A question to this list regarding Fedora as a Product

Paul W. Frields stickster at gmail.com
Mon Feb 22 14:10:06 UTC 2010


On Sat, Feb 20, 2010 at 06:23:19PM +0000, Nelson Marques wrote:
> 
> 
> On Sat, 2010-02-20 at 11:53 -0500, Paul W. Frields wrote:
> > On Fri, Feb 19, 2010 at 03:18:03PM -0500, David Nalley wrote:
> > > On Fri, Feb 19, 2010 at 3:07 PM, Nelson Marques <07721 at ipam.pt> wrote:
> > > >  From what I could understand, two goals to reach:
> > > >
> > > >  - Increase the number of Fedora users
> > > >  - Increase the number of Fedora contributors
> > > 
> > > Well I'd say that's a misconception.
> > > Fedora is concerned with growing it's contributor base and advancing
> > > the state of free software.
> > > 
> > > Fedora isn't at all concerned with the "getting mindshare above all
> > > else" type of mentality that most orgs have. While we want and like
> > > users, I don't think that we actively try and seek out what people
> > > want as driving our decisions.
> > 
> > At the same time, though, we're trying to identify places where we are
> > actually *driving away* users.  Through more attention to these
> > problems and the many easy fixes we could put in place, we can do
> > better on both of the goals Nelson mentions.
> > 
> > Our aim is not to carpet-bomb the planet with CDs, nor to just
> > accumulate fans.  We prefer to define and follow more sustainable
> > practices, aided by strong engineering and good upstream partnership
> > with the projects creating important and innovative software.
> > 
> 
>  My idea is not to change how Fedora operates neither boss people
> around. I shouldn't go technical on this one but this is important to
> mention, and it's about segmentation. It is important to segment your
> audience (doesn't mean you need to change your product). Keep in mind
> that Fedora is aimed for a international community, and that very
> community has different goals and perceives value (from Fedora) in a
> different way from individual to individual. You need to segment your
> communication, else it won't work. 
> 
>  There are other things that Fedora has that need some work, I'll point
> two of them that need a lot of work at communication level:
> 
>  - SELinux (being rivaled by Novell's AppArmour)
>  - Red Hat FOSS drivers (check the output of several communities about
> this news, ex: slashdot threat).
> 
>  The last one points clearly for several types of users, those who don't
> really need outstanding 3D performance, and those who explore this
> subject on a more technical point of view and show different advantages.
> 
>  Threads like the one on Slashdot could be avoided if there was good
> communication around that topic. Another disruptive fight is going
> around GNOME and gnome-shell vs gnome-panel.
> 
>  All of this could be sorted out by marketing. Those who believe that
> Marketing is a sales force, are completely wrong. Marketing has the most
> powerful diagnose tools at it's service for issues like this one. See it
> this way: If you are sick, you search for a doctor for a diagnose and
> then you get a set of conditions to fulfill in order to improve your
> situation. An organization should use Marketing not only to support
> sales, advertising and so on, but to diagnose as well itself and it's
> product in order to achieve it's goals. Marketing might provide a good
> set of procedures to improve it.
[...snip...]

Nelson, you make some very good points in your email.  So my next
question is, how would you personally like to help us improve our
communications around SELinux and FOSS drivers?  I know there are
other places we could improve communications, but since you pointed
these two out, we have a good place to start.

How would you propose to solve this problem, and can we count on your
assistance to help make that solution a reality?

-- 
Paul W. Frields                                http://paul.frields.org/
  gpg fingerprint: 3DA6 A0AC 6D58 FEC4 0233  5906 ACDB C937 BD11 3717
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          Where open source multiplies: http://opensource.com


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