We closed the Implementation Group to new members on April 1st, primarily because we already had more Implementation Group members than we could accomodate, and working groups and the full implementation group meeting were getting crowded.
That being said, we've let in a few organizations as observing members (primarily from the state HIE community) over the next couple of months, had some organizations that reached out at the end of the cut-off period, and some organizations have joined under the cover of other organizations. Given that, Brian Behlendorf and I reasoned that it was better to have some clear and organized way for new members to join the community.
Brian created a community sign-up area of the wiki that clearly documents the criteria for membership:
A commitment to participating in the meetings, discussions, and creation of content; at the very least, to participation on the weekly IG calls.
A commitment to co-implement the specifications into production software, OR bring real-world providers to the pilots or early implementations by October 2010 (or both).
A commitment to study and understand the previous decisions made, and not ask for those decisions to be revisited without significant rationale.
That last one is critically important. As we add members, we have a danger of slowing down the process, and we are on a timeline that makes slowing the process unacceptable.
We are asking for a public commitment on the wiki prior to joining the Implementation Group.
The best way for new organizations to engage on new topics is to join one of the newer working groups. The groups that could benefit from this are:
Concrete Implementation: pitch in and help us code
Implementation Geographies: bring providers to the table and help us plan real-world implementations
Documentation: help us bring a mature level of specification and implementation guide documentation to the project.