Drupal England & Wales - Next Steps

Steven Jones's picture

Over the last year or so there have been some discussions surrounding setting up a ‘UK Drupal Association/Society’ these have happened both in person, and online. When we talk to most people they seem generally positive about setting one up, and lots of people have lots of ideas about what such an organisation could do.

We really want to work out if there is a need for some kind of central body, and then from those needs, try to work out what that body looks like. This post is an attempt to put our thought process down in words.

Firstly, we openly admit that we probably won’t get this right, and we need to stay agile and able to change and react as quickly as possible.

We aren't trying to take over Drupal in the UK, even if such a thing was possible. The aim of the body will be to provide centralised resources to empower decentralised local Drupal activities.

Over the past year there has been an explosion in the numbers of Drupal events in the UK, we count at least 5 DrupalCamps, and a number of local meetup groups have either appeared or grown significantly. The organisers of these groups face common issues and challenges, and in some cases are solving the same problems over and over. They also develop a great deal of incredibly useful knowledge about organising events and of their local Drupal communities.

However, if today, you decide that you’d like to set up a Drupal meetup group in your area, would you know how to? Would you know what the best places are to advertise it? Or that there's actually a venue right down the road? Could you benefit from talking to people who've worked out good ways to grow local meetup groups?

Many of the events have also been large enough that they have required setting up their own bank accounts, and some people in the community have taken on substantial personal financial risk to put on some excellent Drupal events.

These are some common areas where we think we can benefit each other by coming together and being a little more connected and organised. We don't want to centralise activity, quite the opposite, we want to help people who are geographically (and possibly ideologically) distributed so that they can all benefit from all the individuals who are working tirelessly to serve the Drupal community. We can also streamline the boring things like doing accounts, and having a bank account (more about that later.)

So, we think we can benefit from having a body that does two primary things:

  1. Connects events organisers together
  2. Lessens financial and legal burdens on event organisers

Geographic scope

We should note that Ireland and Scotland already have their own Associations working hard for their communities, and that not only should we avoid treading on their toes, but we should avoid trying to do things on behalf of their communities.

So let’s be clear here, we’re trying to set something up to cover England and Wales. We suspect though that a number of the existing European associations will come together in some way in a number of years, and we may find that actually we end up ‘working’ together in the future anyway.

Connecting people

We think that currently it's too hard to find out who is out there, who you might want to talk to, and who you should definitely talk to if you want to organise an event, whether that event will happen once a month, or will be a one off.

We think that we could really benefit by having a body that can be visible enough to be known nationally, that way people can be directed to the body, and it can connect them to the most useful people for them to talk to. Basically, it should be a brilliant signposting organisation. "Oh hey, you should talk to this person, because they want to do exactly the same thing as you." The signposting doesn’t have to happen behind closed doors, this can be open, in fact if we can make it open and accessible, then people can signpost themselves.

Bank account

One of the most helpful things that we could provide to organisers of Drupal events is a bank account into which event income can be collected and expenses paid. It’s relatively easy to get sponsors to pay for some things in isolation, for example you could have a single sponsor pay for the food of a single day of an event, but other items are much harder to assign to a single sponsor, such as hire of a venue. Also some sponsors would rather pay an organisation, than just pay money into someone’s personal bank account.

Having a bank account with large sums of money passing through it creates accounting requirements, financial liabilities, and a responsibility to be transparent - if we could remove the burden of creating and maintaining bank accounts from local event organisers, that would be a worthy goal of an England & Wales Drupal association.

Representation

As we plan an association that is potentially handling tens of thousands of pounds a year we feel that its very important to have a body that is representative of the diverse drupal communities that it aims to serve.

We don’t want an association that claims to speak on behalf of all Drupalers in England and Wales, but an association that helps Drupalers in England and Wales. So in theory, if you don’t care about what the association is doing, then you lose nothing by not being a member of it.

Exactly how we represent people is still up for debate, but we think that some kind of membership scheme is needed, enabling members to have a say in the direction of the association.

Membership

This could be an incredibly divisive issue, mainly because it could involve money changing hands and people not being able to join etc. and there are many different ideological views at play here, so everyone needs to stay flexible!

We believe that it should be free to become a member as an individual.

We expect that some people will want to financially support the work of the association, and that they should be free to do so.

It’s possible that we’d want to recognise companies as a different kind of member of an association. Companies of all sizes have a huge role in the Drupal community, and they should be able to have input in the direction of an association, but what a ‘corporate’ membership would look like is something that needs feedback and discussion.

Organisation

We propose having some sort of small leadership team that can do most of the work (remember mostly signposting, and facilitating, not organising events or burning out) and appointing them on a yearly basis. This is a well-worn path that other organisations follow, and essentially means that people who want to do things can be given a role that gives them responsibility, and that they be held to account throughout their term.

Let’s be realistic, these are not going to be glamourous positions of leadership, but positions serving the Drupal community and helping others flourish.

