"Joining" vs "becoming a supporter"

Carmen Bianca Bakker carmenbianca at fsfe.org
Fri Dec 1 09:28:40 UTC 2017

(Re-sending this e-mail because I wrongly addressed the first)

Op 30-11-17 om 16:26 schreef Gergely Székely:
> I think it was not a good idea at all to change the "Join the ..." to
> "Become a supporter".
> My point is that "being a member" of something (even if just an
> associate one) suggests a much stronger bound than being just a
> "supporter".  So I think using phrases as "Join the FSFE", "become a(n
> associate) member" etc is way more compelling for most of the people.

I agree partially.  There is a small problem, however:  Previously, it
was unclear that one could "join" the FSFE without making financial
contributions.  Upon clicking the "join" button, you were prompted to
make a donation, and this was the only way into the fellowship.

And upon joining the FSFE (i.e., becoming a fellow), you would not have
equal status to all other FSFE members.  Staffers and members of the GA
would have a say in the FSFE's goings-on, whereas fellows didn't, not
really.  Thus "joining" the FSFE was kind of false advertising.

Thus the logical solutions were twofold:

1. Allow people to become fellows without making financial
   contributions, and grant fellows voting rights.

2. Change the wording to better reflect reality.

Understandably, option 1 isn't very appealing.

However, I would be in _full_ support of reinstating the usage of
"fellow" for volunteers who contribute time and effort.  But then, maybe
"volunteer" also cuts it?

> I really miss this inviting spirit from fsfe.org.
> (Also, why is no similar banner on fsfe.org in the last two months of
> every year?)

If you can contribute such a banner, we would be extremely happy to add
it.  Unfortunately it's outside of my abilities.  I'm not a web

> I think recruiting members and encouraging people to donate is
> important.  So it worth making extra efforts to doing it right.

I agree 

Yours sincerely,

Carmen Bianca Bakker
Technical Intern
Free Software Foundation Europe e.V.

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