Over the past few weeks and months some in the DataPortability Project (Specifically the Governance Taskforce) has been intently focused on designing a new type of governance model. A model that borrows from Robert's Rules and adapts it to a time-shifted, asynchronous, distributed and global organization. The participants in this effort, I believe, are performing historic work to crystallize and codify the ideals of the founders (and by extension the community) of the DataPortability project whereby the goals of openness and transparency are built into the way our community operates and makes decisions.
The careful balancing act of advocating and supporting open standards, encouraging democratic community participation and adopting the support of major vendors has been difficult to say the least. Indeed we have failed on more than one occasion. But the continued perseverance of the project leaders has been a testament to their commitment to the cause. Not just to promote data portability - but to engineer a new type of organization - one that broadens the reach, scale, tone and tempo of the conversation.
Each of these stages in the groups growth has been an organic evolution as the project has found its place, purpose and people.
As the new governance model takes affect and the new steering group forms we will finally be in a position to continue the organic growth of the project.
While it has been a real pleasure to help create and shepherd the group during its incubation - it has always been our intention as founders (at least since the explosive growth of the group) to constantly and organically hand over control and accountability to the community.
The next logical step is to apply the governance model to elect a chairperson.
I look forward to that conversation when it comes - and having the community (via whatever means comes to pass) choose a person to lead the project.
I will continue as interim chairperson until the role is filled by the selection process. While I have loved filling in while the project has grown I think the time is right for another member of the community to step in and take the project through the next phase of development. Therefore, I, myself, won't be running for the role. I will, however, continue to be heavily involved with the project and participate as part of the community how ever and when ever I can.
We will continue to keep everyone updated through the mailing lists and blogs as to our progress.
In the mean time, however, the conversation about data portability itself continues both inside and outside the project and we continue to support it however we can. There is talk of conferences, meetups, possible taskforces (based on the new governance model) and more. Stay tuned!
Also, and perhaps most importantly, I'd like to send a heart felt thank you to the leaders of the governance conversation including Elias Bizannes, Trent Adams, Brett Mcdowell, Steve Greenberg, Brady Brim-Deforest and Mike Smith. You guys are amazing.