General VOICE Meeting - 04 December 2004

Call the meeting to order.
1. Announcements
2. Old Business
     A) IRC meetings VOICE business meeting, replace with mailing list/web forum?
         Free up slots. 2 tech support time slots a month and 2 Saturdays SpeakUps (Roderick)
     B) Attract members. (Roderick)
         Lottery idea (some else find it out sponsors, except Mensys)
         Voice news letters for members in PDF file (Christian Hennecke)
         How should VOICE attract new YOUNG members.
3. New Business.
     A) Payment Warpstock, status? (Gordon)
     B) Renewal Norman license (Gordon)
     C) Collect money for VOICE Norman renewals.
4. Other Business
     Speak up, speak freely or wait for the next meeting :-)
5. Adjournment

Summary - Decisions/Announcements Made
1. Discussion of the meeting format (IRC, maillist, forum) was postponed until the next meeting.
2. Discussion of how to attract new members was held. Ideas included multiyear membership renewal with discount, providing service to members, advertising.
3. Discussion was held of the need for more articles for VOICE News.
4. The treasurer reported on the progress in renewing the Norman license in bulk and on the problems with collecting payment. Mensys will arrange to collect payment on the same web page as membership renewals.
4. Next scheduled meeting is the 16th of December 2004.

Meeting Log
Chairman of the meeting Roderick Klein called the meeting to order at 15:13:03 EST
<eCSNL> OK, the agenda...
<eCSNL> I hereby declare this meeting for opened.
<eCSNL> JWE you're logging?
<JWE> Logging has started
<eCSNL> Welcome to this voice meeting on the 4th of December 2004.
<eCSNL> Secretary John Edwards
<eCSNL> and chairman Roderick Klein
<eCSNL> First point on the agenda is the suggestion about replacing VOICE business meetings
<eCSNL> via irc
<eCSNL> via a mailing list where all members of VOICE can subscribe to.
<eCSNL> All postings will be public and viewable via the website.
<eCSNL> This was my proposal.
<eCSNL> I would like to delay this agenda point to the next meeting since Walter Metcalf
<eCSNL> and Mark Dodel are not present. They wanted a web forum.
<eCSNL> During the last meeting I suggested I would write a short summary why a mailing list is preferred.
<eCSNL> This got snowed in. I also don't want to put something like this on the table without the persons being present that want to have a different system.
<eCSNL> The reason I want to move away from VOICE IRC meetings is because they are not that well visited.
<crimso> There are solutions that allow to mirror a mailing list to a web forum and/or a news server.
<eCSNL> They would be replaced with 4 meetings a month on the Saturday
<eCSNL> 1 SpeakUp a month
<eCSNL> with 1 time targeted at America and Europe
<crimso> Personally, I think that we should use mailing lists/news/whatever *in addition* to IRC. Some things are better discussed in real time.
<eCSNL> and the other meeting targeted at Australia
<eCSNL> The two other slots would be for technical support.
<eCSNL> OK the other agenda item.
<eCSNL> Attract more VOICE members.
<eCSNL> First item on the table which I forgot to put in the agenda.
<eCSNL> Give people the option to become a voice member for 2 years.
<eCSNL> That would the first step.
<eCSNL> How much discount could we give.
<eCSNL> In year is 25 dollars for a private individual.
<crimso> 45 $ for two years?
<crimso> But I'm not sure if that would help. 25$ a year is already pretty cheap compared to the dues of the German clubs, for instance.
<eCSNL> I would like to ask our treasurer on this topic.
<eCSNL> I would like as a start to
<eCSNL> know what our treasurer things about this.
<eCSNL> I would like to suggest for 2 years 40 us dollars membership
<Gord> My first impression is negative.
<Gord> What benefit do you see to this?
<eCSNL> First of all you only need to
<Blackbird> Where is the money from membership spent
<eCSNL> renew each 2 years. Not every year.
<eCSNL> Second its meant as an impulse to become a member.
