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

Tom Adelstein adelste at
Thu Jun 23 16:10:27 UTC 2005

On Thu, 2005-06-23 at 08:20 -0700, Karsten Wade wrote:
> On Thu, 2005-06-23 at 08:34 +0100, Thierry Sayegh wrote:
> > As a poweruser, I would like to contribute but
> You just did.
> User advocates, documenters, marketeers, all sorts have something to
> contribute that is outside of code.
> Takes all sorts to make the community go 'round.
> - Karsten

Don't kill the messenger on this one. Or set me free if that's your

Fedora has a significant user base. It's about the same as SUSE Pro and
NLD combined. It trails Ubuntu and Debian and derivatives by about 50%. 

Ubuntu is the only active community in the Linux world right now. The
amount of documentations, innovation, side projects, users, posters is
remarkable. I think they did it at Red Hat's expense.

If you survey the participants, many came from Red Hat of the past. They
went shopping for another distribution when Red Hat 9 disappeared.

If you come out of denial, you will realize you lost your community of
participants and the project is too confusing you have unwittingly
constructed barriers to entry. Look at the discussion on this list.
Collin comes in with this commanding presence and others argue. Also, by
excluding independents, you will chase them off also and have squat.

Ubuntu has very carefully planned and centralized facilities for support
and a core development team plus several hundred code contributors, bug
submissions and gophers. They've been in existence seven months and have
the largest Linux community. Fedora could do something similar but this
waffling around will not get the job done.

Further, your fixed ideas and know-it -ll attitudes will kill you. You
don't have all the answers, you don't even know the questions. How can
anyone contribute to you? 

What Red Hat lost, Ubuntu gained and then some.

I did a study for Sun and prior to the release of the first Ubuntu
product, gave Sun a blueprint for doing a community. They laughed. But,
Mark Shuttleworth implemented it and in five months they shipped 1
million CDs - and that doesn't count downloads.

I personally do not believe we can catch them. But we can look at their
blueprint for a community and regain significant market share at the
expense of Novell and others. Open your minds.

If you want statistics, I can come up with them. I did this study and
regardless of what you think of me - I know more about this that you do.
You know squat and you can't put a community back together with your
immature approach, regardless of how much you think you know and have
experienced elsewhere.

Fedora may have some interested participants, but they are users not
developers and not contributors. 

You have too much ground to make up. Don't forget, this is the result of
the CEO telling aspiring Linux desktop users to go with Windows.

I'd start over from scratch, do our own thing and forget the controlling
interest of Red Hat. You need infrastructure and you need to court
people at the LUG level. You should give away CD's, provide schools with
free software including things like Openoffice, etc. 

If you don't want to extend yourselves, then you're going to thrash
around and never get anything done - but talk.

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