Mesh/13 Mar 2018

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People's Open Network Weekly Meeting - 13 March 2018 7:30pm-9pm


  • Introductions and Meeting Roles (10 mins)
  • Check in on previous action items (5 mins)
  • Updates & Reportbacks (20 mins)
  • Next Sunday (5 mins)
  • Proposal: Use Loomio for Horizontal Decisionmaking (15 mins)
  • Discussion: Legal Relationship w/ Omni (10 mins)
  • Discussion: Team Communications (10 min)
  • Discussion/Proposal: Interview Blog Posts (10 min)
  • Action Items (5 mins)
  • Breakout Groups


Introduce yourself: Name; Preferred Pronoun; Icebreaker Response; BRIEF Announcements

  • Icebreaker question: Favorite spot to go/be as a kid?
  • mai / she / they / now a fellow at the common network foundation - favorite area pond with tad poles /
  • will / I run a node in the neighborhood / like to / fav spot - abandoned house in the neighborhood
  • benny / he / they / no longer sick / as a kid, I liked to walk around in a sculpture garden
  • ben / he / they / jeff installed home node and extender node / pointed at Dev / looking for folks to point at Jeffs / liked to read in weird nooks - under the sink, in the closet, wherever
  • jeremy / he / him / I'll be leaving my job in may and hoping to spend more time on peoples open / fav place - big patch of manzenita (Arctostaphylos sp.) bushes - good time to play around
  • seth: he/him fav place to place was this huge tree the neighborhood kids would hang out in next to the marsh. have some nodes in my house that i'm hopefully gonna put on the roof soon (at san pablo
  • jorrit he / him / rural neighborhood in summer evening, breaking into schools / figuring out issues #8, transient outages on the exit node, issues to be fixed
  • marc/juul / he / him / favorite place to hang out is of course the internet / been working a lot -- more stuff for disaster radio, also tangentially graphics for e-ink display kindle things
  • shilpi / she / her / ran around in the hills / heard about PON from Riotcon / used to work for decentralized protocols company in Reno, has some gear that could be donated / lots of background in the protocols side of things
  • lesley / she / her / them empty lot with trees and graffiti she'd go as a kid

Meeting Roles

  • Facilitator/s: Mai
  • Stacktaker: Benny
  • Notetaker/s: jorrit, mai, juu, bennyl
  • Next meeting's facilitator(s):

Check in on previous action items

Check previous meeting minutes at and past action items below:

Updates & Reportbacks


Priority bugs we need help with are located at: - For a high-level overview of recent Github activity, see the Trello:

  • jorrit - bug #8 is still an issue -- organizing principle. last week, grant and I cleaned out a bunch of old bugs, very gratifying. there's some bugs that are fixed that need to be patched and sent out to existing nodes. i got distracted by exit node going down again. not a lot of bugs getting closed, but a lot of knowledge is being shared. big discussion about how to do node patches -- grant did a lot of work on that. he proposed something, and there's a bug ready for testing. if anyone wants to work on a bug and doesnt know where to start, ask me
  • zeroconf progress - see full backlog in below is a brief summary

Node Mounts & Outreach

Node Mounts Trello:

  • ben: Alameda folks will be here so we'll have our hands full with that this Sunday
  • will: did we ever get power to the roof in berekely by the rose garden (diane's)
    • jnny: just need to buy a sufficient housing for power supply w/ groundwire (or sthg to that effect)
  • ben: don't think so--jenny + robb went back, but there's some other hangup. dave's will be delayed until doug or other electrician runs flexi (?) all the way around the house. that mount will be less safe than previous mount because it's a chimney w/ no roof. i can bring along life support equipment.
  • mai: i went to a happy hour two wednesdays ago w/ chris mitchel institute for local self reliance--does policy around municipal, fiber, cooperative isps--podcast where they interview people building cooperative isps. familiar chars were there! something about proposal for sf fiber. tim pozar said there was a guy from paxio who wants to donate a gigabit of bandwidth to omni.
  • jorrit: what kind of music was playing?