<Blackbird> what ongoing expenses are incurred year to year....and how much money from membership is needed to cover this cost
<Gord> Blackbird VOICE supports Warpstock currently.
<Gord> I should get around to posting a financial account on the VOICE Website.
<eCSNL> This year VOICE contributed to $1000 us dollars to support Warpstock US.
<Gord> Our bylaws require it but I haven't done one for a while.
<Blackbird> this would be of interest... financial statement. I'd rather see new members attracted by new/better/whatever members-only services. Remember that existing members could use the two years offers to save money. VOICE could end up getting less dues in total.
<Gord> I can agree with new/better services.
<crimso> And these days the OS/2 community needs money to fund development.
<eCSNL> Its not just the OS/2 community
<Gord> There was some talk of financial support for the FireWire driver but nothing was decided.
<eCSNL> you see Linux projects where they also ask for financial support.
<eCSNL> The problem with finding a project is that at this moment Netlabs is swamped.
<eCSNL> There is being worked to free up Adriaan a bit.
<eCSNL> He has a full time job, he has a company with some friends, runs Netlabs and of course a private live :-)
<eCSNL> So that's why things have been moving slow there.
<Gord> I can't see a $5 or $10 saving bringing in too many new members.
<eCSNL> OK it would only help it there is a better package....
<Gord> eCSNL - has VOICE ever done an 'inventory' of the talent available in VOICE members?
<Gord> How many programmers we have?
<Gord> That sort of thing?
<Gord> Many of those people were VOICE members.
<Gord> What sort of help could Netlabs use?
<eCSNL> More help with organize stuff.
<eCSNL> It's the same really everywhere I guess. A lack of manpower to coordinate stuff...
<crimso> A kind of discount I could think of is for "active" supporters of OS/2, e.g., developers, web site maintainers, and the like.
<crimso> The problem is defining the criteria for being "active."
<eCSNL> I think I will do it differently.
<eCSNL> I think I will make a PDF file of about 6 pages with all action points for VOICE.
<Gord> eCSNL - I think contributing $25 a year is a participation point for people. Cutting that level of participation in half would be bad.
<Gord> For some it is the only contact they have with VOICE.
<jep> Ehmm, Mr Chairman eCSNL, Gord and everyone else attending this meeting. Would an inventory of the community help not only voice?
<jep> I don't think that money is the real issue for not being a member... it's something else...
* jep isn't a memeber for example... no one has asked me why
<eCSNL> I think I need to write my small document to provide a framework for this discussion.
<eCSNL> This does not have to do with bureaucracy and paperwork. But there is no framework.
<crimso> jep: So what's the reason?
<jep> Your homepage e.g. contains the monthly newsletter...I read it all the time
<jep> but the other things doesn't seem to be available, VOICE doesn't "advertise" that you offer me something.
<jep> and just as you say crimso, what more do I get as a member, I can't see that I or my interest would benefit from joining voice.
<Gord> jep - Right now we are looking for things to offer. What would you like us to offer you?
<jep> Asking me as a wannabe developer or as a user of OS/2-eCS?
<crimso> jep: I guess both.
<jep> Ok, we'll begin with the user side then
<jep> The warpdoctor plugin...
<Gord> jep - whatever it takes.
<jep> advertise what it can do for me!!!
<jep> You need many articles, not only in voice but also in OS2ezine
<Gord> It makes access to the site easier.
<Gord> True
<jep> Gord... I know some of this... but I'm pretending I haven't attended this meeting before
<Gord> How can we persuade people to write articles?
<Gord> Sorry. I'm interrupting you. Finish your argument.
<jep> You also need to focus on different angles (if there are) to the usage and why it is so good
<jep> Writing articles... a tough one. but I'll try to give you some hints that may or may not be relevant here.
<jep> I know stuff, but I don't have the guts to tell anyone about my "thing"
<jep> the problem can be language (you've identified this)
<eCSNL> Voice corrects the articles that why we have staff to do this..
