Monday, February 27, 2012

Building innovation nodes through Free Software Communities (VI): organization

Please consider reading previous post of the Building innovation nodes through Free Software Communities  series:

This project must have a legal entity that support the activity it will generate. That legal entity must be as flexible as possible. In Spain, for example, it would probably be an Association formed initially by legalized Local Free Software Communities (LFSC). When new ones get a minimum state of maturity, they will be invited to join the association as members.

Each Association would name a representative for this project. The Association's Assembly then will be formed by representatives of every legal LFSC involved. They would elect a Board, that initially, it would be formed by a President, a Vice-president, a Treasurer and a Secretary.

This Association will represent the project from a legal, economic and "political" point of view. Its basic role is to coordinate efforts and to make the project sustainable, keeping the independence of every member.

The Assembly would organize itself in groups taking care of different tasks. Several groups should be created:
  1. Activities coordination group: All the activities, schedule and organization details will be coordinated y this group. The schedule is should be presented to the Board for approval and every year, a report should be made to the General Assembly.
  2. Sustainability group: this group will take care of the sustainability of the project, specially the economic side.
  3. I recommend to organize another two groups. One specialized in promo actions and another one that help the Board in dealing with administrative tasks, taxes, etc.

Sponsors and local entities should be invited to join these working groups so they become part of the project building relations with Local Free Software Communities.

Friday, February 24, 2012

Study of Spanish Internet users habits

The Association of Communication Media Research (AIMC) from Spain has published its annual study, based on questionnaires. This year (2011) almost 35 thousand people has participated.

This annual survey is the most relevant in Spain. This is its 14th edition. It tries to analyze Internet users habits, specially related to media. The first part of the survey deals with basic questions related with time spent in Internet, tools used, connectivity, SO, browser, frequently used services, etc.

As every year, many conclusions might be taken from this survey. I want to point here some interesting ones:
  • The percentage of users that connect to Internet through a Linux based system has grown from 3.3% up to 3.6% last year due to the irruption in the survey of Android (0.7%).
  • Microsoft market has gone from 86.1% to 86% during last year.
  • Mozilla Firefox has drop from 36.6% to 31.6% but this year is the number one browser in Spain. IE is second with 30.1% and Chrome third with 29% Chrome is growing fast.
  • Android is the leading mobile OS (40.5%) followed by iOS (22.4%), Symbian (11.5%) and Blackberry (11.3%). 6.3% admits that do not know what OS is shipped in his/her mobile phone.
  • 93.4% of electronic newspaper readers use a PC/laptop/netbook, 12.9% tablets and 34.4% phones (obviously these are not exclusive).
  • 45.5% of Internet users listen digital radio stations or on line music services like LastFM, Spotify, etc.
  • 52.5% say unwanted/unauthorized advertisement is a big problem and 48.5% say Internet speed need improvement. 

The study is very interesting for many KDE related areas.

Please remember that this numbers are referred to Internet users only.

Links (in Spanish):

Monday, February 20, 2012

Moving to Madrid for a few weeks

As I posted a couple of weeks ago, I'm looking for a new job. I'm moving to Madrid to have some interviews and, hopefully, to attend to some Free Software/Free culture events. Let's see if I can also give a talk about KDE too.

I've been in Madrid many times before. I even have family there, but most of the times, I couldn't enjoy the city or visit some of my friends there since I went to work. It'll be different this time.

During these weeks in Madrid, I'll finish the Building innovation nodes through Free Software Communities series of posts and will try to help launching KDE ON Program.

You probably haven't heard anything about it. You can get some idea by reading the following previous posts from my blog:
Yes, I know, it is too much to read, but hey, I've been busy.

Friday, February 10, 2012

Building innovation nodes through Free Software Communities (V): services

Since this is the fifth post of the Building Innovation Nodes Through Free Software Communities, I strongly recommend you to read the previous four (I, II, III and IV)

This post will explain my ideas about what are the basic services that the initiative should provide so Local Free Software Communities (LFSC) and local player might organize activities that allow the project to be successful.

As enumerated in the second post of the series, the basic services that should be provided by the project to its members can be divided in six major areas:
  1. Administrative.
  2. Legal.
  3. Financial and accounting.
  4. Marketing and communication.
  5. Business development.
  6. Facilities maintenance and management.
The rest of the activities needed will be developed by participants, that is LFSC members, the catalyst organization or local players.

1.- Administrative

The administrative service can be divided in the following way:
  1. Administrative services related with the project itself.
  2. Administrative services targeting Local Free Software Communities.
  3. All of the above.

1.1.- Administrative services related with the project itself
  • Board support: as you can read in the Organization section, the project will be managed by a Board, elected from the Assembly. This Board will need administrative support.
  • Contact/agenda management for project representatives.
  • Accommodation management for activities organized within the project.
1.2.- Administrative services targeting Local Free Software Communities.
LFSC legalization: help LFSC that want to become part of the project in the near future with the basic administrative work in order for them to become a legal entity.

1.3.- Administrative services for both, the project and every LFSC participant
  • Regular post management: notifications, legal papers and material shipment, this is, regular post service is one of those difficult area to manage when you are a distributed organization where board members chance quiet often.
  • Membership management: the management of current and new members is a tedious task that every organization must put resources on. Having an administrative service can help them to become more efficient, specially to those where a each member has to make a yearly quota.

2.- Legal

The basic legal services needed are:
  • Advice about basic legal aspects related with statutes and everyday decisions and operations for any LFSC and the project itself.
  • Basic legal advice about licensing.
  • Legalization of LFSC.
  • Institutional agreements.
  • Legal advice related with funding.