Communications & Events

Comms Trello: // Events Trello:

  • Tabling @ Google: Jenny's been in correspondance with Greg Keilian, old sudoer who works for Wants to support mesh/sudo/omni.
    • Two proposals from him -
      • 1) invite to table @ the Google campus, collect donations, generate interest. Needs one month lead time. If anyone wants to table, we can suggest dates in April
      • 2) coordinating Google volunteers to help with the project. Google pays the org $10/hr per volunteer and matches any donations. Greg said he'd lean against software dev tasks, probably node mounts are better. Jenny waiting on response re: any liability concerns/requirements from Google.
  • jorrit: is this aligned with our mission?
  • shilpi: Google employees are human too, we could welcome the volunteer help
  • ben: we already have enough volunteers for node mounts, what we lack is enough rooftops to mount on
    • jnny: i would say we lack neither volunteers nor rooftops, just coordinators
      • ben: Fair. I could be doing more to reach out to people who have requested mounts.
      • remote-grant - I second jenny's point, but would say that we also have cooridinators, but what we lack is confidence in reaching out to people
  • jeremy: the question is if we have some sort of formal interface with Google. Maybe we should have a list of specific software tasks, do various things as a soft-sell to get donations. Make them feel they're important
    • jnny - they're not going to want to do software stuff. heroic-seeming visible hands-on things i believe
  • mai: want to do and get help on a patreon donation drive so that we have some more sustainable funding. if we were to do that, and then table at google and get a bunch of people to sign up to donate every month, that could be good. could still be thorny in terms of taking money from google, but maybe better because it would be individual donors instead of the organization as a donor. (in some historical context) donations were not problematic as long as they came from individuals. something to think about carefully. doesn't seem too problematic to do some kind of tabling, especially if other organizations were there.
  • jorrit in response to jeremy - what i learned from open source things so far is that code contributions do not come from people appearing out of nowhere solving your problems. it has to come from a group of people who are maintaining something together. i see the value in the group--not in people stopping by for one afternoon to donate a few hours of time. also maybe better to spend time in the neighborhood where we are reaching out to people than driving down to south bay to set up table. finally, money doesn't seem like an inhibitor atm.
    • jnny - they're not going to want to do software stuff. heroic-seeming visible hands-on things i believe
  • jeremy: don't have an argument either way, but has a lot of experience volunteering. tidbit from experience coordinating volunteers: sometimes it is useful to give volunteers "useless" tasks so that they learn about the project, get hooked, and want to contribute more seriously later. 1/10 of those people will become lifetime volunteers.
  • jorrit: that changed my way of thinking about it, thanks +1
  • ben: how are we using/splitting the $ from the Mozilla/NSF WINS grant? Besides the the microgrants to 2 neighborhoods, what about gear that we can use longer term? We can find ways to use it very quickly, e.g. for backhaul equipment. (response to Jorrit re need for funding)
  • jorrit: action item for now could be to suggest they come to Office Hours.
    • jnny: aleady done ;)
  • moving on -- no solid plans, no nays or yays -- good discussion but gotta keep thinking about particulars
  • Allied Media Conference - June 14th - deadline for submissions is this friday. we have a table, submission would be for a workshop/prezi.

Internal Logistics / Finance

Internal Logistics & Bureaucracy Trello:

Next Sunday

  • all-hands-on-deck - Alameda Open Network visitors
    • 4-5 people are visiting from Alameda to learn how they can build their own community-owned internet
    • we'll need everyone we can get to share their knowledge and skills.
    • I'm planning on this being relatively informal, perhaps with just a short chat at the beginning on how People's Open is structured, what currently works, and what we are working on.
  • who we'll need? loosely defined roles, no need to sign up for a specific one, but it would be nice to know who'll be there
    • organizers - jnny (can help w/ space logistics),
    • crimpers - Seth, Ben
    • mounters - Ben
    • explainers - mai
    • whisperers -
    • outreachers - jnny,
    • drawerers -
    • talkers - mai
  • jorrit: we should make this formal. Have a talk prepared, make sure sudoroom is ready
  • ben: short chat at the beginning, describe the various components. People can take responsibility for certain things on the list.
    • sudo has a pretty front desk now!
  • benny: document, like a collaborative lesson plan? (
  • will: we've started signing up for roles, we can decide who in each role is going to take on describing different aspects of the project
  • jorrit: trying to imagine my past self, and if I'd rolled up and tried to learn everything that I know now, it would be hard but it's doable
  • ben: we should be able to do this, every week at the BYOI office hours
  • jorrit: this is something we can use to get better at helping others to build their own network. it isn't easy to build out a curriculum. What do we want them to walk away with? Some nodes ?
  • ben: Agreed. Would it be best to have another repo for an intro point? Like the miunting guide — but it seems like we have two locations for everything we're building. To accomplish what we're trying to do, we'll need to hack on our documentation between now and then
  • jorrit: Before they get there, we should prepare for things that they can do, so that they're able to work on things before they get here, and then do that again when they're here
  • lesley: they're not gonna know anything we know from a year of experience in half an hour — if they get oriented so they know how to learn more themselves then it would be a success
  • jorrit: I like the idea of a collaborative document with information
  • Benny: Let's push this to a breakout group.
    • Mai: Let's make this an action item and move on.

