"Joining" vs "becoming a supporter"

Daniel Pocock daniel at pocock.pro
Thu Nov 30 15:43:23 UTC 2017

On 30/11/17 16:26, Gergely Székely wrote:
> Hi!
> I think it was not a good idea at all to change the "Join the ..." to
> "Become a supporter".

Asking people to join means they should have an equal status.  The
current constitution doesn't treat all members equally (a GA member has
a different legal status than a fellowship member, supporter or volunteer).

Using the word "Join", therefore, is unhelpful and some people may even
feel deceived.

> 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.
> In my view "supporter" is someone outside of the circle while
> "any-kind-of member" is someone who is inside of the circle. So I do
> believe demoting "fellowship members" to mere "supporters" made this
> status too cold and less compelling.
> I think FSF is doing this much better. If you visit fsf.org this time of
> the year you immediately run into a very encouraging and inviting banner
> about joining them.

What is the legal status of joining FSF?  Is every member equal, every
member can vote at the annual meeting?

> 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?)

Facebook invites people to join.  Is it good for them?  Of course not.
Appearing friendly while having no integrity is a common business model

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

A motion passed at the recent GA meeting aims to change the way people
can become members in future:

15. Proposal to reform FSFE's governance structure
 FSFE will reform it’s organisational structure to accommodate a wider
base of membership, and separate between membership and the governing
organs. To achieve that, FSFE will prepare and propose the necessary
changes to the bylaws for adoption at the 2018 general assembly. FSFE
will prepare and implement the vetting and acceptance of the existing
contributor base into the organisation as members. FSFE will prepare and
implement the first board elections to be held at the 2018 or a later
general assembly. These tasks will be carried out by the executive
director and president in cooperation with the current GA.

Result: 10 for, 5 against, 8 abstentions

After that is completed it will hopefully be safe to use the word "Join"
again without any ambiguity.



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