At the beginning, we think that the best thing to do is ask people who seriously want to be involved to ‘put their hand up’ and we’ll set up a formal association with those people as the ‘leadership’, to bootstrap the whole thing, they can put in place the formal processes of exactly how it’ll work in future going forward.

Legal

The easiest and ‘lightest’ thing that we could do would be to set up an association, however that wouldn’t limit anyone’s liability, and we are fully expecting to be handling large sums of money, so really don’t want anyone personally exposed to that risk.

We propose setting up the Drupal England & Wales association as a Company Limited By Guarantee (CLG). The advantage of a CLG is that it will provide limited liability, is accountable to it’s members, and needs a lot less work to run than a charity. We can work towards getting charity status later if the association thinks it would be useful and has the resources to implement it.

Shopping list

We think that we need the following things to get going:

  • Community acceptance of our thinking - we hope there's enough structure here. We'd love to hear from you about the things we've got wrong, the bits that are right and how you want to be involved.
  • A name - Drupal England & Wales is awkward. Please join the conversation with your suggestions so that together we can choose something that represents us.
  • People who want to be involved - directly involved, as in doing some work to get things started. Put your hand up if you like hard work
  • A company - the people from the previous point will probably form the initial directorship of the company
  • A bank account - boring, but easy to get once we have a company
  • A constitution - the Scottish and Irish Drupal representative bodies have excellent constitutions which we can adapt to our needs

Conclusion

We are trying to set up an association that will provide real benefit to the Drupal community, and want to start reasonably small and build it up over time. We recognise that we aren’t going to get everything right straight away, and there should be an expectation that the association will evolve in the future based on experience and feedback.

It's not necessary to read through past conversations on this topic to give feedback or get involved, but if you want to do so discussions are archived here:

If you care deeply and have time to get involved directly, you should let us know, so that we can gather people who are interesting in investing time in this.

Thanks for reading!

Written by Steven Jones, Finn Lewis, and Robert Castelo

Where to comment

Add your comments to the general discussion on this very page.

Specific goals and requirements can be discussed in detail here: http://www.drupal.org.uk/forums/drupal-uk-national-association-0

Supported By

The following people have reviewed the proposal and endorse it:

To add your name to the list please leave a comment saying that you endorse the proposal.
EDIT: Keeping this list up to date has become a significant task in itself, so please don't be offended if you're not listed yet. We last updated this list on: March 6, 2013 at 7:53am

Comments

Yep, I endorse this :-)

instanceofjamie's picture

Yep,

I endorse this :-)

Yep, I endorse this :-)

instanceofjamie's picture

Yep,

I endorse this :-)

I endorse this! This all

hedley's picture

I endorse this!

This all seems well thought out and the best way to get things off the ground, and can be adapted by the members and the community when it's there. It feels really important to get something solid in place now, and this is a fantastic way to get that.

Thanks for writing this up Steven and for all of the thought and discussion that has gone into this from everyone.

+1 I endorse this

timdavison's picture

Looks good to me.

I endorse this and would be happy to help.

I endorse this too!

ghazlewood's picture

Great summary of the situation, thanks for collating and banging heads together. I'd be interested in being involved with the organisation, are you planning on any specific discussion (BoF) at DrupalCamp London perchance?

Cheers

George

Yes, Yes Yes!

finn.lewis's picture

Yes, Yes Yes!
And good plan to have a BoF @ DrupalCamp London.
Perhaps on Sunday?

Yes!

johngriffin's picture

I endorse this proposal.

John Griffin
http://atchai.com

Fully endorsed - nice to see

adshill's picture

Fully endorsed - nice to see things moving forward. Let us know how we can get further involved and I'll make sure this is promoted at the next North East meet up later this month.

Operations Director at Consult and Design International
Co-ordinator of Drupal North East
Global Volunteer Co-ordinator for DrupalCon

I endorse this, very sensible

tsphethean's picture

I endorse this, very sensible and a well thought through introduction.

Looks good to me :)

adub's picture

Looks good to me :)

and to me ...

puturos's picture

and to me ...

Im in!

Iceman-'s picture

I now close to NOTHING of drupal or any other webdesign stuff. I am definitely a "civilian" here. but if I can take part, then Im in! :D

Completely endorsed

Fintan's picture

Well thought out by people who care about the Drupal and have done for a long time

+1 :-)

manarth's picture

Yes, I endorse this wholeheartedly.

One comment came up over Drupalcamp London this weekend from another camp organiser, talking about tech resources (and getting accessing the git repo for the website of another camp). A UK association would be a good place to centralise that information, so if anyone needs access to tech resources, repositories, hosting, passwords, etc, it's obvious who to turn to. I'm happy to volunteer as tech coordinator should the need arise :-)

--
Marcus Deglos
Founder / Technical Architect @ Techito.

Questions re donations & asset ownership

stevepurkiss's picture

Thanks for taking the time to do this, it's great to see some movement especially with the explosion of events over the last year!

A couple of things spring to mind which may be total non-issues but just want to ask for further clarification as I don't know the answers:

  1. With regards to donations / sponsorship etc. I know one of the key things for companies donating to the DA is whether the donations are tax deductible, not sure if CLGs allow that or not so just flagging up as may encounter issues there.

