Group: FSF Community Team/Workflow

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FSF Community Team Workflow

The goal of this mailing list is to post responses to articles about Free Software. This should be done as quickly as possible so that many people see what Free Software is about and how to support it.

Here's what should happen with most articles.

  1. Somebody posts an article to the list (either just a link or a link and a short summary).
  2. People respond with a comment to the article and also send their comment to the list.
  3. The posted responses may then be discussed in order to improve on how to make certain points.
  4. Any other discussions about our process is a process point (see below).

Discussion aimed at improving our process it a good thing too, but it should be flagged appropriately (so that people can filter it out if they want) and it normally shouldn't take up more than a reasonable share of list traffic.

Please also keep in mind that we are not usually trying to discuss the content of an article in detail, but rather how to correct misconceptions in those articles and how to emphasize important points.

Message Types

Please follow these formats when sending messages to the list. Messages for the following purposes that don't follow these guidelines will probably be rejected by moderators, since it's important to maintain the list as an effective workspace for people who want to help out.


This is a proposal for an article we should respond to. When proposing an article, include:

  • The link
  • Reason for response
  • Proposed form of response? Comment? Email? (incl. links/addresses)
  • Optional: Short summary of the article
  • Optional: "[ARTICLE]" in the subject

The "[ARTICLE]" tag in the subject line is optional because anything posted to the list without a tag should be an article in need of a response.


Subject: [ARTICLE] Article about something 

The iPhone is a serious threat to peoples' freedom, we should explain why.  
I propose we leave a comment in that post and write the author a friendly 
email (


This is a proposed response to an article. It should be a reply to the article thread. A response should be:

  • the response you sent
  • a link to your response if it is a comment in a forum, blog, etc.
  • Optional: "[RESPONSE]" in the subject

The "[RESPONSE]" tag is optional because any responses to articles on the list without a tag should be responses that have been posted online.

Please try to respond as quickly as possible and in your own words. Do not re-post someone else's comment and please respond to something specific in the article. Generic responses posted to multiple sites may have a negative effect.

You do not need to get your comment "just right" because every little contribution helps. Just try to avoid using misleading terms that you criticize in your response.


Subject: [RESPONSE] to Joe on the iPhone

Hi Joe,

I realize the iPhone is a cool piece of hardware, but the software 
on it presents a real danger to society, and I think you have a duty 
to make your readers aware of this.


Holmes Wilson
FSF Community Team

Suggested Improvements

If you want to give feedback or suggest improvements to someone else's response, please include the following:

  • "[FEEDBACK]" in the subject
  • your feedback/suggested improvement

NOTE: If you want to suggest an improvement to somebody else's text, *always* include real proposed language that fits in their proposal. No ideas without real writing!

Process Point

This is a wide open area for discussing our goals or how we're organizing ourselves. Anything is on the table, but please be concise and constructive, and avoid generating needless controversy or list traffic.

  • "[PROCESS]" in subject line
  • Explain what problem you're trying to solve or what you're trying to achieve
  • Include a simple, concrete actionable proposal that you could imagine getting done.
  • The phrase "I propose that" should probably appear in your email.

NOTE: Every response to a process point should also include a proposal.