<jep> but another thing may be that the person feel he/she's too shy and know to little
<crimso> jep: sigh, the old problem. I've tried to address that at some point. Looks like we need to constantly do so.
<jep> another person may feel that they're not as witty and write as good as you do (that's something you can't do much about though)
<jep> I'd be glad if you'd identify those of "us" that doesn't write programs/drivers etc. all day long.
<Gord> I don't.
<jep> because hopefully more people will see that "normal mortals" can contribute too
<jep> I know for example that there are many people that would like to know how to create snazzy 3D-text images, but don't know that it can be easily done with e.g.Embellish
<jep> Do you have a list of articles that you want writers for?
<crimso> jep: One problem is that many of the people you talk about won't listen if we approach them. Every Newsletter contains a "our authors are not professionals" etc. passage.
<jep> no, people have to come up with the topics them selves, right?
<crimso> And yes, we have a list of topics in our guidelines.
<jep> good :-)
<crimso> A while ago a did an editorial about that. As a result a Yahoo group articles - ecs - whatever was founded.
<crimso> Guess how many suggestions for article topics actually made it there?
<jep> I know that one suggestion for topic was "rejected" as some else
<jep> :-(
<jep> but can you write a mass mail to people and they see it as a personal invitation?
<jep> I read it as an invitation to read other peoples work...
<jep> The problem of course is to identify and make the inventory of people that can be potential contributors... but everyone got something they know well or at least good enough to try out
* eCSNL would like to return to the agenda...
<jep> and if their suggestion doesn't fit... try to help so that it can be placed in the right forum (crimso)
<jep> sorry... went too far away
<crimso> jep: Whenever one of the editorial staff sees a contribution in Usenet etc. that sounds interesting enough, we ask the poster to write an article about it. Sometimes the result *is* an article, but often the most we get is false promises.
<jep> Yes, sad to hear.
<crimso> I don't intend to sound discouraging, but that's the way it is.
<eCSNL> The chairman closes this discussion item.
<eCSNL> Gordon
<crimso> I would like to add one last thing: At WSE, Peter Koller reminded me that we need constant coverage.
<eCSNL> That means ?
<crimso> You have to hit people with information.
<wdl> Yes, Yes, YES!
<crimso> Make announcements for every little good thing.
<Gord> Yes
<crimso> That way they remember you.
<eCSNL> Well this will happen soon!
<eCSNL> What do you think the domain is...
<eCSNL> In a system to distribute news to all OS/2 websites.
<crimso> Hear, hear.
<eCSNL> In the long run (3 months or so) all news from all mayor OS/2 sites will channel there automatically
<eCSNL> to this news system. They will no longer collect there own news.
<eCSNL> They can then select the news from this central news pool.
<crimso> Cool. I'd like to see some RSS stuff.
<eCSNL> Its coming in.
<eCSNL> *However*
<eCSNL> The website will only be accessible for websites not end users.
<eCSNL> The reason for this is because maybe some websites would not like to join because some users would go to our website.
<eCSNL> Basically its like a news agency. And we supply and collect the news to our customers (websites)
<eCSNL> and not the visitors of the websites.
<eCSNL> I kick started this project.
<eCSNL> And one person who needs to be put in the spotlight here
<eCSNL> is Robert Henschell who was at Warpstock US and Warpstock Europe.
<eCSNL> Voice is already working to integrate this news system in its mailing list.
<eCSNL> They are the first trial party. So its not a bla bla bla project.
<eCSNL> It's coming of the ground...
<crimso> May I mention that in an editorial, or do you think it's too early?
<eCSNL> Of course...
<crimso> Speaking of hitting people with information: What about small reports about the status of this news service?
<crimso> That would definitely draw some attention.
<crimso> Make people drool. :-)
<eCSNL> This is one of the projects I'm have put up to finally break up the OS/2 community Islands that exists...
<eCSNL> People are not in touch with each other...
