Community representation / advocacy project?

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Hey all,

Many weeks ago in IRC, I was talking with @Freso about ideas for community representation by MetaBrainz / MusicBrainz at conferences or other open source events. This discussion started because I had put together a Picard workshop that taught people how to sort and organize their local music libraries and also how to contribute to MusicBrainz. It would be helpful if MetaBrainz or MusicBrainz provided some resources or support for people who would like to go about representing the project in an semi-official way.

There are similar projects like this in the open source world, like Mozilla Reps and the Fedora Ambassadors. While I don’t think MetaBrainz is at a size where they could support the sponsorship of travel costs for community members to represent the various MetaBrainz projects, it would be cool to see a centralized effort to make it easy for anyone who was interested to represent one of the MetaBrainz projects effectively and correctly too.

This could take the form of…

  • Presentation templates (e.g. for slide decks)
  • Talking points (key points / critical info of specific projects)
  • Design resources (for ambitious folks to order their own swag, like stickers)

These are just a few ideas, but I’d be curious to know what others think. Sorry it’s taken so long for me to create this thread. Cheers!


I’ve been thinking of giving a talk at next year in January.
I’m just an occasional normal editor, i’ve written 1 plugin for picard and i hang out in these forums a lot.
I’m sure i can give a decent overview of the project and how to contribute.
The call for papers is usually in July so I have some time to get a proposal in.
Any advice would be welcome.


Oops. I thought I had replied to this already – I had typed up a long reply weeks ago and now I see that it never seemed to make it here. Oh well.

That’s awesome! I definitely think you should take the opportunity and apply with a MusicBrainz-related talk, session, or workshop, if the CFP is still open. This is the kind of thing I’m getting at – there’s a lot of ambitious people in the MusicBrainz community who could help spread awareness and teach about the various MetaBrainz projects, but some guidance on important things from MetaBrainz staff would be helpful so that we can deliver the key points they think should always be included.

The best advice I can give is to present on something that is a strong point for you. However, since I’ve found that a lot of audiences are unfamiliar with MusicBrainz and similar projects, introductory material has worked better for me so far. Therefore, if there’s something you’re familiar with, it might not be a bad idea to start with something simple.

There is a wiki page that has a running archive of MusicBrainz-related talks, slides, and other materials. This could be a helpful starting point for you if you’re starting from scratch. You can find some of the resources I used for my slides, all licensed under CC-BY-SA 4.0 licenses (so feel free to remix and reuse)!

Hopefully this is all helpful for you. :smiley:

I’d really like to hear @Freso, @rob, or other MetaBrainz staff opinion on this too.

Also, as a side note, it would be helpful to know what licenses previous works are under, so we can reuse them responsibly. :smile:

The talk that I’d write (if I was the type of person to stand up and give a talk) would be framed in terms of the common problems that a lot of people will be familiar with.

Something like:


CFP ends on the 6th of August so I do have some time to submit a talk.

I did notice that @rob is doing a keynote at on the 22nd.
Does this conference get recorded? if someone can link to the video / audio once it is done that would be great.


My opinion is that more people giving more talks and presentations at more events would be awesome, and I’d be happy to support them in any way that I can. :slight_smile:

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This was similar to the angle I went with in my presentation I gave at Linux Weekend Tirana and OSCAL 2017. Both times, the audience was interested and engaged since many of them had never heard of a project like this, but they knew the services I listed off when I said who was using MusicBrainz (Spotify, Google, Amazon, etc.).

Interestingly, I had two things that also did well for an international audience. People were interested in being able to add local music in different languages or scripts (or really, that there was support for such a thing). I tried to frame it as a way of documenting culture and helping local musicians who might not perform in English. Also, as far as contributing, I was also asked about translation opportunities, which I ended up asking in #musicbrainz to find out we use Transifex for translations. These might be good points to consider too for folks presenting to an international audience.

I highly encourage you to go for it! :grinning: The worst that can happen is that you get told no. I’m sure you could also get feedback on a proposal either here or in IRC on a proposal bid before you submit it.

The way that I could see the MetaBrainz staff having a big impact on this is to help create resources to enable community members to go out and spread the word more easily. For this, I’m drawing on a lot of my experience in the Fedora community and the Ambassadors program we have. While I don’t think the travel funding / financial support is something that would work well in this community (yet), the types of resources that the Ambassadors have helps us be productive and present Fedora in a consistent and reliable manner.

Some of these resources include…

  • Talking points: Key information about software, community, or other critical points of information
    • For MetaBrainz projects, this could be key points about describing what the project is, “at a glance” metrics that show how big a project is, who in the real world is using and depending on a MetaBrainz project, where it’s implemented, etc.
  • Design resources: Print-ready resources (e.g. logos, banners, etc.) for creating stickers or other physical merch
    • It might not be feasible yet for MetaBrainz to send swag for free to contributors, but this at least allows someone with a few extra dollars to take some cool MetaBrainz project swag to a conference or an event to distribute, and make sure that it follows correct design guidelines. This is something we’re adamant about in the Fedora community so that way all of our physical items across the world always use consistent branding.
  • Presentation templates: Themed slide deck templates that use MetaBrainz / MusicBrainz color schemes and/or logos
    • While a smaller thing, it would be nice to standardize some sort of presentation template so people could more easily create slide decks that thematically relate to MetaBrainz / MusicBrainz

From my perspective, it would be really cool to see MetaBrainz staff help foster the development of some of these resources. By doing this, it enables the community to go out and spread the word about the cool projects under the MetaBrainz umbrella. Perhaps later on, MetaBrainz could take a more hands-on approach with some sort of community advocacy / representation sub-project, but for now, these things would enable ambitious community members to more easily bring “heat and light” into all of the cool, open source work happening here. :tada:

@Freso Does all of this make sense or does it clarify how I think MetaBrainz could help foster community advocacy in this way?


I don’t have enough privilege to use more than five hyperlinks per post yet, but for anyone curious about the two conferences I mentioned above, you can find them here:

Admittedly, this was a smaller audience, but I’d like to try to bring MusicBrainz to a conference in the US now that I’m back in the States, and also one for FOSDEM 2018.

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Absolutely! I made a ticket at and I’ll try not to let it sit for too long. :slight_smile:

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Awesome, thanks for putting this in the pipeline. :grin: I’ll be more than happy to support this in any way I can too.

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