real marketing or just catchy slogans?

[ short intro (aka "who the heck is this guy?"): my name is santiago
roza, i'm 25 and i live in argentina, i have a business-oriented
academic background (business administration) with a tech-oriented
professional background (i work as a tech consultant, and write a
column for a tech magazine here in argentina), and of course i'm a
strong supporter of free software ]

i'm writing this email because i'm not sure i like the direction we're
following, and i'd like to explain why.

like many others (i assume), i joined this list after reading john
williams' "marketing gnome", an article i still find truly inspiring:

let me quote what i found to be the key paragraph:
"marketing is not about convincing people to buy (or use) your product
or service. That is selling. Marketing is about matching the output of
your organization to the demands of the (chosen) market. Put another
way, marketing is about finding out what people want, and then giving
it to them [and then communicating that, i would add]."

in the 5-6 months i've been here, i haven't seen much of "finding out
what people want", and even less of "giving it to them", but 99% of
"communicating that" (unluckily we don't even know what is "that", and
who are "them").  in other words, i haven't seen much marketing in

- about "finding out what people want", not only i haven't seen one
action oriented to that, but when i compiled (on luis villa's request)
a list of issues in gnome 12's negative reviews, no one seemed to care
or even had an opinion.
- about "giving it to them", i haven't seen much contact between this
list and the gnome developers, something i consider a critical issue,
but again no one seems to care about.  and i'm not even sure that
issues list was passed on to the developers (and if it was, i didn't
read anything about it).

and this week we're thinking of catchy slogans (for the nth time)...
ok that's necessary, but imho first we should try to find out what
people think of gnome, what people want from gnome, what people like
about gnome, what they dislike, what do we have (either real or
imaginary) that other desktops don't... and btw who the heck are "the
people" (do we want to target developers or decision makers or kde end
users or win end users or who??).

in other words, i'd like to see more marketing, and less
selling/advertising... at least until we know what we have, what
customers need, and what we could do to offer that to them (not to
mention finding out who "they" are).

well, that's pretty much it.  i'd like to know if i'm the only one
here concerned about these issues, and even if i am, what's your
opinion about my rant  :)


Santiago Roza
Departamento I+D - Thymbra
santiago roza thymbra com

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