  2. Asset ownership - during my research I found Community Interest Companies (CICs) the "best" when it came to ensuring any assets are member-owned. Took a quick look at the wikipedia entry for CLGs and from what I read it didn't seem to mention anything

Also noticed something about members agreeing to pay nominal amounts if the CLG is wound up - do you know any further about this?

Finally, I'd highly recommend connecting with the DA on this, it's part of their current mission to connect with regional leaders and would be a good time to connect now so they're aware of what we're doing and may be able to help in a number of ways. The new ED Holly Ross is very approachable and highly experienced in this area - holly@association.drupal.org.

It'll be great to have a place to share & organise - exciting times!

Endorsed!

stevepurkiss's picture

I notice I forgot to say I endorse this - I endorse this!

Happy to help in any way I can, have also posted a link to here on the Brighton group so others know in case they aren't on here too.

Cheers,

Steve

CIC status worth consideration

andrewmacpherson's picture

What Steve said. I think it would be a good idea to look at the pros and cons of CIC status before setting up the legal entity. They are also limited companies. One possible drawback is that CICs can't also get charity status.

CIC vs Charity

tonypbarker's picture

A CIC or other Social Enterprise can always become a charity at a later date. The benefit of CIC would be a lot less red tape and financial reporting, the drawback would be tax breaks and possibly access to some funding but I think since the organisation would primarily serve its members it would struggle to pass public benefit tests required of a charity. There are quite a few options but the main thing is that it can be changed later. I would be inclined to go for CIC Limited by Guarantee.

Charity Status

Robert Castelo's picture

Charity status would involve a lot of extra work to comply with.

It only becomes worth while becoming a charity if the association has enough profit at the end of the year that the tax it saves by being a charity offsets all the extra work/expense of managing a charity.

Generally the association will be spending everything it collects, so there won't be much profit to be taxed.

If in the future the situation changes and charity status becomes an advantage, then a CLG can become a charity. Not sure about a CIC.

Looking into advantages and disadvantages of each type of legal entity and summarising here:

http://www.drupal.org.uk/forum/legal-entity

Will get more info from Federation of Small Businesses later this week with help from Alan Morris.

Very happy to endorse this

philipnorton42's picture

Very happy to endorse this and help in any way I can :)

Endorsed.

willhallonline's picture

Glad to see it is still moving forward. Thanks all for such hard work. I am sure that politics is not necessarily something that comes easy to us all ;)

Looks good to me. I endorse

a_c_m's picture

Looks good to me. I endorse this!

A sound plan so far

TechnoTim2010's picture

Endorse +1 from me

A sound plan so far

TechnoTim2010's picture

Endorse +1 from me

Endorsed!

Cameron Tod's picture

I endorse this, and am happy to help in any way I can. Thank you to all for your thoughtful hard work.

Thanks Finn, Steven and

leontong.brightlemon's picture

Thanks Finn, Steven and Robert

This is really well thought out and written. Thanks for the time and effort on that and good to see that iterative development does work!

Apologies for the delayed response - I was a tad distracted this weekend!

I endorse the proposal to support events and to help Drupal, rather than represent Drupal: 100% (despite the social conformance undertones!) and look forward to a wider remit once we, the England/Wales/Great Britain/United Kingdom Drupal community (delete depending on how collaborative you feel today) have sorted out the fundamentals which you have expressed very well here.

Two things I have learnt from the amazing team who created this weekend's Camp:

1) it really helps to draw upon wider skillsets than our usual development/theming/project management knowledge base;

2) identifying the people who do things rather than just talk about things makes all the difference!

Thanks
Leon

Brilliant.

michaellenahan's picture

So good to see this. Thank you to Steven, Finn and Rob.

This sounds great

danharper's picture

I endorse the proposal

Yes

lazysoundsystem's picture

Good to see this coming together. Add me to the list too, please.

+1

kiwimind's picture

Thank you for all the work that has gone in to this so far. Great to see. I'm fully behind this idea.

Centralising the information and resources as mentioned by manarth would be an enormous help. A conversation I had over the weekend was about the lack of resources available, both by way of the risk on using personal finances as well as information about venues, repos for sites, etc.

Looking forward to where this conversation goes next.

Another stamp of approval!

galooph's picture

Thanks for all the work so far! I endorse the proposal.

I endorse this proposal

matason's picture

Great work so far, I endorse this proposal.

Endorsed

albany's picture

Endorsed...

If my skill set is of any use ;) I would also like to help.

Regards

Steve

I'm in - endorsing

andrewmacpherson's picture

This is great. It draws so much of the previous discussions together in a fairly clear plan, leaving enough room for tweakage.

I endorse this!

jp.stacey's picture

Thanks to Steven, Finn and Robert for pursuing a politically viable, potentially attractive and hopefully useful solution so tirelessly. It's easy enough to stand on the sidelines and offer opinions, as I've certainly done; but actually working out the details must have been tough.

