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Improving Ambassadors Mentoring Process

This is a first draft. If you got any comments feel free to contact Marcus Moeller or join the discussions on the Ambassadors mailinglist.

This page has been created because some people where unsatisfied with how new (Ambassador) mentors are elected. As mentors act as first contact for new Ambassadors and are listed on the join page, the role of being a mentor is seen as something special by a lot of group members.

We should make clear that the mentoring role is definitely nothing special and the job that a mentor does could also be done by every regular Ambassador BUT offer a path for every Ambassador (with skills) who is really willed to help in mentoring to join up for that role.

Current Situation

The normal way mentors are elected is that they are choosen by FAmSCo on demand. This leads to the situation that ppl are sometimes told that there are no more mentors needed in a specific region and a few weeks/days later someone else is raised for that position. The one who asked to be a mentor in first place might be frustrated as he/she did not see something like a waiting list (where he/she might be on top) and is not told why someone else is getting the job.
There are a few ways to get rid of this situation:

No need for a title

We should clearly communicate that mentors are necessary but that there is no need for a title to get things done. Everybody is invented to

  • help new Ambassadors to get started
  • invite other Ambassadors to take part at events
  • promote Fedora in any form

The challenge is to communicate that to everyone who is interested. A 'The role of mentors in the Ambassadors project' page containing these hints could be a starting point.

But ... a title is a honour, isn't it?

Well, in these days a title might be seen as honour (and that's what Ambassador often see in the role of a mentor)
Even if we do not want to promote mentorship as a role that is worth/necessary to be taken we should define rules that allow everybody (with skills) to join up. One idea is to create a waiting list where everybody who is interested in being a mentor could add his/her name and a few notes on why he/she wants to do that job. The benefit would be that FAmSCo would notice all ppl who are interested in becoming be mentors. The list could contain self-nominations and nominations by others.
If a new mentor is chosen from that list, a short statement should be published on why exactly this guy/girl is getting the job. If one who is on the list for quite a while is not elected for a few times, he/she should be able to ask why and receive an adequate answer (describing either that he/she is not seen as skilled enough, or giving hints on what to improve to raise the chance for the next vote).

Again, this is only a proposal but it could help to improve communication and lower frustration.