Office Hours

We host office hours every Sunday from 1-2pm in Sudo Room. To sign up for a shift, fill in your name here:

  • Next Sunday's volunteer: grant
  • Notes from this past Sunday's session:
    • Ben: It was chill. Some folks hacked on a few things, some folks prepped for Jeff's.

Proposal: Use Loomio for Horizontal Decisionmaking

  • What kinds of decisions can we make on Loomio?
    • Project expenditures +1
    • jeremy - loomio is awesome and horizontal -- automated Robert's rules of order

Discussion: Legal Relationship w/ Omni (10 mins)

via Jenny: (we can totally boot this to next week, don't want to take up too much mtg time if i'm not there to present it, but thought for food)

  • At Omni's Finance WG meeting last night, we reviewed renewing Omni's lease agreements w/ collectives that are their own legal entities (not fiscally-sponsored projects). It was suggested that a formal lease agreement be made between Omni and Sudo Mesh, given that Sudo Room is technically a project of Omni and Sudo Mesh its own entity.
  • Closest parallel in Omni is Bay Area Applied Mycology, which is its own 501c3 and subleases dedicated space from CCL (also its own 501c3) [gonna write a parable called "the mesh and the mycelia" <3]
  • Suggestion that Sudo Mesh contribute some amount monthly for space use. Could be a small percentage of funds received, or a set amount eg $100/mo
  • Suggestion that Sudo Mesh consider becoming a member collective of Omni. More info on that here:
  • Suggestion that Sudo Room become a fiscally-sponsored project of Sudo Mesh. (what a reversal, lol)
  • Thoughts?
    • grant - I'm in favor of becoming a member collective of the Omni, but I'd enjoy hearing (reading) counter-arguments
  • mai: we're going to boot this to next week


  • jorrit - a bunch of folks are wiki admins now
  • ben - need to manually send yourself a confirmation e-mail from the wiki settings page, then you can become an admin

Discussion: Team Communications (10 mins)

  • a lil venn diagram ^_^ <3 +1
  • Review our platforms for communications and decide how/when to use them
    • Signal group: Real time coordination, node mounts, events, etc.
      • ben: reasonable to use for urgent tasks?
      • jorrit: I left because I didn't want to be confused about using it anymore. Email is the best way to reach me
      • jeremy: signal might be redundant?
      • jorrit: people think of the signal group in different ways so it's caused tension at various times
      • Mai: I feel like we should deprecate the big group. It's easy enough to just make new groups when we have a node mount. Rocket.Chat isn't available on everyone's phone, so temporary Signal groups would work for urgent stuff.
        • jorrit: I'm not using Rocket.Chat on mobile, so I don't see mentions there immediately. I feel like email + Signal DM's / small groups are more immediate than Rocket.Chat.
        • benny: when people want to coordinate during a mount, whatever they choose. They'll use what they want, which probably means Signal groups for most people.
        • will: it is helpful to have realtime group chats
        • Jeremy: After coming for a few weeks, I got on the Rocket.Chat. There's a lot to digest in the course of onboarding. We should just choose one and stick with it.
        • ben: It's nice to have realtime comms, using Signal. Almost everyone here uses signal. is good for different uses, it's slow. But it's really nice to have archived media, to have the integrations. This is a good intermediate for Slack. Being able to search logs for media/logs is really helpful.
        • jorrit: I was very happy to be able to help during the node mount the other day, using Signal.
        • juul: We need the Signal group for urgent matters that need immediate attention.
        • Mai: Can whoever has the privileges to do so rename the Signal group to SudoMesh Urgent?
        • benny: we don't have an onboarding process
        • jeremy: Proposal — Whenever humanly possible, will be used for communications, except in real time urgency and ephemerality. If you do it wrong, you can be called out.
    • Rocket.Chat+:
    • Email list: global community wireless network - send updates, inquire for support/advice (folks from guifi, freifunk, altermundi etc are subscribed)
    • Trello: task mgmt, assets/docs linked to projects/tasks
    • Github - code, technical issues/support, archive of assets (eg zines & flyers)
    • Wiki - research, archives/documentation
    • Website(s) - public face, push to social media, links to calendar and documentation, donation portal
    • IRC - phase out in favor of rocketchat? juul / tunabananas / jerkey consistently signed in
    • Meetings (tues & sun) - daily ops, decisions, discussions & new people onboarding
    • Newsletters - monthly updates to public
    • Patreon - send newsletters here, recurring donations

