Proposal to collect data from our end-users

Carl Gaudreault carl.gaudreault at
Tue Jul 13 06:07:35 UTC 2010

Dear Fedora marketing team,
One of our primary goals as a development community is to enhance and 
streamline the end-user experience of Fedora. Right now, the Fedora Buzz 
initiative aims to so this by monitoring various social networks and the 
"blogosphere". While this may provide  some valuable data, such collection 
obviously could be made more focused; Buzz, by itself, only provides broad 
opinions that might be difficult to translate into concrete development goals. 
Systematic collection of voluntary usage data would enhance the ambassador and 
marketing team pool of reference for making important decisions. It would 
allow for us to discover areas of Fedora which users believe may warrant 
improvement. By defining and understanding our market/base, we could target 
those users with more ease. We would also know why they like Fedora, making it 
easier to make marketing decisions. Currently, we are collecting hardware 
information via Smolt, so this seems like the next logical step.

As this topic has been discussed before about data gathering/collection with 
Smolt, we should consider about the user's privacy. We should not give him a 
feeling of being invaded on his own system. This could be an issue if we want 
to have data being collected from the system itself. The alternative would be 
to have the user select and/or fill the information on a website. This would 
provide the user with generally a better feeling of his privacy, but can cause 
information to slip as the user couldn't not recollect he installed a certain 
piece software. However, it does give a better overview if the user actually 
uses a tool as he recollects having installed it and therefore having used it, 
besides it just showing up in the installed packages list.
Examples of data we could collect:
-Statistics on software packages installed (which are not part of the default 
installation), so as to streamline the inclusion of default apps to reflect 
what users actually use.   
-A user’s country of residence
-A user’s age
-Why a user has chosen Fedora over another operating system.
I would like to keep this conversation focused on the type of information we 
would like to request from our users. Afterwards, we could then bring the 
conversation to the devel mailing list to receive their input and move forward 
with this task.
Ultimately, we must remember and strive towards our goal of offering a better 
user experience by understanding our target audience, as well as our existing 
user base. 

I look forward to your feedback,
Carl G.
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