Ronni Christiansen can claim the PLT were consulted before the email that was leaked ... is incomprehensible.  For him to claim that shows either incompetence of the highest level or a deliberate attempt to deceive at the lowest level.  All Leo has done is bring Ronni Christiansen's unreliable statements into view.


On Wednesday, 4 November 2015 17:49:30 UTC, brian teeman wrote:
Can we try to stick to the issue and not the person

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Ronni Christiansen

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Nov 5, 2015, 4:13:41 AM11/5/15
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Jose:

I think you are really on point when you say there is unclarity as to which procedures etc. Require community involment.

I do not think its realistic to ever expect a big company to want to venture into any sort of negotiation if it has to be publicly debated first. They just dont operate like that.

With the New structures leadership will be mandated by election from the community so in that sense as leadership will be in reality accountable via election hopefully it will improve the sense of ownership in process because i dont think it will ever be realistic to have public debates on specific negotiations with large companies.

If that is not acceptable we need to find a system where membership payment or something similar can fund the future initiatives.

Den 05/11/2015 14.28 skrev "wdburgdorf" <laus...@gmail.com>:
Just a couple of questions to understand things better:
> "negotiating a deal with Google that in reality changes Joomla from free software into shareware/adware"
If there is advertising in one small and rarely used feature that needs to be activated manually, how does that turn the whole of Joomla into adware?
(I don't know how many people actually use IFW. I never use it, so I personally wouldn't care about some ads there. Whatever the community decides is fine with me. There shouldn't be such a shitstorm just because someone dared to think about something, and negotiate, even secretly - as long as no final decision is made before asking and listening to the community.)

> Advertising on JED and joomla.org
I don't see any ads anywhere. I'd happily see a few ads if it helps funding Joomla, my adblocker is turned off on Joomla sites. But no ads for me. Even on browsers where I have not installed an ad blocker. What am I doing wrong?

And opinions:
> Certification
Yes, let me take a test and let me pay for it. I want a badge.

> Sponsorship
It exists and is of course a good idea. But it starts at $1000 - a bit too much for some freelancers. And the sponsorship page is a bit hard to find, too.

> Charge for JED listings
Bad idea. There are some extensions that are popular and expensive and developers make "a lot" of money with them, other extensions are not profitable at all. Both kinds are important. You cannot charge the same amount for each listing, and you cannot take a fair share of revenue - because you cannot know what the revenue is per extension. Ask the big guys to sign up for sponsorships. Don't force anyone to pay.

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Jessica Dunbar

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Nov 5, 2015, 1:18:00 PM11/5/15
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I’m typing this on my lunch break and won’t have time to answer questions until later this evening. My Goal here is to shed some light on the Analytics discussion.  


I assure you the install from web is a very minor issue of what’s going on with traffic on the JED.   I’d estimate less than 10%  -  15% traffic loss is due to the Install From Web. To give you an accurate number  I need access to a few extension developers google analytics.  (any volunteers?)


There are multiple factors in our overall traffic decline including:

  • new website builds

  • 1.5 extension removal

  • algorithm updates

  • the .org subdomains are being built and un kept or not caring about traffic and the greater Joomla.org domain authority.

  • the JRD launch in 2014 lost 11k sessions overnight by not properly doing 301’s.

  • The JED also made this mistake in Dec 2014 with their launch.

  • Speed issues

This is only a fraction of the problems with our website maintenance.


  1. Organic Traffic from the JED has been on the decline since 2012 at an alarming rate

  2. http://barracuda.digital/panguin-tool/ is a tool i use to see if websites have been affected by algorithm updates. Here is a screenshot of extentions.joomla.org from 01/01/12 - today  

  3. https://www.evernote.com/l/ADerP-G2g1BD8a7C4EmNkHfhJv23bYNb3IQ

  4. Attached are traffic reports  throughout the years.  I’ll add a few more. Analytics just crashed on me  https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B_QTydv-xNbqZll1Z0J3enE5ZGlqc1U3QzB6bFdGVi1IN25j/view?usp=sharing



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Jessica Dunbar

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Nov 5, 2015, 1:20:02 PM11/5/15
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On Thu, Nov 5, 2015 at 3:13 AM, Ronni Christiansen <ronni.chr...@opensourcematters.org> wrote:

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Ronni Christiansen

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Nov 19, 2015, 2:52:06 AM11/19/15
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As we have posted earlier once the budget process is done it will be available as it always is as part of the open and transparent budget proces - so it should not be long.

On Thu, Nov 19, 2015 at 4:15 AM, Chad Windnagle <drmm...@gmail.com> wrote:
Hi Sarah & Ronni

I hope you had a great JWC event! Its been a while since anyone has posted in this thread, and I'm glad to see that things have calmed down regarding this topic. There is one question to me that still remains un-answered, and I feel its important enough to at least ask it one more time. 

That is this:

There's mention of funds that were expected to be attained by OSM via the site ground contract, and that expectation wasn't met. Can you shed some light on this situation? What were the actual goals and what actually was achieved? and, what is the reason (if any) that the goals weren't met (if they indeed were not). 

I asked it earlier and Ronni explained that the information wasn't publicly available. The good news is, I checked with Siteground directly, and it sounds like they would like to address my question:


.@porwig @drmmr763 1/3 Hey Paul and Chad! We’d love to comment, but there's an NDA we have to respect.
2/3 We pinged OSM to be more outspoken about the terms & address the community concerns.

It sounded like the issue was that it was an NDA, which both OSM and Siteground want to be able to talk about. They mentioned that OSM was asked if they'd be willing to allow this through the NDA clause. Did that happen? What was the end result? 

If there's a way we can get this last piece cleared up that would be awesome.

Thanks for your time and attention. 

Chad

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