9th March 2006

ORG Volunteers Meeting, Thursday March 9th 2006


In Person:

  • Tim Cowlishaw
  • Steve Kane
  • Michael Holloway
  • Mark Levitt
  • Chris Foster
  • Glyn Wintle
  • Rodolfo Rosini
  • Tom Croucher
  • Paul Blake
  • Steve Thompson


  • Tim Cowlishaw - timcowlishaw
  • David Mytton - Olate
  • Chris Boot - bootc
  • Tom Croucher - sh1mmer

(Please add names and IRC handles here)

Summary of Events


SC starts by explaining our preferred approach to voluntary work, which emphasises the proactive individual as opposed to the directed agent. i.e. Far more effective for folks to manage their own involvement and efforts rather than require SC or anyone else to continually cajole and encourage and direct.

> We're not against giving folk a warm-glow by getting them involved for 5 mins, but we'd rather attract long-term devotees who are keen to encourage genuine social change.

1. Install MySociety's software on ORG server to enable volunteers to match their skills / availability with tasks. - Steve Thomson

2. Develop our Pearl database to enable 'queries' - Steve Thomson

3. Transfer website to Wordpress - Glyn Wintle and Tim (SC to liaise with Mike Little)

4. Clearing spam off the Wiki - Glyn Wintle

5. Tracking ORG mentions in the press - Michael Holloway and Mark Levitt and Chris. MH to seek advice on 'trackers'

6. This 'task' less simple, more of an ongoing relationship. SC would like individuals to take on particular issues, and become our expert for that particular issue. So folks should consider which aspects of ORG's overall work they're most interested by, and providing nobody else is doing so, take it upon themselves to research that issue and keep abreast of all developments. In particular, they should develop a page on the WIKI so that others can input and also view their work. And long-term, it is to be hoped we can produce 'position papers' which express the considered approach to particular issues that ORG is taking. This stance will be the result of collaborative discussions between our general membership, our experts and the board. nb SC to discuss w/ board whether WIKI materials should feature a disclaimer, such that 'position papers' only are taken to be the official ORG stance by journos.

7. Tim to develop branding of ORG, including a 'kite' and logos n ting n ting n stickers.

8. New office-space required. Preferably 2 desks and a meeting space, central (east or west), and low cost (or free). - Rudolpho sounded like a useful fella here. MH to liaise with SC.

9. New space required for monthly events too. ICA? - Folks agree generally to investigate. MH to chase.

ANY FURTHER SUGGESTIONS FROM THE FLOOR - Rudolpho is the man for corporate fundraising, and legal issues. SC to introduce to Louise Ferguson. - Educating lawyers; SC had already discussed her desire to run workshops / seminars in order to educate targeted groups on our approach to particular issues, and some felt that we should in particular target lawyers. - Gavin (FFII) would like to perhaps share panel events - Suw looking to off-load work re events; Tom agreed to set up a new page on the WIKI. - Resolved to have a monthly volunteer's meeting ... next one to be held at Stanhope on Thursday 20th April. - Tom or Mark to add a MediaWiki calender to the website on which we can place timelines / events - Glyn suggests sharing of press contacts with other like-minded groups. SC amenable but vehemently detests press releases.

Tasks to be completed

Suw's version of the list:


  • find office space possibilities - MICHAEL
  • venue for events - TOM


  • add the 'sign up to announce' and 'sign up to discuss' to blog - GLYN (Suw needs to talk to the ORG WP guru first)
  • find someone who can change the database (Perl?) - TOM, STEVE (Suw to put in touch with existing ORG techies) Suw has emailed ORG techies about how best to do this.
  • code a database to email fix (Perl?) - TOM, STEVE (see above) Suw has emailed ORG techies about how best to do this.
  • install volunteer task tracking database from MySociety - OLATE, STEVE (see above) Suw has emailed ORG techies and MySociety about how best to do this.
  • tom is going to look at 37Signals as a possible CRM solution. TOM


  • blog spam tidying - GLYN (Suw to give Glyn access, once server move complete)
  • WP theme - GLYN


  • track ORG mentions in news - CHRIS, MICHAEL
  • track issues progress in news - will thrash out on wiki ALL
  • wiki spam banning - GLYN (has already contacted Suw with info; Suw to put in touch with ORG techies)
  • digital rights news links - TOM
  • weekly update encouragement on the front page of the wiki - TIM
  • tidy up the front page - TIM
  • calendar of upcoming events - TOM

Designy stuff

  • stickers - TIM (Suw to contact designer first)
  • cut logos up - TIM (Suw has emailed EPS)
  • kite (like Make Poverty History) - TIM (Suw to contact designer first)
  • t-shirts - TIM (see above)
  • style guide, press pack, logo - TIM, MARK, TOM
  • events ideas page - TOM
    • Seminar for IP lawyers/students, free culture - TIM
    • FFII stuff on patents - GAVIN

Corporate fundraising

  • Rodolfo (Suw has introduced to Louise Ferguson, ORG Chair)

  • Technical:
    • Install Task Management Software (Web application, written in PHP or Perl. Suw to confirm).
    • Develop existing database of members - we need to be able to perform queries on who is volunteering, donating, on the mailing lists etc. Database application uses Perl and MySQL.
    • Produce a script for the sidebar of the ORG blog, allowing simple sign up to the ORG mailing lists.
    • Upload new WordPress theme.
    • Set up WordPress Spam Filters
  • Site / Wiki Admin:
    • Periodically clear spam comments and trackbacks from the blog, and spam entries from the wiki pages.
    • Set up watchlists on Technorati and similar, and update Press page on the wiki with articles that cite or mention us, preferably with a short summary of the article.
    • Several people need to take responsibility for specific 'issues' and 'housekeep' and update the pages relating to that area on the wiki.
    • We also need a wiki page for ongoing help needed, rather than for specific tasks.
    • Work out a standard for Position Papers on various issues.
    • Maintain a list of authors (optional - you can post anonymously) of the wiki, for inclusion in any papers published.
    • Set up an 'issue of the week' type scheme encouraging development of wiki pages on specific topics
    • Examine the possibility of placing a disclaimer on the wiki, identifying what is official ORG position, and what is not.
    • Research and Expand wiki pages on specific issues.
    • Sub-edit and proofread / fact-check wiki pages
    • Implement a 'link dump' area of the wiki containing information to be refined and added to other pages later.
    • Track which wiki pages are 'stubs' and need further work
    • Tidy up the front page of the wiki
  • Design:
    • Produce a 'style guide' and branding pack for producing official ORG documents.
    • Design stickers, a 'kite' and small buttons for use on websites / blogs etc.
    • N.B: before starting a design related task, check with Suw that Denise has not already completed it.
  • General admin:
    • We need to find a new venue for the ORG and London Copyfighters meetups, and potentially for other seminars and events. We should maintain a list of venues that could be amenable to us, both inside and outside of London.
    • Research a new location for the ORG office. It doesn't necessarily have to be free, but should be flexible.
    • Start thinking about events we'd like to run / organisations we could run these alongside.
    • Start chasing up organisations and people who have offered us donations!

IRC Chat Log

IRC Chat Log - March 9th 2006