Minutes General Assembly

Discussion about the European Association of EuroBillTrackers

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Minutes General Assembly

Postby Phaseolus » Sat Sep 13, 2008 9:11 pm


General Assembly

Association Européenne des EuroBillTrackers – A2E

Ljubljana, August 23, 2008

Present: b100w11, Tomaz79, jenny&me, Lonapo, Grega, NOW1K, Sen-Chuan, GNUGNU, Ravestorm, kajak, Eliezer, Dakkus, Annie-in-Exile, Hadibe, haemoglobin, MATH MURDERER, Schlauchen, JOVADA, Crazy Bob, Mr euro, Elmo, HBoZ, eddydevries, bhoeyb, WALLY2CV, Nomen Nescio, -STAR-, klapotec, ErGo, Burky, magpie, Jack_isidore, wisi, Helloggs, avij, Nerzhul, Phaseolus

Excused and Represented by proxy: Debemaks, Giulcenc, Claudio_vda, Pietropole, de-jo, team nossi, Lasterpaule, Licht&Feuer, Luise., Craco, Castanhola, Coach Vahid, juga

1. Introductory note:

B100w11 reads out a message prepared by de-jo, President of the Association Européenne des EuroBillTrackers, who unfortunately could not attend the present meeting. This message is annexed to these minutes (see annex1).

2. Reasons for the Creation of the Association

Phaseolus makes of the short summary of the reasons that lead to the creation of the Association Européenne des EuroBillTrackers. He welcomes the positive responses of the users of EBT ; as he believes that the A2E is the only solution for an independent EBT.

3. Introduction to the various Working Groups of A2E

3.1. Technical Operations & Maintenance Team (TOM team)

Avij indicates that this WG mainly deals with all technical issues related to running & maintaining the EuroBillTracker online tools. This includes: choosing & installing new hardware & systems or handling technical aspects of a contract with a hosting facility, keeping up with current security practices, upgrading systems software on a timely basis, installing & maintaining software & hardware required by the Dev Team, installing new versions of EBTonline tools, responding the hardware & software failures.
The scope of this working group is indeed rather technical, so avij warns that all interested parties shouls have some understanding about the various hosting issues such as servers, operating systems (e.g. CentOS), DNS, MySQL. Avij further indicates that contrary to some previous information, the plotters, translators, support people etc are not part of this group.

Avij presents a proposal to host the EuroBillTracker-website on its personal server at the cost of 69€/month. This is the cost he has supported personally in the past years.

As a consequence to this proposal, the General Assembly requires the Board to take care of providing hosting services at any time either by itself or by sub-contracting with someone.

3.2. Web development

Nerzhul introduces the activities of its WG for Web Development as follows:
The web development working group will take care of the web front end of EBT. The tasks will focus on improving and maintaining the existing user interface, but also evaluate, design and implement new processes, statistics and other features. Specifically, it will also maintain the code base of EBT.

Group members do not have to have any programming skills (although they would be useful of course), but need to bring a bit of time and motivation to design and discuss the future user experience of EBT. It is the WG for people who are willing to not only post their ideas on the "to do list" thread but also discuss the feasibility and implementation of the ideas.

The following skills are requested: graphical design, code (PHP, Javascript, Flash), APIs, mashups (e.g. Google Maps/Earth), information management (processes, data modeling).

Nerzhul will organize this WG; he will report about the activities of this WG to the Board of Directors, manage releases and assist new members. If required he can also assign tasks and manage sub-projects.

3.3 Communication WG:

Phaseolus introduces the objectives of the Working Group “External Communication” that aims to organize communications to the EBT-community (e.g. newsletters) and the communication outwards to get new members.

It is therefore the objective of the WG to find volunteers in order the newsletters to be published on a regular basis. Nowadays, EBT counts 130.000 users; 4260 EBT’ers are also registered on the forum. There’s a clear need to organize communication towards all EBT-users.

In parallel, communication needs to be organized to the outside world. Communication can be made via press releases when needed and this has been the purpose of a sub-forum called EBT Media group. The weakness of the current communication to journalists is the lack of money for financing media communication. Phaseolus witnesses that he has built up a database of emails of journalists; but, from the contact he had with journalists they explained that they would prefer a press release to be sent to them by post, as most of the time their email address is full of spam.

In some countries, the WG could also make proposals to organize communication via other means, such as advertising. This is again requires some funding.

In other terms, the WG “External Communication” should first determine some of its priorities and individuals should propose projects. If financing would be required, the project will be presented to the Board of Directors for former approval. In no case money could be spent without previous agreement of the BoD.

In summary, priorities of this WG could be to focus on the countries having the lowest concentration of EBTers (such as Cyprus, Ireland, Greece, Spain, France, Italy…) or to countries in the period of accession to the Euro (Slovakia in January 2009). For these priorities projects should be built and if finance is necessary the Board of Directors will make their decision.

Obviously the WG will also act first in the countries with high EBT-concentration. The definition of “EBT-concentration” is as follows: number of EBters/total population)

Members of the association underlined that they would like to have a better communication when hits are moderated. Indeed when moderation is done, two parties are involved into a hit and explanation/communication is requested.

B100w11 makes the proposal to work on a Press-kit that could afterwards be adapted to every country. This proposal is accepted.

