GAP Plan

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This is a draft of a new or in-progress document, and is likely to have a few people specifically working on it. You may wish to check in on the discussion page to see what the purpose of the document is and who's working on it; then feel free to give this article love and attention if have extra of those things.


Intro

How will GAP change over the next 3-5 years so that Free Geek can better fulfill its mission and live up to its principles?

State of the program

GAP stands for Geek Access Point, and it is the program where Free Geek deploys public access sites in various cafes and other commercial establishments around town. The main advantages of the GAP program for Free Geek are:

  • Provide internet access in general. (meets the mission)
    • (Note: this is diminishing in importance as more wireless cafes sprout up in this town.)
  • Provide access for people who don't have (or didn't bring their) wireless enabled laptops to the coffee shop. (meets the mission)
  • Provide anonymous access for people wanting to connect to the internet. (meets the mission)
  • Advertise Free Geek in the community. (an outreach function)
  • Promote open source software. (supports our principles)

Current and past issues

Past problems with the GAP program arise mostly from a lack of support for the access sites. Sites that are successful, such at the Red and Black cafe have regular customers that share in the system maintenance work, often in exchange for free coffee. Sites that fail often have no support.

Trends and predictions

Upcoming trends that may affect the GAP program include the deployment of a free wireless cloud throughout the city and the existing (and growing) number of cafes that provide free access without our help.

In the future we could deploy more GAP sites by actively recruiting capable build program graduates to set up access points in their neighborhoods.

We could add software that teaches people more about open source software or introduces them to Free Geek. Such software shouldn't be intrusive or difficult to find or operate.

SWOT

Grow the number of GAP locations and include unobtrusive information that explains Free Geek, Linux, and FS/OSS.
Good (for Free Geek) Bad (for Free Geek)
Internal
(to Free Geek)

Strengths: Strengths are advantages we have that are internal to Free Geek and helpful to achieving the objective. (Good things we do.)

  • We generally have plenty of hardware available for GAP sites.

Weaknesses: Weaknesses are problems we have that are internal to Free Geek and harmful to achieving the objective. (Things we do poorly or not at all.)

  • Maintaining GAP sites can draw us away from other parts of our mission that happen day to day at Free Geek. We are sometime unable to address issues that arise in a timely enough manner.
  • The GAP boxes are not a primary concern to the business where deployed (where they are usually more focussed on selling coffee, food, etc.). This means that a failing access point often goes unreported. In turn this can give the appearance that the hardware or software doesn't work and could contribute to a bad reputation for Free Geek or open source software.
External
(to Free Geek)

Opportunities: Opportunities are advantages we have that are external to Free Geek and helpful to achieving the objective. (Good things that will or could happen to us.)

  • As Portland rolls out its city wide free wireless cloud, providing access in public spaces may be easier to do, since internet connectivity could become easier in cafes.

Threats: Threats are problems we have that are external to Free Geek and harmful to achieving the objective. (Bad things that will or could happen to us.)

  • As Portland rolls out its city wide free wireless cloud, providing access in public spaces may be less important since more people will be able to get that access at home.

See also Trends and Attributes | What do we want to do?



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