Personally, I agree Drupal England & Wales is awkward, but it's also precise; it's something we could use to get infrastructure tasks like bank accounts moving straight away. I'd certainly be glad to be a member with that name; anyway, couldn't it then have logos and branding with a different name from what the bank requires on invoices, cheques etc?

Either way: great work.

Sitting on the sidelines

stevepurkiss's picture

[edit: removed, I think I misread that post]

soz ;)

I endorse this proposal On

LewisNyman's picture

I endorse this proposal

On the name issue, I'd take clarity over conciseness every time. If the name is awkward to say people will naturally find an abbreviation for it, we don't need to pre-empt that.It will just create issues for newcomers.

Examples
DA
D.O
DGO
BoF
Contrib
RTBC
user1

Endorsement, corporate membership, DEW

tonypbarker's picture

I endorse this proposal (Tony Barker).

On corporate membership, as a new company we couldn't pay a significant membership fee but may contribute in other ways. Corporate membership could be based on turnover, number of employees etc. which is the FSB model. Then again, you are penalising companies who are doing well.

On the name front, I can't think of anything better than Drupal England & Wales. The acronym DEW could be great for any branding, particularly given its link to droplet.

Endorsed

LinL's picture

+1 from me.

Thanks Steven, Finn and Robert for putting this together.

Yup

johan.gant's picture

Happy to endorse this venture. Thanks for those who've put so much time into it!

I endorse this proposal

graemehunter's picture

DRUpal Wales and EnglanD Society, or DRUWEDS for short?

Endorsed

WigglyKoala's picture

Marcus' points on a central resource sums it all up for me. I know there is stuff out there via the DA to help with these things but to be able to turn to someone to get direction is super helpful and needed in my opinion.

Frontend developer and loud mouth

i endorse this

joates's picture

i have personally considered "starting" some kind of casual meetup event (in South London) but didn't really know where to go for advice/guidance (everybody in the community seems really busy already and don't want to add to any individuals burden with my idea/project !!).

Community initiatives need supporting platforms so that they can gain traction.

Very much endorsed -- sooner the better IMHO

joates

Count me in!

pcambra's picture

Hi guys,

Just settling in London myself, I'll be really happy to join the effort and share the process we had in Spain for creating the local association I was heading until last winter.

Thanks for putting together such a good proposal for the future of drupal events in England and Wales.

--Pedro

I agree with previous posts

hedley's picture

I agree with previous posts about using the 'Drupal England & Wales' name - it's not great but it will be accurate and another more convenient name could naturally evolve (like DEW). I can't think of any other name which could work and using a weird acronym from the offset is much worse and more confusing IMO.

So in the spirit of getting things done I think going ahead and using the name 'Drupal England & Wales' is the best step forward.

And thanks again everyone who's put time into this!

DEW

Robert Castelo's picture

Agree with Hedley that DEW is a nice acronym, easy to say, and the Drupal drop could be a dew drop, so it provides possibilities for some interesting branding graphics.

The purpose of branding is to

LewisNyman's picture

The purpose of branding is to be distinctive. Do we really need another water based brand in Drupal?

I think the branding could be

hedley's picture

I think the branding could be distinctive still, using the full 'Drupal England & Wales' in the branding would make it very clear as to what the organisation is. I think the main reasons to go with this and possibly use DEW as either an official or 'unofficial' acronym are that 1) There's nothing better 2) It's a quick win 3) It's very clear what the organisation is then

DEW Drop

stevepurkiss's picture

I seem to remember previously when we discussed this that the association with drops of dew would be cool as a logo/graphic, especially as that's pretty much the English & Welsh weather - as long as it's a cute dew drop & doesn't look too much like a dreary rainy day ;)

The name 'Drupal England & Wales' is perfectly fine IMHO.

http://groups.drupal.org/node/251283#comment-810698

my 2p

I endorse this!

mcjim's picture

Really sensible, well-thought-out approach.

Thanks for all the effort that went into writing this :-)

Most definitely endorsed by

rachel_norfolk's picture

Most definitely endorsed by me. Great work guys!

Rachel

Thank you for all your great

Stefan van Hooft's picture

Thank you for all your great work so far! Very much endorse this and am very honoured to have been asked to be a part of making this happen.

Drupal England & Wales or DEW for short sounds good to me.

Stefan van Hooft
iCompute
Twitter | LinkedIn
--8<---------------------------

Yay, I endorse this!

PaulWoodhead's picture

With the momentum of Drupal in the UK, especially the growth in quality, size and frequency of Drupal UK events, it makes perfect sense to have a UK association.

+1 here

adamelleston's picture

Endorsed here!

Thanks to everyone involved its obviously taken a lot of time and effort but looks well worth it!

Excellent work guys I endorse

aburrows's picture

Excellent work guys I endorse this +1 also from me :)

Great idea

steveparks's picture

Hi all,

This is really well thought through, and really well written.

You've clearly done a lot of careful work to navigate the issues.

I endorse this too.