<crimso> You sound like Thomas in the presentation at WSE. :-)
<eCSNL> Well the sun is coming up and its time for everybody to stand up and face music!
<eCSNL> Because what he said it true.
<eCSNL> Most visitors from Australia who joined the
<eCSNL> SpeakUp about dfsee were there because
* crimso agrees wholeheartedly.
<eCSNL> of the posting I did on
<eCSNL> The OS/2 community should have understood this fact years ago!
<jep> eCNSL: There's a very important thing you've identified... people feel like they're sitting on melting islands and they need to find others... very good
<eCSNL> The difference is I hate debates. I talked with Robert for 1 1/2 hours.
<eCSNL> Everybody I talked to agreed with me. He actually sat down and started typing PHP code.
<eCSNL> I have more positive plans for VOICE...
<eCSNL> I will publish my document hopefully before XMAS...
<eCSNL> But back to the agenda.
<eCSNL> Lets go to New business...
<eCSNL> Gord has the money been transferred to the bank account of
<eCSNL> Warpstock?
<eCSNL> The 1000 dollars?
<Gord> eCSNL From memory I believe it has.
* eCSNL hands a small task to Gord to check this
<Gord> I seem to remember we sent a bank draft so it would have been removed when I purchased the draft.
* eCSNL just wants to be 100% certain
<eCSNL> Could you give a confirm next meeting or via E-mail please?
<Gord> Yes.
<eCSNL> thank you
<eCSNL> Now SpeakUp...
<eCSNL> In January I want to pickup the tradition again
<eCSNL> *And*
<eCSNL> I want to keep it moving forward each month
<eCSNL> from now on.
<eCSNL> People who an idea for a SpeakUp ?
<eCSNL> We had Dfsee
<Gord> Terry Norton's new programmer's group??
<eCSNL> I'm not aware of this group what do they do >
<eCSNL> >=?
* eCSNL notes he also can't follow all the news
<Gord> An individual, Terry Norton, wanted to learn to program in C++...
<Gord> He invited others to join him, set a textbook, started a forum for communication...
<Gord> and put about 6 or 7 lessons on line... then the snow came down on earth one day and Terry cut his fingers off on a snowblower then he got injured and the group lagged for a while...
<Gord> It has just been picked up again by Nick Morrow...
<Gord> we are looking for a project to do...
<Gord> I have suggested the mother of all sort/merge programs...
<Gord> Well I'm on the mailing list but I haven't done many lessons yet. Michal Necasek of OpenWatcom?
<Gord> ????
<Gord> jep Jump In !!!!
<crimso> What about Scitech Soft? I guess many people would like to know what their plans are for SNAP. for a SpeakUp
<Gord> or Sundial Systems If I remember correct Michal Necasek said he would do a speakup... good PR for Open Watcom C/C++
<Gord> What does Michal Necasek have to do with this?
<crimso> ROM Logicware (developers of Papyrus Office). Maybe that would finally persuade them to implement multiple undo. He is project head for OW and does the OS/2 version
<Gord> or version 10
<Gord> I am interested in Papyrus
<crimso> Gord: Haven't they published the English version of Papyrus X yet?
<wdl> Gord: HUH! Lotsa luck...
<Gord> I am unaware of it.
<Gord> Did it get by me??
<wdl> No. Mensys even dropped backorders for the English version. It just wasn't coming...
<eCSNL> As a last point.
<eCSNL> I seem to understand
<eCSNL> VOICE needs somebody to collect the money for the Norman Anti Virus renewals.
<eCSNL> Mensys will put an article online for this.
<eCSNL> That should fix the credit card problems.
<Gord> Too slow.
<eCSNL> ?
<eCSNL> What do you mean to slow ?
<Gord> I have suggested the European and Far Eastern members can send cash. This seems to be OK with those I have asked.
<Gord> We have to keep momentum moving on this.
<Gord> People have been polled for interest and a price has been determined.