Discussion/Proposal: Interview Blog Posts (10 mins)

  • Benny - Thinking it might be fun/cool/worthwhile to interview people who work on people's open about why they do it, how they got involved, what keeps them coming back, etc. I imagine these interviews would make interesting, motivating, community-building blog posts. I would volunteer to do the interviewing, would transcribe into a blog post, then show to interviewee and work with them until they're happy to publish it. I'm imagining each blog post would be a short interview with one person involved with the project. I'm bringing this up for discussion to (1) get feedback on the idea and (2) if it seems like a good idea, see if anyone is interested in or willing to be interviewed.
    • jnny: sounds awesome!!


Note: Volunteer Hours as Donations

(NO NEED TO DISCUSS, but you can if you want...)

  • grant: Regarding a discusion from last meeting, volunteer hours can be claimed by a non-profit as a cash-match donation at a rate of $24.14 nationally ($28.46 in the State of California) for 2016 -
  • While these cannot be counted as tax deductible donations by the volunteer, the non-profit (i.e. Sudo Mesh) can claim them as a cash-match donation when applying for grants, funding, etc.
  • This information was relayed to me from my brother, who works as a regional manager for non-profit in Oakland. I'm sure Jenny knows more about this than I do :)
  • grant: choice quotes:
    • "Charitable organizations most frequently use the value of volunteer time for recognition events or communications to show the amount of community support an organization receives from its volunteers."

'the value of volunteer services can also be used on financial statements –- including statements for internal and external purposes, grant proposals, and annual reports –- only if a volunteer is performing a specialized skill for a nonprofit." (what qualifies a specialized skill?)

  • jenny: i believe this is primarily for professional services donated, aka pro-bono legal council, accounting/audits by a pro CPA, pro fundraiser / grantwriter... but still just learning about this area. have to write jesse (omni/mesh lawyer) tonight anyway so can bring it up as a non-urgent inquiry.
    • interesting tho & relevant to the urgent thing im working on for village::
      • 15-1152 Computer Network Support Specialists - $32.58 -
      • Software Devs & Programmers - $48.11
      • Web Developers: $34.69
      • Electrical & Electronics Engineers - $48.45
      • Construction laborers - $18.22
      • Radio and Telecommunications Equipment Installers and Repairers - $26.18
      • 11-1021 General and Operations Managers - $58.70 -
      • 11-2000 Advertising, Marketing, Promotions, Public Relations, and Sales Managers - $65.39
      • 15-1132 Software Developers, Applications - $50.14

Action Items

  • send a reminder to Amos & Co. - grant
  • work-on/submit AMC proposal, due March 16 - grant, mai, jnny
  • make a plan for sunday w/ folks from Alameda--let's chat in rocketchat / make a lesson plan here:
  • announce on sudomesh group re: changing the name to "Sudomesh URGENT" and making sure almost all of the communications goes on (mai)
  • look at the channels that need more privacy than others, such as node mounts (ben, benny) We'll report back next week regarding what access control might be necessary on which channels, at which time we can discuss how access will be facilitated.
  • buy outlet cover for diane's - jenny
  • 2017 financial statements - jenny

Breakout Groups

At the end of the meeting, break out into small groups to hack on or discuss specific topics.

  • Node Whispering Training

Last Meeting Notes

End of Meeting