Next month, the GNOME Foundation membership will vote to elect a new board. It's that time of the year where we think about how the Foundation is doing, where it's going, and who should help run it. Yeah, we all have to plug our brains for a few weeks :-)

I first want to highlight two important points:

  • as many probably didn't notice, I want to remind everybody that the deadline to announce candidacies is May 23rd. That's next Sunday. You can see the full timeline in the announcement.
  • the Membership & Elections committee will again do an amazing job organizing the elections. So a big thank to them for their unsung actions!

If you're thinking of running for the elections, then stop thinking: this mere fact is an indicator that you should run. Else, well, think about it now :-) I've written about the job last year and Paul has written about his experience as a new board member. I can only tell you that it's an amazing position to be in if you care about GNOME: it gives you a different perspective on what's going in the project, you get to work with great minds and you can at least slightly influence the project (by working on new initiatives, or deciding how to allocate the money, among other examples). And you do feel rewarded for your work: you can see how it makes a difference.

If, after reading the previous paragraph and the linked posts, you still wonder whether you should submit your candidacy for the elections or not, I invite you to come talk to any past or current board member. And do the same if you have questions or need details about what it involves to be on the board (meeting over phone every two weeks, very active mailing list, action items to complete, etc.). I obviously can't talk for the others (although I strongly suspect they're like me), but I'll make time for you if you contact me about this. It'd be a shame if you don't run because you're in doubt!

As for me, I won't run this year. Although I decided this after the last elections, I actually had to repeat this to myself many times to make sure I really won't run — I have this bad habit of taking this exact decision and then changing my mind at the last minute (usually for a good reason). It's not an easy decision since I care deeply about the Foundation. But it's also because I care that it's the right decision. I've been on the board since January 2006, which is a long time; a long time that makes things feel too much like a daily routine, and that means a break is a good idea. It's also time to leave my seat to some new blood: putting aside the fact that the new board members can easily be pushed to do a lot of work ;-), there's my belief that we should have more different people involved at this level and knowing some of the internals of our community. Good reasons, but difficult decision; it's stupid, but unsubscribing from board-list won't be easy.

I feel the board has been doing a good job over the past few years, which hopefully means I've contributed to that. I could be worried of leaving, but I'm not: there will likely be some continuity thanks to some current board members running, and Stormy is rocking with her job, so the Foundation will most certainly be in good hands. I'll surely miss the constant flow of information (average of 97 mails a week), but on the other hand, it's also an opportunity to try to help the board from the outside, now that I know how things work.

Now, I'm just eager to see who's going to be elected. Aren't you?