Thanks for all the hard work
Steve

=======
Steve Parks
WunderRoot
http://www.wunderroot.com

Meet up in person

leontong.brightlemon's picture

Given the overwhelming support may I suggest we all meet up in person? Perhaps in a matter of weeks rather than months to keep the momentum going and turn it into action?

Some suggestions:

  • keep the process 100% open

  • we could agree the following here on this thread:

-- date
-- venue
-- agenda

ps although Drupal and beer are best friends - perhaps don't hold the main meeting in a pub - to maintain the inclusiveness

pps agree with Hedley, Steve Purkiss and Stephan: DEW is a great name. In fact it's awesome!

Good suggestion Leon, lets

Stefan van Hooft's picture

Good suggestion Leon, lets keep the ball rolling and organise a meeting in person.

-- Venue --
I assume most peeps are from the London area so meeting there could make the most sense.
If you (all),however, are up for a bit of a Drupal road trip to the countryside then know my office is there for you to use. It's also a collaborative workspace so you could make it into a whole day trip and get some work done outside the meeting. It can accommodate 10 people easily and is flexible enough to cater for more. See http://www.drupalsomerset.co.uk/notebook for photos of my office.

-- Agenda --
To keep it 100% open I'd like to suggest to record the meeting and make it available online.

-- Date --
Thursday March 28

Stefan van Hooft
iCompute
Twitter | LinkedIn
--8<---------------------------

Venue

steveparks's picture

If a London venue is needed we'd be prepared to sponsor the hiring The Hub at Kings Cross for an evening. It has a big open area, with projector and PA, a bar (with nice soft drinks as well as beer/wine) and is right next to a major transport hub.

Otherwise Mr Castelo is the man with the contacts book of willing venue-lenders for nowt ;)

Steve

=======
Steve Parks
WunderRoot
http://www.wunderroot.com

Why would you assume most

albany's picture

Why would you assume most peeps are from the London area?

I'm in South Yorkshire :) nearly 3 hours away :(

Regards

Steve

Agreed - I'm not sure that

instanceofjamie's picture

Agreed - I'm not sure that Welsh Drupal activists are going to be too thrilled to be joining an org run solely from London, either ;-) That said, I'm having a tough time getting them to respond at all. Perhaps they've all given up and gone to use Rails...

Perhaps there's a way to be included using, I dunno, some form of remote technology like the internet? ;-) Google Hangouts ought to get us some of the way there, at least.

+1 for hangouts

manarth's picture

+1 for sharing meetings etc via google hangouts.

I'm sure I'm not alone in thinking I'd find it a lot easier to help out if it didn't require regular presence in London.

--
Marcus Deglos
Founder / Technical Architect @ Techito.

Also agreed

rupertj's picture

Although I'd suggest that IRC might be a better plan than a Google Hangout. While there's a good chance that everyone involved will be able to access it, having a G+ account and the bandwidth to participate are still prerequisites.

While we're on the topic of London - I'm not in London either, and I'd like to see a national group be truly national.

Sorry Steve for making that

Stefan van Hooft's picture

Sorry Steve for making that assumption, don't know what made me say that. It pleases me to read though I'm not the only one who's 3 hours away from that London :-)

Stefan van Hooft
iCompute
Twitter | LinkedIn
--8<---------------------------

Hangouts

WigglyKoala's picture

I really think that having Google hangouts available for everyone across the country is a sane and fair approach, wherever the meeting be held. Allowing people to drop in and listen to what is going on seems like a good idea to me.

Frontend developer and loud mouth

Hangouts

mcjim's picture

Yes, this has worked really well for several Core initiatives: the hangout can be broadcast live, so if there are more than 10 people, everyone has the chance to participate by watching and commenting/asking questions in the chat or IRC.

Are Google hangouts...

jp.stacey's picture

... like IRC, but you have to get dressed first?

only the top half!

MattFielding's picture

only the top half!

Not a problem :) Distance

albany's picture

Not a problem :)

Distance could well be the killer :(

Regards

Steve

Group hangout

pcambra's picture

We could always meet locally wherever we are and do group hangouts...

Face To Face Meetings

Robert Castelo's picture

Face to face meetings will be a really important part of setting up and maintaining this association. Wherever we hold them some people will miss out as the time and location might not suit them.

To offset that I suggest having three meetings over the next 6 weeks, spread out across the country. That gives more people an opportunity to participate in person, and also gives us more time to discuss all the topics that may come up.

We can intersperse these with Google Hangouts, but I suspect hangouts will only work well to discuss specific topics and with less than 10 people. What are other people's experience of hangouts?

Location of meetings should be convenient for most people across the country - I suggest London, Manchester, and one other location tbd.

Roughly estimating 15 - 30 people attending each meeting, with each one lasting 2 - 3 hours.

Would be great if we could combine these meetings with another event such as a user group meet up or a sprint to make them more worthwhile for people who need to travel in to them.

Meeting face to face is

Stefan van Hooft's picture

Meeting face to face is certainly important and I agree that combining it with a Dug or Sprint makes sense.

