[Mageia-marketing] Showcasing technology and people

Romain d'Alverny rdalverny at gmail.com
Tue Apr 19 00:51:27 CEST 2011

On Tue, Apr 19, 2011 at 00:00, Marcello Anni <marcello.anni at alice.it> wrote:
> as i have already told you in the previous e-mail, i think we first need to
> setup a complete marketing plan that will driver our everyday action.

Very little things in life go "by the plan". It does not mean plans
are useless but that we need to know when to start/change things/plans
- that's culture.

> what users can find in Mageia -> who are our users? which features they will
> expect? are we able to provide them?

Our users will first be the ones that find a fit with what we propose
to them, that matches our expectations (build, propose, gather
feedback, iterate). So first, our users will be ... us. Then, what we
can learn from feedback from larger circles. Later, our users will be
those that find a fit with specifics, because we will have searched
after this fit.

The goal in this series is to propose what we (well, those that will
make this very series) find valuable and noticeable in Mageia for
developers for one part, users for another part. Precisely to raise
interest into the product and the technology, and gather feedback (we
won't by staying silent).

> - what people can do with Mageia (what gets done with it in the real world out
> there) -> what kind of people? depending on the people we adress to, it
> changes the work of the user

That's why we can address a lot of people, and see how it goes. And
showcase very different uses of the same base technology.

> if we don't have clear these aspects, we will be only ANOTHER linux distro,
> and i wan't that this happens.

Looking first for a specific class of users for a Linux
desktop/laptop/server distribution today is maybe a good idea if you
want to grasp on some market share, if you already have something to
adapt and aim to - after all, Linux has still a lot to gain.

Doing so for a technology project (what Mageia is) is premature.
Premature for two reasons:

 * I have no idea - no one has, about the direction that Mageia will
take in the coming months, after Mageia 1 release. Well, I have an
intuition, I have wishes. But that does not make for the project
goals, even if I'm on the Board. No one is expected to decide about
this before this Summer brainstorm session has happened.

 * Mageia is building a pretty generic Linux distribution (goes for
desktop, server, laptop, for several architectures). What it needs
next to have a distinct identity on its own is not to search for
specific users as a whole. What it needs is to wildly experiment,
_aside from the main trunk_.

Experiment like:
   - breaking it apart in smaller, to-the-point, specific and
extraordinarily optimized use-cases (desktop/server/laptop/mobile are
the biggest use-cases so far, but what about the next 5 years? the
iPhone didn't even exist 5 years ago);
   - make yet-another-Linux distro that just boots, and launches a
customized Web browser only - yes, there are several in this area
already, among which Chromium - but having the knowledge/experience of
what this involves and what this provides may be important here;
   - scratch the surface, from a community point of view, of aiming at
a specific set of hardware platforms, so that the integrated
experience of Mageia software with these is _better_ than with other,
more generic platforms;

Those are only 3 samples; maybe other ideas can come out of a
brainstorm; maybe not. Maybe it will conclude that, no, we won't go
experimenting this wild and secure first a stronger trunk for the
distribution, and only allow small teams to go in the wild like this;
or only let companies around take the risk/reward about this on their
own, from Mageia trunk. I have no idea. No one has. Because, again, no
one is expected to decide about this before this brainstorm session
has happened.

You will say that it's foolish to do so without having a single
knowledge of what users we are looking after. Maybe. But it is even
worse to engage in a project one doesn't crave for oneself - in other
words, no one in Mageia will make something great if it is not already
in love with what it is, notwithstanding potential users out there.

Let the project (the community forming it, you included) find out what
it wants to do first; being part of the marcomm' team, help then the
project to find if, and how, people out there, will like/use it as
well. And how to iterate to approach this.

Closing the project scope now by searching after user targets now is
premature. That's the same message as in past November. And that
doesn't void the marcom team role and relevance. It makes it different
than what you seem to expect, though.

> i think that until now blog posts about development progress should be enough,
> otherwise we risk to do all the errors the most of the distro do everyday...

I don't think showcasing our processes, people and products in the
open is an error. And it's not because it may sound naive that it is



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