[OpenID board] Fwd: OpenID Bylaws -> Operational and membership model ...

Bill Washburn billhwashburn at yahoo.com
Wed Mar 7 22:32:33 UTC 2007

Here are just a couple of comments now, since I try to stay in a facilitator mode during our calls...


Begin forwarded message:

> Operations:
> ----------------
>     hold IP
>     protect IP
>     hosting
>     coordinate marketing
> Q: How much effort is needed for marketing?
> Q: Is there a long term need for marketing?

I'd say, this is where the term "marketing" may be inadequate conceptually as a rubric for what the OIDF is poised to do and what the broader community expects of OIDF.  Beyond all the classic marketing activities, I think OIDF can/could/should:

* help, encourage, and support "intra-community" communications;
* serve as an OpenID community focal point and forum to--
    - help ensure reasonable levels of concrete coordination, cooperation, and teamwork within the community;
    - provide education and like support to the emergent community of new participants;
* support grassroots community development work to help with expanding, integrating, and alignment of the growing population of OpenID community participants;
* help the OpenID community as is deemed appropriate with basic public relations;
* support outreach coordination, facilitation, and/or activism to help contribute to the continued development of momentum in building the viral, or word of mouth awareness of OpenID and it's value.

> Q: What will OIDF do if someone abuses the trademark? Will it file an
> injunction? How will it fund the legal activities?

I would say this question holds the implication that OIDF is and should be the designated steward or caretaker for the OpenID community of it's IP.  Therefore, when the community voices concerns that the IP is being harmed, abused, etc., then, if we have formed OIDF well, we will have the clarity of policies and procedures in place necessary to protect the IP in a fashion embraced by the majority of the community's members.  

It would seem apparent to me there will necessarily be a tight linkage between the community's explicit concerns with abuse of IP and the community's willingness and capability to seek protection of its IPR.  IMO, this will have to be a policy regime that is developed with wisdom and wide cooperation that enjoys broad support and agreement in the community generally as well as within OIDF.
> Budget:
> -----------    
> (short term and long term)
> Q: Are there some activities that are one off and some that are on-
> going?

Yes.  That's a given in most any organization, I'd say.

 Does a capitalization and maintenance funding model make
> sense? 

Could this question be restated please?  Is this asking about going into debt?

Would an initial large fund raising activity followed by some
> activity that provides a maintenance income stream work?


If the question was: Would a *successful* initial large fund raising activity work? followed by that provided an on-going, maintenance income stream, then surely the answer would be a clear YES.  

IMO, the challenge of this effort is to pull together *enough* early financial support that the momentum of the OpenID initiative can relatively quickly sustain a momentum building effort that achieves a critical mass of things like:
    - actual adoption and use;
    - statements of real interest, curiosity, call-to-action, support and belief in the value and worth of OpenID by influencers, reporters, website operators;
    - word of mouth type viral activity amongst early adopting end-users and communities.

> Q: Does a conference work for ongoing income stream? Funded by
> attendees and sponsors ala Apache and IETF funding?

You may all know better than I, but I believe a conference revenue stream is NOT a significant source of income at this very nascent stage, i.e., right away in the next 3-6 months.  At least not unless we expend an extreme amount of time and energy to make it enormously attractive, appealing, and worthwhile to a wide array of people.  But maybe this is where you know things about how to make it a compelling, must attend thing.

Beyond six months, say november of 2007 or thereafter, perhaps it could be a smart thing to do.  But we'd have to make a lot happen in the mean time and it would entail rather considerable prep work, in my experience.

> Membership:
> ------------------
> a) Individuals
> b) Vendors
> c) Individuals and Vendors
> d) none

Yes to c ... and I'd add other categories such as commercial website operators, online communities, various technology organizations, "end-user" type interest groups, stakeholders in the larger Internet/web/online ecology, governmental agencies at state and federal levels at least and some international organizations as well.

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