I'm not trying to keep plugging the fact I have a venue ;-) but people from Bristol, Bath and Devon have attended the Drupal Somerset meet ups previously so if you are looking for a third venue somewhere in the South West to make a DEW triangle then I am very happy to host the meeting(s). Having said that if another venue is more suitable then we'll just go with that, whichever works best to facilitate the meetings really.

My experience with using Hangouts so far has been good, the only thing I would suggest is to have a clear agenda when doing a group Hangout otherwise it may all become a bit muddled. The Hangout broadcast&record feature will provide a way for others to watch live in case they can't attend. On that note, would setting up a YouTube DEW channel to centralise recordings be a good idea? We can label it "DEW on demand" :-)

To see some examples of recorded Hangouts have a browse through the Drupal Somerset video library http://www.drupalsomerset.co.uk/video-library with a special mention for Meet up 012 http://www.drupalsomerset.co.uk/notebook/meet-up-012 ;-)

Stefan van Hooft
iCompute
Twitter | LinkedIn
--8<---------------------------

Question about location

chrisdolby's picture

I very much like the idea of this proposal, glad someone's being organised about this!

I live in Bristol and may be interested in attending, but have to rely on public transport. Is there a train station nearby if this was held in Langport?

Thank you Chris, glad you

Stefan van Hooft's picture

Thank you Chris, glad you like it :) If we go back a few years I would have said Yes there is a train station in Langport, there where in fact two, but the government thought it was a brilliant idea to close them in the sixties in favour of the car. For a bit of history see here http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Langport_and_Castle_Cary_Railway

Without getting ahead of ourselves here, if Langport is chosen there are public transport links from Taunton to Langport. People from Bath/Bristol way have also car shared in the past to attend the meet ups and I've even collected someone from Taunton station once. We'll get you get there one way or the other :)

Stefan van Hooft
iCompute
Twitter | LinkedIn
--8<---------------------------

Date & Venue

Robert Castelo's picture

Paul Johnson, Mike Bell, and Philip Norton have asked around in Manchester and can schedule a meeting for us at TechHub Manchester on Monday 18th March, 6:30 - 9 p.m.

Venue is really close to Manchester Picadilly station, and Wifi is excellent so we can do a Google Hangout for everyone who can't make it in person.

Who would be up for coming to this meeting in person?

We need to confirm with TechHub in the next couple of hours to book it.

I'll be there a couple of hours early if any Drupalers want to hangout in Manchester in the afternoon.

Great

Fintan's picture

Sinead and myself will attend.

I'd definitely come over from

tonypbarker's picture

I'd definitely come over from Leeds for this on the 18th.

Excellent, I'll try to get

MattFielding's picture

Excellent, I'll try to get across from Bradford

Would have loved to but too

adshill's picture

Would have loved to but too soon for me unfortunately both in person and online.

Given this could be the case for a number of people with 10 days notice is there any plan to allow input from others? For example can minutes be commented on? What is the expected output of the meeting?

I'll let people know from the NE that this is happening hopefully tomorrow but its a real hike from here and expensive on the train so not convinced many will attend. Lets see :)

While believe me I'm not complaining as we are under the constraints of a normal national "body" however I would encourage checking my post below regarding having a way for ALL people to get involved from locality and feeding into the main discussions. Those with small budgets and geographically limited position have to have a way to be equally involved otherwise it automatically becomes an exclusive operation rather than inclusive. Just opening up that discussion and hopefully not coming across as a complaint :)

Hopefully I can make the meeting in London - I don't see a date set yet right?

Thanks! Adam

Operations Director at Consult and Design International
Co-ordinator of Drupal North East
Global Volunteer Co-ordinator for DrupalCon

Minutes will be kept, and the

Robert Castelo's picture

Minutes will be kept, and the whole thing will be recorded.

You can still take part in this process here on this discussion, and there will be at least one other meeting, perhaps two (if people want it) before we finalise any actions.

I'm suggesting a date for the London meeting as 27th or 28th of April, so it coincides with the London Drupal Sprint Weekend http://drupalsprintapril2013.eventbrite.com

We have limited free sleeping sofas and showers if anyone wants to come to London for the weekend and stay overnight.

Hi Robert Thanks for

leontong.brightlemon's picture

Hi Robert
Thanks for organising this. Will try and make it in person but otherwise will join the hangout..
Leon

I would like to be involved

danharper's picture

I would like to be involved in this meeting probably just in the google hangout mainly as an observer I suppose.

Cheers Dan

Moving forward

Fintan's picture

Awesome, great to have everyone on board, everyone I have spoken to has supported this idea even if they have not posted above so Leon is right, we should move this forward as soon as practical.

Obviously the three key people for this meeting are the people who wrote this document, so Finn, Robert, Steven can you guys suggest a date/venue that you can all make:

I would suggest that to keep things in order the oldest serving member of d.o. be chair for the run up / first meeting aka Robert (if thats ok with him?)

