[Ambassadors] Fwd: Fwd: Community programs analysis

Joerg Simon jsimon at fedoraproject.org
Fri Jan 11 11:23:54 UTC 2013

fyi - maybe something to learn from how we reflect to others who look on
us from outside

thanks sankarshan for the hint

cu Joerg

-------- Original Message --------
Subject: Fwd: Community programs analysis
Date: Fri, 11 Jan 2013 10:46:09 +0530
From: sankarshan <sankarshan.mukhopadhyay at gmail.com>
To: jsimon at fedoraproject.org

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Sriram Ramkrishna <sri at ramkrishna.me>
Date: Thu, Jan 10, 2013 at 1:49 AM
Subject: Fwd: Community programs analysis
To: GNOME Marketing List <marketing-list at gnome.org>

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Diego Escalante Urrelo <diegoe at gnome.org>
Date: Mon, Dec 17, 2012 at 12:21 PM
Subject: Fwd: Community programs analysis
To: Sriram Ramkrishna <sri at ramkrishna.me>

Hope this still holds true after this months.

I re-read my conclusions and I think they still are valid, I don't
know/think the programas changed much lately.

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Diego Escalante Urrelo <diegoe at gnome.org>
Date: Thu, Jan 12, 2012 at 7:24 PM
Subject: Community programs analysis
To: Stormy Peters <stormy at gnome.org>, Karen Sandler <karen at gnome.org>


As promised, here's an overview/analysis of the Ubuntu, Mozilla and
Fedora programs. I think there's some interesting data here.
I know it's really long, but I think it's jump-reading friendly.

The final blocks: thoughts and conclusions; work as a summary, so you
can check that directly if you want. Conclusions are somewhat more

Ubuntu Local Community (LoCo) teams

These are local community teams all around the world, both official
and unofficial ones.

Anyone can create a group, they only need to gather interested people
and follow a howto, which is more or less predictable if you know how
communities usually work:

- get interested peers
- create a mailing list in lists.ubuntu.com
- create a wiki homepage in wiki.ubuntu.com
- create an IRC channel in freenode
- all these resources follow naming guidelines


Also, before trying to become official you are expected to also:

- report monthly following a format
- appoint a contact person for the team

To start operating officially and be recognized you need approval of
the LoCo Council. This means writing an application with your
resources, plans and membership. The usual.

There's also a lot of documentation regarding governance and conflict

Consider that loco.ubuntu.com provides aggregation for events, news
and twitter/identi.ca feeds of the teams. I suppose this is carefully
filtered so to avoid endless and meaningless lists like
planet.ubuntu.com and similar.

Text based information and representation.

Mozilla Communities

There's a newsletter you can subscribe to.

They have insanely iconic and graphical representations for
everything. The /contribute/ page is interesting, it's divided into:
- area of interest
- time available
  + interesting: "army of awesome".
    people answering questions in twitter and similar sites
- communities near you

Communities takes you to a community mindmap widget that is fancy but
a bit useless.
It seems most communities handle their own website hosting(?)

There doesn't seem to be an immediate homepage or starpage for
communities as a "community of communinities". It's currently just a
regional directory.

Couldn't find the program details, I guess I overlooked it... Anyway,
googling "create mozilla community" didn't help. So it might not be
newcomer safe.

Side note, this is an interesting setup to invite volunteers:
- https://wiki.mozilla.org/ReMo/SIGs/Marketing
- https://wiki.mozilla.org/ReMo/SIGs/Communications

Fedora ambassadors

Has an structure around regions and a central committee. Much like
LoCo teams, but feels a bit more "RedHat-ish". Specially considering
those stock market names:  Asia Pacific (APAC), Europe, Middle East,
and Africa (EMEA), Latin America (LATAM), and North America (NA).

They have a biz card generator. Handy.

Few things are demanded from Ambassadors. Unlike LoCo teams, the
Ambassadors seem to limit to individual activities. This seems to be
more similar to a "local salesman" than community fostering.

The wiki is a bit boring, to be honest. It lacks the colorfulness of
mozilla.org and the 1-2-3 steps of ubuntu.com

There is a constant mixture of "internal" information (templates,
processes) of the program with "external" information (howto, faq,
etc). This is extremely tiresome and considerably confusing.


Some thoughts

By far, it seems ubuntu is the more succesful one based on the number of
But otoh, mozilla is a newer effort. Fedora doesn't have much excuse though.

Mozilla does a great job with its graphical material, it looks much
more professional than the other programs. This is just because they
have invested in such material design and production. We can do that,
but we have to be more demanding, beyond funny picture in the frame.

Regarding Ubuntu vs Fedora, I think Fedora's program is an
afterthought when compared to LoCo. The two programs are similar, I
believe LoCo might be the older one. Or at least it seems older given
how much response it has.

It helps that Ubuntu has had people on the payroll devoted to
community activities and fostering, Fedora hasn't AFAIK.

Also to consider, and perhaps one of my historical peeves with this,
is that the Fedora program is focused in exclusivity and recognition
of an /individual/, but the Ubuntu program is focused in teams and
team activities.

Some early conclusions

A first dump of ideas, I'd jump to some conclusions:

- our program has to have a really solid graphic backup, we have to
run away from big blocks of text.

- from the previous point, this follows: every page /must be designed/
and not a random collection of paragraphs and lists

- there should be a quick "checkout" workflow for newcomers:
gnome.org/community -> create/join one -> list -> howto create/join ->
centralized set of rules/FAQ/guidelines/resources

- a dedicated team or person working on community fostering makes
sense if there's a clear set of goals and job description: recurrent
tasks, a constant stream of teams information, metrics for teams, etc.

- demanding reports forces teams to be accountable. central
organization can know if they are actually working.

- we should focus on resources that are harder to use for personal
goals than for community goals:
  + Fedora Ambassadors get emails, biz cards and ambassador t-shirts.
These things help /them/ build an image but not necessarily a
  + Ubuntu LoCo sends CDs, stickers, t-shirts, etc. These stuff is not
as individually useful, they are much more useful for community

- I believe the LoCo model is the one we want to follow, with lessons
from Mozilla graphical support.

- maintaining community resources is a pain, we need a click-and-run
local.gnome.org site.
  + wiki editing is a barrier
  + web sites always look more legit than wikis
  + web sites are a more familiar UI

- finally, I'd devote resources to make sure that having a community
has visual meaning: you get to maintain a real website, you get to
post pictures, etc.
  silly, but this is the same reason why people /love/ their Facebook
profiles: it's full of visual representations of them, their lifes and
their "achievements".

Overall, if you would give me a magical genie I would ask for:
 - local.gnome.org: easy to use, easy to maintain and full of
Facebookisms (meaning photos, aggregation, etc; not actual Facebook
 - a GNOME version of the LoCo program: we copy their program, plus
our own patches
 - a dedicated someone or someone(s) to fostering until we get to LoCo
Council level (where the community has grow enough to govern and
foster itself)

A very long email, take your time to read it.
I hope I didn't omit any resource or page that could have changed my


marketing-list mailing list
marketing-list at gnome.org

sankarshan mukhopadhyay

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