2010 COMMON Board Candidates Speak Out

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There are five candidates running for three open positions on the COMMON Board of Directors: Jeff Carey, Pete Helgren, Kevin Mort, Jim Oberholtzer, and Ron Pilcher. To help you make your choice, we asked the candidates three key questions. Each responded via e-mail, and their answers are listed below. You canvote online now. In addition to online voting, COMMON members who attend the 2010 Annual Meeting and Exposition in Orlando will be able to vote on site. Also, the COMMON ...

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Discuss this Blog Entry 2

on May 2, 2010
Thanks for being skeptical! In this day and age, yes, talk is cheap. Unfortunately because I am not privy to the details of Common's financials last year, I AM feeling my way in the dark a bit (I am all for more transparency on that front as well)

Without spending too much time here I would look at the following:

1) Open source projects that drive members and non-members to Common's web site. We would attract non-members to become members simply by increasing our exposure. Click ads and support offerings for the Open Source projects would drive more revenue.

2) Common-credits could be given to those who contribute to the open source projects.

3) Fee based webinars and webcasts for members and non-members. Conducting the webinars could either lead to a stipend or Common-credits for those that develop and deliver the content.

4) Common-credits could be given for articles which presumably would attract readers and new members.

Here is the core rationale: We have declining membership and participation in conferences because of growing costs and competition from other "free" sources of user content. We need to put value back into Common participation and conference attendance. We can increase value by improving content. We can either pay outright for that content (unlikely) or offer incentives to have members and non-members contribute. That incentive *used* to be volunteer benefits and by restoring those benefits we increase participation. Increased participation increases revenue and I think the increased revenue will more than offset the small benefits that I propose be offered.

Again, without access to the detailed finances relating to Common's past activities, I am proposing "in the dark". But I plan to pursue this option if I am elected to the board AND to keep the membership informed and solicit feedback as each option is considered.
Gracie Wiseman (not verified)
on Apr 29, 2010
Mr. Helgren was asked the question:

1. What is the single most important thing you would like to see achieved during your term?

Mr. Helgren replied:

"Reestablishment of the volunteer benefits that were cut last year.
These benefits are unique to COMMON and provide incentives to participate in the annual conference.
I'd like to expand these benefits to non-conference activities as well so that activities like participation in Common sponsored open source projects, webcasts, articles, and other volunteer activities can be used to earn credits that can be used defray costs at COMMON events."

I would like to know how he will fund the reestablishment of the benefits.

All I hear is the same old stuff I hear from other politicians.

You have grand ideas but you have no clue on how to pay for it. If you raise the membership fee to help cover the “reestablished benefits†people will complain.

you raise the conference rate to help cover the “reestablished benefits†people will complain.

Mr. Helgren, did you think this over or just shoot from the hip.

Gracie

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