Attention / Interest / Desire / Action,, or why marketing 'the Fedora project' is a bad idea.

Jeff Spaleta jspaleta at
Thu Jun 23 03:30:22 UTC 2005

On 6/22/05, Mike MacCana <mikem at> wrote:
> You think most Linux curious want:

I make no claim as to what 'most' linux curious want. And i think
trying to pander to any target group, you run the very real risk of
misleading them and giving them a colored view of things.  Or if you
misjudge exactly what the target group wants... driving them away.  
As soon as you start trying to lead people by the nose and highlight
exactly the information you think is most interesting to that target
group.. you run the very real risk of de-emphasizing information you
consider poor features or disadvantages. This is not what i want to
I do not want to see people walk into this community with expectations
that are skewed by aggressive focused marketing.  I want people to
have a fair impression as to what to expect.
What is bad and what is good about the distro is highly subjective..
and frankly one man's attractive feature is another person's bad
feature. I'd rather avoid the whole issue of trying to highlight the
good features.  But If you must ask the very qualitative question
"what is good"  then i want to see the question "what is bad" being
answered at the same time.  I am very wary of evangelizing fedora as a
distribution for ANY target group to flock to.  I'd much rather
underpromise than overpromise.  Low expectations brings its own
rewards over time in a way that high expectations do not.

I really don't think fedora's problem right now is making sure we have
an influx of users. I'm pretty confident in the download numbers and
the mirror activity and the fedora-list and fedoraforumindicate the
fedora userbase has reached a critical mass.

> a) an open source project that produces technologies which may be used
> by RHEL and aren't supported by RHEL?
> b) a Linux distribution that's good?
> If it's a, then the main website is inadequate.

I'm not arguing that that the website is adequate.  But I'm not
thrilled by the idea of aggressive marketting meant to attract new
users by highlighting only the features we think are attractive.  I
would MUCH rather have a user read about fedora and feel its not the
right solution for them, then to have them read about fedora and be
convinced its the best thing in the world, then try it out and find
the experience doesn't live up to expectations.

I personally think getting a livecd out into the hands of potential
users is the best way forward to generate "attention interest and
desire"  I think the website should focus on how to take "action".  A
website that tries to inspire interest.. runs the very real risk of
misleading users. A livecd they can try out.. doesn't make promises it
can't live up to.


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