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Re: [school-discuss] convincing school ITs to try Linux

Great! I think a listing like this would offer a value to SchoolForge members. As for the details:

* Gives website visitors a way to connect with someone that can answer
questions and provide ideas to get started

Even more so, would give someone a reference for a similar project. Contacts outside their own region to others who have already gone through what they are about to.

* Support is a source of income for many FLOSS software projects
* For-profit support organizations are part of the FLOSS ecosystem

I think these are important, especially the projects themselves. We would not have all of this great software without the project people providing it. (In most cases, without making a dime) If a support network could somehow be leveraged to help the projects with a micro payment scheme, or something along those lines eventually, I think it would be a boon for education based developers. Schoolforge has a lot of combined knowledge, we should look to ways it can be used to its full potential.

* Down the road, if SchoolForge becomes a non-profit organization,
could this present any complications?

I'm not sure how. The legal aspects of running a non-profit would have to be worked out with a lawyer, but there is no law that says people cannot make a living working for a non-profit.

* When the time comes that someone else is leading and working with
SchoolForge, could this present any complications?

Leadership changes are always tough, but if the site is pulling it's own weight I don't see anyone fiddling with the foundation. The key with anything is establish a stable footing then build up. A new leader might expand the offerings, but no successful leader would consider undermining a working system on purpose.

* Who's who?  What should be the threshold for presenting a support
organization? Maybe an endorsement by either a school or a FLOSS

I think community reports are just great. An open referral service, if you will. I think anyone should be allowed to post their qualifications, but the more your services have been used and referred by X clients, the higher your rating will go on the site. Add endorsements from those who come to the group with specific questions, and you have a fairly robust way of promoting knowledgeable service providers that is self-policing. I'm not sure what tech could be used. The digg.com system works ok, or something like the Ebay seller ratings would work just fine.

Chris Gregan
Open Source Migration Specialist/Founder
Aptenix Desktop Solutions
New Market, MD

"Open source, open minds."

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