Platform for MJ Ray

I am MJ Ray (slef on IRC, because I can't type/spell self) and I'm nominating myself because I want SPI to be more active and more visible. I have been a watchful SPI contributing member since 2004 and I've been mailing the meeting logs to spi-general for the last few months, so you can see I'm pretty reliable.

This year's platform is different in a few ways from my last one. First of all, I want to make clear that this vote is not secret. Secondly, I've dropped the abstention promise that so many disliked. Thirdly, I'm giving some more concrete steps to improve SPI.

If elected, my main aims are:-

  1. Anonymise SPI votes. SPI's voting is not currently secret or anonymised. I've been told this is because the script to unlink votes from voters doesn't work any more. I'll fix or rewrite it, if given access. See

  2. More SPI news. SPI has been underperforming on news in two ways: firstly, the board has been very late in sending meeting notices, agendas and so on to the membership; and secondly, not much of the news reaches SPI's public website - only one item in the last year. See
    I'll fix the first with the same system used by the member services of my cooperative - scheduled notice emails each month, using the first draft written immediately after the board meeting if there's been no update. I'll fix the second by starting an SPI blog in some way, trying to use what I've learnt working for a blogging network recently.

  3. Consult members more, if they're willing. This year, I've been a member of two web panels - one for the Co-operative Group (the co-op high street shops in most of the UK) for four months and one for the BBC, still continuing. They have generated useful ideas for the sponsoring organisations and evaluated some project ideas before they started. I'll set up something similar for SPI if some members are willing to participate.

  4. Report on SPI performance. The annual meeting has come and gone without an annual report. I'll ask for the annual report to be published by the pre-AGM board meeting next year, including an update of SPI's review against Better Business Bureau standards which I'll ask to lead.

I will also:

  1. vote FOR actions that make a net contribution towards SPI goals;
  2. vote FOR actions that support cooperative principles;
  3. vote according to what I perceive as member consensus about any non-urgent votes not described above.

I'm a free software hacker since 1996 or so, a minor Debian Developer since 2003 (bugfixing and sponsoring as time and knowledge permits), a maintenance webmaster for GNUstep and a user of PostgreSQL, Drupal, OFTC and TeXmacs, so I will try to take a rounded view of associated projects, as well as suggesting association to other projects I am involved with. I'm well aware that SPI needs to run smoothly to serve its projects, but we need to balance that with not stiffening SPI's internals too much.

If you want to know more about my views and past actions, see my web pages at - Since 2002, I work for a small internet workers' cooperative, who are very understanding and have supported my work as a board member of Co-operativesSW and an active member of the Co-operative Group, the Phone Coop and two LUGs. Contact me at work by IRC (may have to wait a day for a reply - sorry), jabber, email, web form, SIP phone or telephone to discuss SPI if wanted.