The General Assembly unanimously supports the idea that high priority should be given to the introduction of the euro in Slovakia in order to re-iterate the success of the Slovenian integration.

3.4. Database WG – community

The purpose of this workgroup is to organize, coordinate and improve the quality of the EBT-database.
Three major work fields are the responsibility of the workgroup:
1. The user database: The purpose is to avoid the malicious usage of the database, especially by entering fake notes (see suspicious users). The idea is to create a workgroup of local trusted EBT-users, responsible for the control and follow-up of the users. They take action when suspicious entries are detected by themselves or announced by users (by mail or in the forum). Per country (or group of countries depending on language and size) 1 member of the user-control group tries to make contact with the suspected suspicious user, asking for explanation. Depending on the answers of the suspicious user, the user-control group can take a decision. If no answer is received, the suspicious user is again asked for info a second and even a third time. If no explanation is given, the entered notes are retrieved from the database, as is the suspicious user. The decision of expulsion of the database is done by vote on a 50% + 1 vote. This is actually a proposition to be discussed by the group in formation.
2. The notes database: Same purpose as group 1 but focused on the quality of notes entered and the quality of the hits. This group coordinates the activities of the moderators.
3. The database communication group. Purpose is to improve the communication to the existing users, to maintain them active by sending on regularly basis a newsletter with information about the community and the database. The newsletter workgroup is the core group of this workgroup and has to be reactivated.
Next steps:
A. Formation of the groups - asking for interested volunteers and coordinate the start-up
B. Agreement of the process to eliminate suspicious users.
C. Activation of the newsletter group. May be the newsletter has to be send in English only to avoid delays and heavy organizational work! The content of the newsletter has to be diverse and not only linked purely to the technical aspects of the EBT-site, but also on activities of EBT-members, special entries, special hits, special contacts… This to increase the community feeling!

3.5 Other points

Mr Euro suggests creating two other Working groups:
- WG on “how to raise money for EBT ?”
- WG on “EBT Meetings”

4. Board Election

The following Members are elected as Board members:

Austria: Klapotec
Belgium: de-jo
Finland : Eliezer
France : Phaseolus
Germany : Magpie
Italy: Ravestorm
Malta: Ewri
Portugal: leofer40
Slovenia: B100w11
Spain: Now1k
The Netherlands: Elmo

Please note that Founding members are members of the Board of Directors.

Special thanks are addressed to unfortunate candidates, Hellogs, Jessper, Craco. Please note that Mr. Euro decided not to candidate prior to the lection for Belgian seat, in order to respect the proposal made by the Board to have a continuity of Presidency this first year. Please note that Tomaz79 decided not to candidate for Slovenian seat prior to this election.

5. A.O.B.

As no other point is raised, the General Assembly is closed.


President Introductory note

“Dear EBT-friends,
First of all I wish to welcome you and thank you all for joining the EBT-association and this First General Assembly of the European Society of EuroBillTrackers. Many thanks also to the organizing group in Slovenia and Ljubljana for their hospitality!
Unfortunately for me it is impossible to join this meeting, as this weekend of August I have to help my brother in the family business (a hotel – see my profile in EBT) in Nieuwpoort. But I am with you in mind…
EuroBillTracker is now 2.426 days ‘on the web’ and is a website where its users can track their Euro notes.
Meanwhile EuroBillTracker is grown to somewhat 130.00 users (somewhat 10.000 regular active users!) with a database of nearly 50 million notes!
But EuroBillTracker is much more than that; It is more than 220.000 hits between those users, it is a forum in 11 different languages where users contact each other and discuss very different subjects. EuroBillTracker is also different national meetings in different euro countries and EuroBillTracker is also this international meeting here in Ljubljana.
To all the people making this possible, to Philippe Girolami, to Anssi Johansson, to Marko Schilde and to many others: Thank you very, very much for this superb initiative where so many users find their colleagues and have fun together!
As each community, EBT also had crisis moments. One serious crisis happened at Christmas last year. A dark period we had to go through. But this crisis has also a positive effect! After the rain comes sunshine….
And this sunshine after the clash early this year is the merit of mainly one person! Phaseolus!
During the difficult period, I witnessed as co-negotiator how Bruno went for a reunited EBT; this was for him the one and only solution!
I admired his patience and how he listened to each of the different points of view. How he worked to find compromises and solutions. How Bruno searched and found the future strategy for EBT by creating the Association. And even this was not easy as an international Association above the National bounders is not so common.
Bruno, I want to thank you very, very much for all the work you have done and for your friendship…. Without all your efforts, EBT was history, I think! And of course I want to thank also his wife, Phaseola, as she had to miss her husband when he was on the phone again, or chatting to prepare one of the meetings… So far we are; but the future is waiting!
It is important that you all are here together in Ljubljana for this first general Assemble of the Association; you’ll have to decide about the future of EBT!
The existing Board is prepared to continue for one more year to consolidate the creation of the Association and to organize the necessary activities for next years. But more members are needed as a lot of work has to be done and the more hands that can help, the better the work can be done.
The administration, the continuation of the EBT site, the maintenance of the site, the database and the forum; external and internal communication, new features and designs, etc, etc,…..That’s why working groups were formed. So if you want to help, join the group and welcome! I wish you a very good meeting and don’t forget to have some fun also!

Theo De Jonckheere – President”
Ceci est une signature.

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