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Hello,

ilmari.lauhakangas@libreoffice.org wrote on 2017-07-31 at 14:25:
I have concerns regarding the communication channels we use for working on LibreOffice. First, it seems we are sliding into a situation where

thanks for sharing your concerns. I indeed do take these very seriously, and that topic was considered quite a lot before going that route.

My personal take on the situation is that the primary and official channels are those on TDF premises, i.e. primarily our mailing lists, wiki, pad and other resources to create and upload content. We have full control over these. My personal order of preference is e-mail (it's an asynchronous medium that everyone can use at the time and frequency they like), sometimes chat or phone, as the latter ones can help resolving topics easier than with lots of mails back and forth.

During the previous LibreOffice Conference, the organizers have setup a Telegram group for the attendees. It was considered mostly an experiment and planned to be shut down after the conference - the strong participation rate and acceptance of it made us rethink and keep it running. It was not a decision upfront, but turned out to be a good idea (IMHO) over time. So, it was initialized in first place by volunteer conference organizers, and has not been pushed by TDF's team, although of course they are quite visible.

I agree, though, that we can get better on communication that, indeed. There was a blog post at https://blog.documentfoundation.org/blog/2016/10/25/presenting-libreoffice-telegram-channel/ that also mentions bridging to IRC, but we could have added more details.

The main reason for using all sorts of networks is that we "want to get the people where they are". Especially for the younger generations, and also for some native language groups, messengers and social networks have turned out to be the most effective way. I recall at least one community ever since using Google Plus, and another one ever since using Facebook, considering mailing lists way too complicated and "old style". Being a free software enthusiast, and essentially living in my e-mail client, this doesn't make me totally happy; however, IMHO we would be wasting lots of opportunities if we expect people to show up on mailing lists and IRC, independent what their background is.

This is also the reason why the (few) truly free and open social tools do not help in this regard - they are only used by those already attracted by our project. If we want to reach out to new possible contributors, we need to show up where they are, if we like it or not. And looking at my contacts, very few of these use one of the truly free tools either; one contact here, another contact there, but nothing consistent sadly.

For me, the main rationale is to have as many content creation, discussions and votes on official channels as possible. I'd like to avoid a situation where decisions take place on some random network only a few subscribe to - the primary working place is the mailing list still, decision need to be properly communicated and shared and run on the official channels.

I'm all open for making access easier, have a better web IRC, and also re-investigate video conferencing systems (although I have to admit that testing with 10-20 people is quite time-consuming, so I'd prefer a real-life experience with such an amount, geographically distributed, on various bandwiths). Bridging is another option, and deciding which content to post where makes sense as well.

If you have proposals, please share them. We surely can get better, and I'm open for any proposals.

Hope that helps!
Florian

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