Chinese marketing

Paul W. Frields stickster at
Mon Apr 26 23:36:33 UTC 2010

On Mon, Apr 26, 2010 at 09:17:57PM +0200, Gerard Braad wrote:
> Hi Paul,
> > Date: Sun, 25 Apr 2010 11:28:22 -0400 From: Paul Frields 
> > <stickster at> Subject: Re: Chinese marketing Message-ID: 
> > <l2sef93afcf1004250828m73202e71v6c243f347c6422b0 at>
> Sorry for breaking the thread; issue with the tools, digest-mode and 
> Gmail's IMAP.
> I recently got involved in the Chinese Fedora Community... and try to 
> assist them anyway possible by being the bridge between language and 
> culture.
> With several ambassadors I set out a long term vision for the Chinese 
> community: "Growing the Chinese community into a self-organizing and 
> healthy community. The main goal is to enlarge the Chinese Fedora 
> Community and seeking new talents to contribute to the mainstream 
> development. We pursue a very good involvement with and from the Western 
> Fedora Community and having a yearly FAD"... and show China can be a 
> host for a FUDcon in the APAC area ;-).
> In a document I set out several points to focus on: Mirroring 
> possibilities, Packaging and Development, Translation work, MIPS port of 
> Fedora, Organizing a Fedora event, Ambassadors and Mentoring, Creating a 
> better platform for the community and Marketing.

Your goal statement is perfect, Gerard.  The goal of building the
community should definitely be to give them the tools, and help them
become self-sustainable.

> > For a start, Gerard, maybe you can identify some of the primary gaps
> > we have. What questions to Chinese Fedora users and potential
> > contributors have? In what areas can we improve information we offer
> > to Chinese speaking people?
> >    
> A solution to the gap and have the Chinese community more involved, was 
> to have the Chinese mailinglist hosted by Fedora. This is now done... 
> but still more can be done. As you pointed out in another email, having 
> the planet hosted in the same way would be great!

Excellent, glad to hear it.

> The biggest issue is that the Fedora brand is not very well known. That 
> is the reason why I want to focus on the marketing side of Fedora. 
> Distributions like Ubuntu and Gentoo have a large group of followers and 
> enthusiasts; IMO Fedora would be a perfect solution between these. But 
> for this there needs to be means to convey the message; who we focus on, 
> what we provide, the four foundations, etc. At the moment, this kind of 
> material is non-existent.

Fedora has always taken a hit in terms of brand recognition because
our sponsor did not invest in carpet-bombing the planet with discs.
On the other hand, we have worked hard to create reasonable
expectations around our distribution and project and encourage

Our wiki does have a lot of this information, but the wiki itself is
not well-equipped for translation in place.  It's certainly *open*
enough, though, so if there are a small number of translators who are
willing to read and translate that content into new wiki pages for
Chinese readers, they could begin essentially at any time.

Another possibility is to create a more formal document using
Publican, and then use translation infrastructure to provide Chinese
contributors a way to translate it -- and at the same time, any other
locales as well.  However, someone would need to pull together all the
content, and convert it into a Publican format (DocBook XML).

> I would seldom talk about them, but the other issue is of course the 
> 'cultural difference'. For example, most Chinese I spoke did not have 
> the sense of Summer Coding... as they saw this as Western-only 
> 'competition'. After explaining them what it means and could provide 
> them, it opens them up more and they see it as a competitive 
> advantage... but until now, I have not seen any of them enter the FSC.
> But we also have simple problems which can easily be addressed: the 
> Fedora Ambassadors have no shirts. I am planning to have these made in 
> China, according to the logo guidelines, so we can issue these. Goal: 
> the Ambassadors should be able to promote the brand during for instance 
> a local Software Freedom Day 2010 event! (and of course as a general 
> means to show their involvement).
> > Another question in which I'm keenly interested is, where do Chinese
> > users get Fedora? If they're using mirrors in China, are there enough
> > of them? Can we find more administrators willing to distribute Fedora
> > on mirrors?
> >    
> This was the first thing I started to work when I approached Mel an 
> Kaio. By that time four active mirrors were available for all of China. 
> Mike McGrath told me that Chinese seldom approach them about mirroring 
> options; this is also not something in the nature of the Chinese. My 
> goal was to gain two new mirrors before the release of Fedora 13. After 
> a long haul we finally gained an extra mirror in Beijing. For the moment 
> I think we have a good foundation to cope with community and userbase 
> growth (a good start to focus on the brand and getting people involved) ;-).
> As you can see, a lot has been started... but it is far from done.

I think having someone present in China to bridge the divide is going
to be a very important step for us, Gerard.  I've had several email
conversations over the last year trying to find different ways to get
system administrators and other tech contacts to help us find people
in China who want to contribute to free software and Fedora.  It's
been very difficult because the language barrier gets even higher over

So your email clearly indicates our outreach needs to be very
proactive to make progress in the Chinese community.  What people,
places, or groups do you propose to visit or talk with as a start?

Paul W. Frields                      
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