Moving Forward

Robert Castelo's picture

Thanks Fintan, happy to chair the first meeting.

Agree

leontong.brightlemon's picture

I Agree with Fintan that Robert should be the chair - he's been there since day one and always got all of us involved

I endorse this!

MattFielding's picture

Thanks for all the hard work by those involved.

A couple of thoughts.

  1. Getting the very best people involved like Leon mentioned the other day may be compromised if the initial meetings are in person and London based.

  2. Agreeing with Lewis and Hedley - DEW will certainly become the norm if you call it "Drupal England & Wales" and I like DEW.

I endorse this

leowhite's picture

Good work all. Great to see this progressing again.

+1 from me for virtual meetings (hangouts + IRC), makes it accesible and keeps travel (and environmental) costs down.

However, for infrequent physical meetups both London or Manchester both work. We're as close to Scotland as you can get, but can still be in London within 3.5hrs.

Cheers,
Leo

I endorse this

Ravi.J's picture

Great proposal +1

I endorse this

ACF's picture

I endorse this.

Thanks for the hard work in putting the proposal together.

I endorse this!

pwhite's picture

I endorse this!

Endorsed and a few thoughts

timdeeson's picture

I think there are some great ideas here and I fully support the thinking behind it. Below are some thoughts that occurred to me as I read through.

Doing the minimum possible that still has value is probably the best way to avoid some of the complexities that have bogged down previous discussions into inaction. It would be so good to get something off the ground, even if its scope is at first relatively limited (geographically or remit). The two primary goals mentioned, to me, are the most important and achievable.

Something Mark Taylor (Sirius) said on the business day about the professionalisation of open source and Drupal made me think that giving Drupal adequate representation in England and Wales (i.e. visibility of benefits, ability to speak with some unity) made me think how important it was to consolidate efforts. That Drupal doesn't sit in a vacuum and it needs advocacy in a way that none of the commercial organisations can do independently.

Bank account

I think supporting varied events is a great idea but the logistics could be complicated and is where the DA generally seems to have struggled outside of North America. How do you give an ad-hoc group of volunteers money and manage it? Small and large organisations struggle with this, either the supplier contracts with this central organisation (lots of admin overhead and liability potentially) or just gives cash to local volunteers (gets complicated).

Perhaps two events per year that are organised (South and North for example) are an easier way to manage those issues in the first instance, i.e. the effort goes towards delivery rather than administration.

My experience from DrupalCamp London has been that a permanent legal entity with a bank account would certainly remove a hassle, liability issue and admin overhead from future events. It also provides a structured 'safe' place for any funds to be managed with a clear remit for their use.

Membership

Membership without cost is attractive but it doesn't represent much commitment or responsibility but it does provide a voting pool if one is required. I'm not sure I see the point in paid membership as I think revenue from event activities is a more cost effective way to generate revenue to cover any ongoing overheads and avoids providing a barrier entry.

I think company membership is a double edged sword as typically trade associations end up relying on these membership fees so heavily that they are beholden to these voices. If revenue comes from other sources then this avoids this issue.

Thanks

Tim

Personally I think that in

adshill's picture

Personally I think that in person meetings work but there should be only one - unless extremely well co-ordinated with at least one or two core people at both, the idea of more than one meeting seems odd to me. London is in effect central (it takes me 3 hours to get to london but also 3 hours to get to manchester for example - from Newcastle) but actually in most cases the problem with that is cost. Therefore having a Google hangout could work.

I would like to bring into this thinking the fact that we have got a LOT of "representative bodies" no matter how loosely they could be described as bodies across the country in the form of user groups. Couldn't we co-ordinate an England and Wales hangout day or week where we discuss core questions in our local groups and then culminate with a meeting of one rep from each group to represent the opinions and discussions in a meeting in person (with hangout) somewhere like London? OF course chaired by Robert :)

We'd need the core questions clarified and for local co-odinators to.... co-ordinate but I think it could work be a really interesting way to ensure that there is best as possible a national coverage.

Just a thought... Maybe for a bit later down the road but I think if we get the widest possible coverage of feedback at this early stage then a consensus can be decided early on and there is no way anyone can feel left out.

I like DEW by the way but I do think that branding is one of the last things to worry about until structure, rules and remit have been fully agreed and we therefore no exactly what the brand will represent.

Continue to pile praise on the work of all involved so far - really great to see such a positive response from everyone!

Operations Director at Consult and Design International
Co-ordinator of Drupal North East
Global Volunteer Co-ordinator for DrupalCon

This is really interesting

stevepurkiss's picture

This is really interesting - one of the things [excuse me whilst I elaborate] Ken Thompson talks about in his Networked Enterprise book is the inability of networked enterprises to conduct conference calls efficiently. Having spent the past year in the DA I can see how this is so true ;)

In the DA they brought in facilitators to help at the face-to-face meetings, which worked really well. Dries is also a good facilitator, but I'm hazarding a guess that he won't be available and is probably not be the best person for this anyways lol.

