2418 gives a good reference for thinking through criteria for Ring formation. We can discuss whether FEM criteria need to be as formal or more or less formal in its own criteria.
As I imagined it during discussion, this criteria is simply for a label of “FEM certified ring” or something to that effect.
Philosophy: It should be noted (as I imagine it) that this is purely for the definition of “ring” within FEM, and that this effort does not exclude the possible existence of rings or WGs formed outside of FEM or the FEM-definition. Ultimately, I hope to see more organizational structures or bodies as coordinated and organized as the FEM efforts are (at least as they were this weekend) that take different approaches/philosophies to leave room in the Ethereum ecosystem for philosophical disagreement without forcing a split at the “WG layer” if that makes sense. I do not want the FEM philosophy and effort to become “one ring to rule them all,” but rather one standard that (hopefully) becomes successful, important, and useful for a certain set of group efforts and circumstances within the larger community.
Proposed Purpose: FEM-certified rings are entitled to certain benefits as bestowed by FEM. These benefits may include a dedicated channel in FEM communication forums, FEM-funding (if that ever becomes a thing), and other entitlements that manifest under FEM’s abilities. Entities may simultaneously be both FEM-certified and compliant with other bodies’ standards (if they differ). BTW this might be where I might disagree that whatever is determined in this discussion should be an EIP itself. I do not see the benefit of an EIP recognizing FEM-defined rings if this FEM-local purpose is adopted. But happy to think about possible benefits or a formal-EIP proposal if @boris or someone else has some in mind.
Proposed Minimum Criteria as stated at the Berlin meeting (this may be articulated in a “charter” as outlined in RCF2418 - 2.1, or something as simple as listed on an appropriate FEM intake form):
A FEM-certified ring must have a purpose to produce and deliver EIPs to the greater Ethereum community. The Ring’s goals (as reduced to tangible form in EIP form) must be clearly and articulately stated; whether it needs to be as structured as the 3 criteria in RCF2418-2.1, or more or less so I am not sure, but this is a starting point to know that this criterion is desirable.
A FEM-certified ring must have at least 3 members upon certification. This requirement follows the logic that 1 person is an individual, 2 is a partnership, 3+ is a group. They must be reasonably identified in a way so that contacting them is easy and FEM can reasonably certify that all three are in fact distinct individuals. One of those 3 members will be an “organizer” type, though I don’t want to imply that the organizer is an important decision maker for the ring’s strategic/development efforts. They are simply the key contact person and charged with organizing and administrative functions (e.g. the on-the-ground planning for a web-conference and maintaining communications with FEM and the rest of the community). Whether roles must be as defined as “chair,” “area director,” etc. as outlined in 2418 is up for discussion.
A Ring must have a dedicated area in cyberspace where interested people may be directed to learn about the ring, its purpose, its ongoing efforts, and contact information. Whether this is a website, a reddit page (with appropriate sidebar), a Telegram channel with a pinned message explaining, or whatever, I think is good to leave to the discretion of the Ring. Point is that the field on the intake form/charter cannot be blank and the destination must exist.
RFC2418 has some other criteria that I think may or may not be useful for FEM’s purposes, such as a mailing list, milestone requirements, and others that I am interested in the communities thoughts. Look forward to reflecting on what everyone else has to say.