3.- Financial and accounting

This service should be given to the project itself and for every project member:
  • Accounting support.
  • Budget and economic reports. Costs control.
  • Advice in financial decision and taxes.

4.- Marketing and communication
  • LFSC and Project activities promotion in mainstream and social media.
  • Project press releases and announcements.
  • Local marketing actions support.

5.- Business development

Since the project will need to look for funds in order to grow, business development activities become a key part. The project will provide a service in this area that support participants the following areas:
  • Relation with local agents/players.
  • Sponsorship management support.
In another article I will talk about the resources needed to lauch the project and make it sustainable.

6.- Facilities maintenance and management
The facilities assigned to the project will be when the activities take place. The project will provide the following services:
  • Facilities management.
  • Security.
  • Material manage, storage and control.
  • Activities support.
  • Connectivity.
and others needed to organize and support the activities defined by participants.

Wednesday, February 08, 2012

FOSDEM 2012 for Toscalix

This was my first FOSDEM without a predefined tight agenda, so I could enjoy more than ever the event. I had a lot of fun and could talk to many people with no stress.

I attended to several talks. I must say that I didn't like many of them. I'll mention the best ones, for different reasons:
Obviously I didn't attend to most of the talks. There were more than 400 in one and a half day.

I spent most of the late Saturday and Sunday around KDE stand. Many KDE members where there and I could talk to most of them. I would like to mention Jonathan Riddell's work, specially in these hard times for him, Jonathan, you rock!

It was very cold in Brussels. We reached -14ºC the first night. Simply too much for a Canary Island guy. The beer was warmer than the weather. That was weird. Thanks to the Kolab guys, Paul and Georg, I could drink some very good beer and visit cool bars I've never been before.

As you know, we are having a hard time in Spain, specially if we talk about unemployment. Free Software sector is doing quiet good though. On our recent history, one of our structural problems have been exportation. Last two years, due to the internal the economic crisis, we have raised them by 30% and FLOSS companies are no exception. Many Spanish companies had presence in FOSDEM 2012.

On Sunday night I organized a networking dinner with some Spanish FLOSS companies and a representative of the Commercial Office of the Spanish Embassy in Brussels. KDE Spain, Zentyal, Gestiweb, Igalia, Carlos Sánchez and others (up to 24) were there.

The goal was that these representatives could know some entrepreneurs and how the FLOSS sector is doing in Spain. Next year, the day before FOSDEM 2013, we plan to organize in the Spanish Embassy in Brussels some networking activities between Spanish FLOSS companies and foreign corporations attending to the event.

FOSDEM has a great program, but networking is as relevant as talks. So don't don't miss it next year. See you there, hopefully, with better weather.

Tuesday, February 07, 2012

Building innovation nodes through Free Software Communities (IV): localization/facilities

Please keep in mind that this is the fourth of a series of post. Please read previous ones ( I, II and III) before the following.

The venue is very important in order to be successful. I suggest to launch the project in a city with the following characteristics:
  • Big not not too much, so activities created have a global impact in the city. 
  • With at least one big University with Computers Science and Engineering/Science Faculties. This will ensure potential contributors.
  • Well communicated with bigger cities so activities organized can attract visitors from those cities.
  • With an international airport so it is easy for the Global Free Software Communities (GFSC) to celebrate promotional and technical activities with foreign speakers and attendees.

The facilities are a key element in order to have success. Some of the most relevant characteristics that the venue must have are: 
  • Close to the city center, well communicated with the airport or train station (if there is international airport) and close to the University if possible.
  • Close to hotels, hostels or other accommodations. It is important to have cheap accommodation around the facilities.
  • Some kind of garden or natural area where to talk comfortably outdoors.
  • Cafeterias, bars and restaurants must be close to the facilities.
  • Facilities must have, at least:
    • A room for conferences up to 75 - 100 people.
    • High quality Internet connection. Wifi in the area and outside.
    • AC Plugs.
    • A meeting room.
    • A computer lab or a room prepared for plugging laptops.
    • A networking area with some tables.
    • Stock
To be successful, the place must have a comfortable atmosphere. It must be a quiet but informal. It must promote interaction but also intimacy. 

Go back to the description post.

Thursday, February 02, 2012

Looking for a new job

After some time resting, sharing time with my family in the Canary Islands and working on personal projects, it's time for me to go back into business. So I'll be looking for a new job as my major goal the following weeks/months.
  1. I would like to work for a company with business interests in several countries, not just Spain. I'm used to travel up to 75% of my work time and I'm open for relocation.
  2. Since 2003 I've been fully involved in projects, non-profits and companies directly related with FLOSS. I would like to work for a FLOSS organization or an entity that would like to open its business to Free/Open Source Software models.
  3. Although I studied Applied Physics (electronic), I'm not a technician. I have experience in the business and executive field. I also have experience as project/program manager and business developer.
  4. Most of the people out of Spain know me because I'm involved in KDE, but my experience in FLOSS goes beyond desktops.
  5. I've assumed a lot of responsibilities my entire professional career (since 1998), leading small companies, projects and business associations. I'm used to dealing with conflicts and tough situations that need to take risks and decisions.
  6. The above do not mean I'm not a team player. I am. I've been part of high skilled teams in very technical projects up to political initiatives.

Like many others with experience in Free/Open Source Software business, I'm used to fighting against giants. Smart people, passion, innovation, cooperation and hard work can take any organization where once seemed impossible. I would like to have the chance to prove it once again in my following job.

To get further details about my experience and skills, please contact me. I will send you my resume:
You can also check my Linkedin profile.