As people probably remember, the current GNOME Foundation Board was elected to serve until June 30th, 2009. We changed the end date from December 31th to June 30th so that the new board could have a face-to-face meeting at the very beginning of its term, during GUADEC. This face-to-face meeting is most useful to energize the board and make things go faster, so it really makes sense to have it occur at the beginning of a board term.

Why am I talking about this? Simply because it means that the next GNOME Foundation elections will be happening in the next few months! I'm sure the elections committee will come with a proposed timeline soon. Based on the past elections, I would guess the vote will start in May and end at the beginning of June. And this means it's time for people to start thinking hard if they want to run for the elections.

People usually don't think they can run for the elections; maybe they feel they're not involved enough in GNOME, or they don't feel like they are able to help, or there's some other random reason to not run. Most of the time, that's just wrong: if you're Foundation a member, then it already means you care about GNOME, which is really the most important requirement when running for the Board. And if someone runs but doesn't get elected, that's in no way a hidden message saying that people hate this person ;-) So there's no reason to be afraid of running. It's only a good opportunity to help the project even more that what you're currently doing!

Sure, being a board member certainly isn't fun every day: there's some boring stuff to do, there's frustration every now and then, it can be time-consuming, you can get burnt out every other months, etc. But, and that's a positive but, you can help make things happen the way you think they should be happening (note that you can also do that without being on the board) and you are empowered to help the community achieve its goals. And if you care strongly about the project, this will make you happy to be on the board. If you have any question about how it is to be a board member, feel free to contact any board member. You can also publicly ask questions about all this on foundation-list.

Oh, and the board also decided to use a preferential voting method (Single Transferable Vote) for the elections. It's something that was discussed several times in the past, and the community seemed to like the idea, so we decided to just do it :-) The good thing is that Dave implemented all this for Maemo elections, which are powered by the same code as the one used for GNOME Foundation elections. So we can merge his changes back, and voilà!