[FZH] RedHat 发布了Fedora 18

Christopher Meng cickumqt at gmail.com
Fri Nov 30 01:10:28 UTC 2012



Red Hat PR folks have always helped with spreading the word, whether for
Alpha/Beta/Final or otherwise. In this particular case, an article
*similar* to a press release was posted regarding the Beta to the Red Hat
news blog (
but was not an actual press release. I work with them directly to assist
them in writing these; in this case, I saw the headline, which reads "
Fedora Beta Release for Version 18, "Spherical Cow", Now Available," as
well as the body of the article, which fairly clearly states that "The
Fedora Project" is doing the release, not Red Hat.

In addition to that, one of the lovely people in the PR department, Anna,
contacts the list of reporters and news outlets to ensure that the news is
picked up and spread, as well as arranges for yours truly to speak with any
members of the press who would like an interview. They receive a copy of
the news blog posting (or press release, if that is what is going out). In
this case, it appears that the mail she sent to that press list had the
subject of "Red Hat releases Fedora 18," but I wasn't aware that it was
being sent out with that particular subject line.

Anna is fairly new in this position; however, I have to give her a universe
of credit for being the only PR person we've ever had at Red Hat that has
worked with Fedora who has invested herself in the community to the ends of
showing up for Board meetings on IRC, Marketing meetings on IRC, or
participating on/reading mailing lists. If I had known the mail was going
to go out with that subject line, it's something I would have explained to
her, but I didn't know, she certainly wasn't aware that those types of
subject lines are somewhat unkosher, not to mention something that
certainly elevates the "tinfoil hat" meter on mailing lists, etc. I
honestly think a lot of people don't realize it, unless they've been on
this particular list for a long time and have seen the drama unfold before.
It was not all that long ago that I was also in the conspiracy theory
corner and this type of thing absolutely infuriated me, and in this case,
had it been done with malice or ill intent I would be raising absolute hell
right now; that said, there's nothing going on behind the curtain, it was a
simple, rather easy-to-make mistake (simply from the perspective of "most
of the emails PR folks send are short subject lines saying Red Hat does
$whatever"), by someone who actually cares about our community, and I'm
sure that it will be a lesson well-learned for her that won't be repeated.

As a side note to this conversation - one of the things that I try to do as
part of my job *inside* of the Hat is to continually try to educate people
about the dynamics -and differences from "traditional products" - of
working with the community. Primarily the Fedora Project community, but
others as well. It's certainly to our credit that Fedora is one of the
most, if not the most, prominent projects that Red Hat helps to support;
this also means that, a lot of the time, the ground laid inside of Red Hat
to support any type of community activity often is mimicked after us, as we
have some years behind us now, and that we are often times the first ones
to be doing something.

I think we've made great strides with the PR and marketing folks, both in
terms of the fact that we see *nowhere near* as many of these types of
mistakes as we saw a number of years ago, as well as the fact that they are
willing to share some of their time to support us, arrange interviews,
etc.; it's also evident in areas like working with the Finance department,
where I have spent a LOT of time working to improve things for Fedora, and
continue to do so (note bruise on my forehead, heh), things like having a
community presence at Red Hat Summit, and other areas as well. It doesn't
mean that it always goes right; I have sent my fair share of pissed-off
"this is BS" emails to people, all the way up to the C*O offices, in the
pursuit of fixing things.

I do my best to share those lessons learned, and even point to "how we do
it," as far as "how Fedora's interactions with internal Red Hat
departments" go. Perhaps in this case it would be worthwhile for marketing
to document some tips and "things to remember" as far as working with the
Fedora community for the Red Hat PR folks - in conjunction with Anna - so
that it isn't something that is known by "just one person." Things like -
where you can always find Fedora's mission statement, the schedule, etc.,
as well as "please don't do this" type of stuff - such as the case that
instigated this mail. :)

All that said - and in spite of my "tinfoil hat" comments -I do appreciate
your calling out of things like this, Johann, as well as anyone else who
sees things like this - there is always opportunity for further education
and refining of processes, and really, it just keeps things honest and

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