I thought I probably ought to blog about why, but that would assume I'm entirely clear myself.
Seriously though, when the council election was announced this time, I was pretty clear in my own mind that I wouldn't stand. At the last elections, I had said that I would consider it for September, since I certainly didn't have time in March. Then I watched the election process unfold. I followed the discussions, the debates, and the excellent Q&A which was so well organised by EIPI.
And looking at the questions which were asked, I found myself thinking “Thank goodness I didn't stand - I wouldn't have the first clue how to address half of these!” Many were about technical issues, some were about issues of management skill and leadership facing a community only just coming to terms with the news about Meego which had recently been sprung on it. Reading the replies put forward by the (excellent) candidates at that election not only impressed me, it made me aware of my own limitations.
The March Council have done a sterling job in moving things forward. Much of what they have done has been behind the scenes. They have, on occasion, received criticism, most of it based either on a wrong impression of their role or an unawareness of what has been quietly and effectively achieved. We voted for good people.
Which has brought us to this month's election.
I kept my head down, and almost got away with it. But as the deadline approached with very few candidates offered, Texrat (http://tabulacrypticum.wordpress.com/
I replied explaining that I didn't think I had the right skillset, and somehow in the process opened a floodgate. I won't list the people who either via the community mailing list, private direct email, twitter or other methods stepped up to convince me to change my mind, but thank you to all of you for the vote of confidence.
Which left me thinking. These people who were encouraging me to stand are not fools. They include some of the long standing community members, people who have a far better idea than I what the community needs. And the message was clear: we have plenty of candidates who have great technical/code/developer skills. And we have candidates who have a background in business and management. We want to have a candidate who has community leadership skills, a voice for the user-members of maemo.org. The community needs a variety of candidates to select from.
It was drawn to my attention that maemo.org is a 'mixed economy' community. We have platform developers, including many Nokians. We have application developers, from professionals who make a living by it to hobbyists tinkering in their spare time. We have specialists with skills such as graphics and sound (and even making Baaaing noises! http://talk.maemo.org/showpost.php?p=47
Meego, on the other hand, is not a mixed economy. At the moment, its community is heavily weighted with platform developers. Not only are users feeling unsure what they're doing at meego, but many application devs are expressing the same. And it was said to me that maemo.org has the opportunity to demonstrate to meego.com the potential value of having a mix of skills and people.
It was that that made me change my mind. The council is 5 people, and ideally one would hope the community is capable of choosing 5 people with a range of skills. My skillset sadly doesn't include coding or a business management background. But I know what it's like to be an end user trying to work out how to do something 'a bit scary' with my device. And I do have useful skills in things like community leadership, communication and networking.
So I'm not going to 'campaign' saying “Vote for me!” because that's not what I feel. I going to say “Here I am, if you want me”. And no, I won't be offended and take off in a huff if you don't want me. If you think my particular skills would be useful in the council, then please include me in your voting. If not, then vote accordingly. And I shall continue to look for other ways of offering my skills to the community.
EIPI has agreed to run his Q&A again. And yes, I'm already losing sleep. ;-)