I don't think we should institute a process that would add paperwork. However, some process is helpful — it could be as simple as our Consultant's wiki page on info.tw.o. So long as there is a clear guideline as to what a partner means (and sufficient examples like that being developed this page), the process can be as simple as adding yourself to this wiki page and provide some info (as stated in the guidelines).
As for the Official Partner,if you think about it, all partners are official to a certain degree — the fact that the TCSA has not objected and find that partnerships are in line with guidelines are in fact already endorsement in that sense. I suggest that the TCSA instead do something else like "Featured Partners", which is a kind of "beauty contest" which doesn't make this official but does "Feature" and provides some street cred.... The overhead of having a watertight method of making things official I fear is too great. And official sounds like there is some kind of stringent criteria (which could lead to conflicts if some think they deserve it but do not. "TCSA Featured partners" on the other hand implies subjectivity and can be on a rotating basis - you may not be featured in March, but could still be featured in April... so it creates less contentious situations. The other reason why "featuring" is better is because if an "official partner" subsequently misbehaves you might get into the "difficult" situation of having to kick him out of the program, but a "featured partner program" does not require any such thing. The fact that you were featured in Jun 2010 and it is now 2013 speaks for itself...
Instead of having an official partnership program, perhaps we could spend energy instead be spent creating a sponsorship/fundraising program or something where someone can be an "Official Supporter" of the TSCA.
As for "Development partner" and "Community partner" I like it that these terms be explained/defined and guidelines can be made for them.
Agreed it can be slippery, yet, let's support the idea and think of a way that it can't.
Per example, a yearly review of partners can be put in place. This process would not create paperword if it is conceived as a "call for excellency" to the extended community.
This partenership idea is going to energize enthousiasm.
Hats off Rick99.
Yes, indeed, it is even better like this where a "mass" email could be sent to all who are registred. This would honor the said partner and make the outside community aware of the recognition.
May I am just a little paranoid that the criteria to become an "official partner" may be exclusionary to some who then feel unfairly excluded.
I suppose to address this, we could simply make official partnership open to all that fulfills a list of factual things/guideline of conduct that partners must do or commit to do to be considered an official partner. This way, it is a level playing field, there are no decisions to be made except checking against a checklist. Is this what you were thinking of?
I'm just trying to avoid situations where there are the following risks:
1) Risk of "non-official" partners feeling that they have been prejudiced against if they were not admitted to be "official partners"
2) Risk of perceived (or the need to handle real) conflicts of interest in the partnership admission/review process.
3) Risk of souring relationships if once "official partners" are removed from official partnership during a review. Risk of perceived unfairness in such situations.
So... who gets to decide who becomes a "featured" partner? Do names get submitted to the Association? How does the Association determine who is featured?
To me this seems like a lot of additional work and process. I still think that simply having an "Official" status (that would require the partner to simply agree to specific terms) would be much easier.
I see. I get what you meant by the "official status" now. I had misunderstood it originally, thinking that it was a status conferred by the Association, hence I had very much the same concerns you had about additional work and process and "How does the Association determine who is official?" This was what led me to try and find a lesser work and lower risk method - hence the "Featured Partner" idea.
I would say that I am willing to drop the "Featured Partner" idea if in fact the "Official Partner" is simply a status open to all who want to be one, so long as they accept a set of terms and conduct guidelines.
One question though, is it intention that matters, or past performance, or both? I am not clear at what point is someone "eligible" to be an official partner.
OK, maybe "official" is the wrong term. Anyone have something better?
I'm trying to come up with a way to recognize/reward people/companies who make money from Tiki. These are the community members who have a vested interest in Tiki's long-term success. These "partners" are differnt from the "casual" community members who want to be Community Parnter or Development Parnter.
I don't want to make it difficult for people/companies to become "official" partners — just the opposite. That's why I suggest "simple" things such as a pledge to re-contribute code...