<Gord> I have a quote from Vaughn for 60 licences.
<Gord> We must not let interest down.
<eCSNL> Well this article can be online tomorrow!
<Gord> What I need is approval from the Board Of Directors to spend the money. There don't seem to be anything on the VOICE site about the Norman Antivirus benefit for members.
<Gord> It is not a program that is always available.
<crimso> NielsJ: I understand that this is not a regular offer. It has been announced via the news or members mailing list.
<Gord> It was announced on the members list.
<eCSNL> Ahaa you need to order the 60 licenses at once...
<Gord> Ya goota keep your membership current!!
<eCSNL> But sending it via cheque or snail mail...
<crimso> We could add an item saying "Sometimes, mass orders are organized and VOICE members get a rebate." True, but even if it is not a regular offer, it could be shown as another reason to join VOICE.
<eCSNL> is slow...
<eCSNL> How much many of the 60 licenses have you received the money for already ?
<Gord> None. I haven't told anyone the final price or where to send the money.
<Gord> I will have the licences in hand and paid for before the first one is sent out.
<eCSNL> OK...
<Gord> The problem is at this low price all the licences age together starting as soon as one is used.
<crimso> Well... If there was a safer way to transfer the money than sending cash, I'd prefer that one.
<Gord> So I must be prepared to send them all out at once.
<Gord> or close to it.
<Gord> So would I but there doesn't seem to be a cheap way we can use.
<Gord> Checks from Europe and the Far east are horrendously expensive.
<Gord> VOICE doesn't have a credit card account.
<Gord> of its own.
<eCSNL> You will laugh your pants off
<eCSNL> when you see the charges to get a cheque processed from Europe $$$$
<Gord> We are looking into PayPal but it is a long shot right now,.
<eCSNL> OK for 15 dollars
<eCSNL> a license
<eCSNL> Mensys can sell them to VOICE members
<eCSNL> starting this Monday
<eCSNL> Via our online shop with credit cards of course...
<crimso> I guess it wouldn't be a good idea to tell Vaughn that the deal is off.
<Gord> Thank you!!!!
<Gord> No, it wouldn't.
<eCSNL> At this moment the Mensys servers can't be reached
<Gord> How will the member order it?
<eCSNL> The ISP seems to down.
<Gord> How will you verify he is a VOICE member?
<crimso> eCSNL: Do you mean that Mensys would do the complete selling or that they would just collect and transfer the money?
<eCSNL> It will be on the same page as the VOICE membership items
<eCSNL> We collect and transfer the money to you then.
<eCSNL> If you can send me the list of up to date members
<Gord> OK
<eCSNL> then I can check when I process an order that somebody is a voice member
<Gord> should I send it to your E-mail address?
<crimso> eCSNL: What about the !ยง$%&* VAT?
<eCSNL> I will check that...
<Gord> Please let me know as soon as you find out.
<eCSNL> But people from outside the European union don't pay VAT
<eCSNL> If nobody objects I would like to wrap this meeting. I want to hit the sack.
<eCSNL> Warpstock Europe was last weekend and I'm still tired.
<Gord> I move we adjourn
<eCSNL> And we have wrapped up the agenda.
<eCSNL> Who want to close this meeting ?
<eCSNL> Say yes
<Gord> aye
<eCSNL> aye
<crimso> Aye!
<JWE> aye
<salish> aye
<eCSNL> Niels just typed in a window to me privately aye...
<NielsJ> Sorry!
<NielsJ> Aye
<eCSNL> OK don't need to ask who is against closing...
<eCSNL> The Aye's have a majority :-)
<eCSNL> This session is closed...
* eCSNL signing off
<eCSNL> Thanks for your time...
<eCSNL> I will work on the document...
<crimso> Have a nice weekend everybody.
<Gord> and the VAT
<eCSNL> Already noted...
<eCSNL> zzzz
<eCSNL> good night
Meeting adjourned 04 December 2004 at 17:30:21 EST