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[Social-discuss] [FC-discuss] Diaspora: please hire a secretary immediat

From: Ryan Prior
Subject: [Social-discuss] [FC-discuss] Diaspora: please hire a secretary immediately
Date: Mon, 17 May 2010 23:21:58 -0500

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Shava Nerad <address@hidden>
Date: Mon, May 17, 2010 at 8:25 PM
Subject: Re: [FC-discuss] Diaspora: please hire a secretary immediately
To: Ryan Prior <address@hidden>, Discussion of Free Culture in
general and this organization in particular <address@hidden>
Cc: address@hidden

At 08:08 PM 5/17/2010, Ryan Prior wrote:
> I got the opportunity to meet and speak with Shava Nerad (CC'd in case
> she'd like to make a recommendation), previously of the Tor group, who

The Tor Project ( -- I was executive director for
a couple years when they went from unincorporated (and largely
unfunded) cypherpunk open source group to 501[c][3]
research/educational charity, with a half mil yearly budget, and
started to get recognition as a tool for democracy, human rights, free
press, and change agents.  I still do volunteer press monitoring for

> helped change and then maintain Tor's image during the time when it
> was getting started and was highly visible in the media. Retaining
> somebody of her intellect and savvy can help a project out a lot while
> simultaneously taking a lot of burden off of active developers and
> hackers.
> Between GNU Social, Diaspora*, Free Culture and friends, we have a
> very large number of people fielding questions and developing ideas. I
> think it would serve us all very well to have somebody taking the lead
> in dealing with the media and interested citizens; Diaspora* is in a
> very commanding position to find that person, feed him or her, and
> make the most out of the present situation.\

Hey, Ryan, SJ, and all y'all I know, and please to meet you to those I don't! :)

I bet I won't get these to the lists cc'd because I am not on them, so
if you could forward this, I'd appreciate it.

First, let me say I've been promoting the hell out of Diaspora* on
Twitter and every privacy discussion I've been in online or off,
around Harvard and MIT particularly....

That said, seeing what you need, I have a few thoughts.  These are
expressed strongly, but they are, of course, only my opinions.

First, what you are describing is not a secretary but a PR person.  If
you could get anyone at all, one probably with good chops in social
media, and if you're very lucky, a person who knows how to raise funds
too.  If you are going to turn this into a project that pays people,
you can certainly take advantage of the current rush of press and
social media, good discussion, and so on to turn this into something

Your expectations should *start* there, and reducing that is an issue
of compromise.

I'm happy to help with some advice and such, but right now I am on a
ramen diet myself, working on my own project.  I could put more than a
few hours into this if it paid, myself, but not more than part time
(10-20h), and not any further than the summer because by then I'll be
hosed for time with my game company.

So, in order of preference, this is what I'd do:

       1)  find someone with professional fundraising/social
media/open source/PR experience who will give (what, 10-20h/wk?) into
you forever, as a volunteer (I'm sure they're out there, but they
might take a LONG time to find, which would be an issue over the
       2)  find someone with some subset of those things that include
fundraising who will be willing to volunteer until they raise some
money, and then pay them to stay on for the duration if they work out.
       3)  find someone like me (or me) who will take stoopid low pay
for the field to raise money and deal with PR and so on, who'll kick
start what you are doing, and then you can maybe find someone like
#1/#2 from there on?
       4)  find a volunteer who can do a significant subset, probably,
but just needs the experience (maybe a summer intern?) to put on a
resume, and will work free
       5) find someone who'll work cheap and has some large subset of
what you need.

Which of these seem good to you depends on where and how you look,
obviously.  If you don't want me, maybe the best use of my limited
volunteer time would be to look for the person you decide you want to
look for?

Happy to help, either way!



Shava Nerad, CEO, Oddfellow Studios
+1 617-767-6735 (cell)
skype:  shava23
Shava Suntzu in SL

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