Seriously though, a facilitator would help, and I'm sure we can find many within our community who are not necessarily involved in the subject matter but know enough about the subject to be able to facilitate.

Ken also has a handy tip for these meetings which I haven't tried out yet but looks interesting:

http://www.bioteams.com/2007/02/22/improve_team_conference.html

Of course we could always hire Ken, however that involves $$$s hence me suggesting someone from within, but if there's $$$s lying around, then I'd totally recommend Ken.

Cheers,

Steve

p.s. and yes, I totally agree the logo etc. is not important now, however it does provide a little relief from the intensity of the thread so all for keeping that discussion going ;)

Better examples

stevepurkiss's picture

OK, that was a naff example as more focused on audio-only, here's plenty more relevant ones:

http://www.bioteams.com/tags/meetings

I'll leave you alone now ;)

I endorse this

Ed Tallents's picture

I would endorse this.

I endorse this, looking

mikebell_'s picture

I endorse this, looking forward to the meeting in Manchester.

Mike

Manchester Meetup

Robert Castelo's picture

Full details of the Manchester meetup here:

http://dewmeetupmanchester.eventbrite.com

Please RSVP so we know how many people are coming.

Looking forward to seeing everyone next Monday, and if you can't be there in person please join the Google Hangout.

In the meantime let's discuss what the agenda of the meeting could be.

Totally endorsing this too...

PQ's picture

Totally endorsing this too... Thanks to everyone for putting so much thought and effort into this.

+1

greg.harvey's picture

Me too, endorse!

Great idea. +1

stewsnooze's picture

Great idea. +1

Full Fat Things ( http://fullfatthings.com ), my Drupal consultancy that makes sites fast.

Meeting Agenda

Robert Castelo's picture

Proposed agenda for tomorrow's meetup in Manchester, I've drawn these topics from discussion points that have come up in the comments on this thread, and added other points that also need discussion.

Please feel welcome to add other topics here if you think they should be part of the agenda.

Scope
- What will the association do initially?
- What might we add in future?
- What activities can we rule out?

Legal entity type
- Pros and cons of different legal entities?

Governance
- What do we need by law?
- What practical requirements do we have?

Membership
- Personal (free? paid?)
- Organisations?

Voting
- online?
- in person voting at event?
- proxy voting?

Financing
- operating costs?
- sources of income?

Funding events
- pay for large expenses directly?
- provide budget to organisers?

First Meeting Details

Robert Castelo's picture

In case anyone missed it - here's the registration page for tomorrow's meeting in Manchester:

http://dewmeetupmanchester.eventbrite.com

Here's the registration page for the Google Hangout where we'll stream the meeting:

https://plus.google.com/events/c7envbfl1c8kncbmvm8g20q9m40

Trying to involve everyone online and off-line at the same time is going to be really difficult, so what we might do is delegate someone who's physically there to represent the online attendees and field questions and comments on their behalf.

Mailing list

Steven Jones's picture

A number of people have asked for an announce only mailing list that they can sign up so that they can be notified of the progress of 'Drupal England & Wales'. I've created one using Mailchimp here: http://eepurl.com/wYUur

+1 from me

Kazillian's picture

Sounds good. Missed the meeting but hope it all went well.

Suggestion and comment on minutes

tonypbarker's picture

I wasn't able to get to get involved in the first meeting, but will be at the end of April meeting that Robert is planning if that goes ahead in London.

Where is the best forum to put forward suggestions and comment on these minutes?

You can comment on the minute

Steven Jones's picture

You can comment on the minute in the forum where they've been posted. That would seem to make sense to me.

Next meeting

Steven Jones's picture

Note that we're going to hold another online meeting, details are at http://groups.drupal.org/node/293153 and http://dew-april-online-meetup.eventbrite.co.uk/

Membership with a Company Limited by Guarantee

dwkitchen's picture

I general I agree with the proposal, however I do not believe membership should be free as it means no commitment from the member.

There is also an issue with this and a Company Limited by Guarantee, for this to work members are going to have to provide a guarantee. My previous experience of this is for members to pay their guarantee, a nominal £5, on joining. This is not a renewing membership subscription.

Once paid, the individual becomes a member of the company and has voting rights in the AGM and the election on the board of directors. Individual can only make one guarantee and there for it is one member, one vote.

I do not believe that companies should be allowed to become members.

Something to consider...

tonypbarker's picture

On the face of it that sounds very sensible and fair, but in an agency environment this puts the onus on the developer to get involved individually rather than to represent the agency at a team level.

Another online meeting

Steven Jones's picture

We're going to have another online meeting to discuss things more, details are here: http://groups.drupal.org/node/294283

Next meeting

tonypbarker's picture

Evening all.

Are there plans for another meeting or plans for fleshing out the documents?

I'm in

wespacker's picture

I endorse this proposal.

Wholeheartedly :-)

Wes

[EDIT] Forgot to add: whatever I can do to help, I will do.

Still learning and trying to help...

ENCRYPT EVERYTHING!!!!!

Here's my public key: http://www.wespacker.com/pubkey

United Kingdom

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