Re: real marketing or just catchy slogans?


Murray Cumming wrote:
getting information is the start - when their
information retrieval contributes to technical decisions in a project,
our marketing will begin to be more successful.

Fine. But when that "getting information" is obviously stalled then it
can't be allowed to stop us.

Momentum is important, I agree.

We do know what our users want, and we do know what they are like.

Sure we do, in general. And we're making good software, in general. And yet, there are a bunch of points which have come up repeatedly as annoyances (and thus a usability issue) in GNOME reviews and articles - having a preference in Nautilus to change to the browser view, having Nautilus places and GTK+ bookmarks be shared, etc. I don't know what progress (if any) is being made on some of these things. I don't know if they're considered priority items at this stage.

I think we also overestimate the value of this targetting:
- Ubuntu have very generic emotional marketing materials, yet I think we
would like their kind of success.

Ubuntu targetted momentum users early, and are reaping rewards.
 - Use Debian, and get developer buy-in from the Debian community
 - Use GNOME, and get developer buy-in from GNOME community
 - Hire community leaders from both as advocates

They've also directly targetted hardware vendors - their hardware database, and contracts with HP and others to certify hardware, will make them a good choice for pre-install on OEM desktops and laptops. When that happens, it won't have been by accident.

To consider Ubuntu's marketing as unfocussed would be wrong. They woprked very hard early on to get community involvement, and in effect turned the Debian and GNOME projects into their marketing department.

- Firefox also have a very wide market with a very generic product, and
marketed successfuly to that wide market.. They didn't decide to target
scientific users or educational users. (Yes, I know they had a slightly
easier delivery method.)

Have you forgotten that Firefox/Mozilla was an early-adopter fringe product for years before jumping the chasm? And by conventional marketing wisdom, with 10% market share they still haven't crossed the chasm (although I think it's fair to say that they have). When 1.0 came out, was instrumental in their momentum. Again, their improvements have been entirely early-adopter/community driven. They got the cutting edge on board, and those guys helped them jump up in market share.

And Mozilla has not *just* been marketing that way - they also have a classical marketing department, looking for big corporate support contracts, sending sales reps out to see what the big customers need, and making sure that Firefox gives it to them.

OK, but don't think it's going to help our marketing to have a discussion
about whether spatial nautilus is good or not

I agree. But perhaps feedback from us will change the priority of a change up the chain? Spatial's great, I love it, it took me a while to get used to it. But there's a reason Ubuntu changed it.

Yes. But a) what are the suggestions, and b) should we wait for one.

a) I made a bunch. Anyone interested in taking on part of that project please contact me, or mail on-list.

b) No. Marketing strategies can be developed in parallel, and we can certainly do some general communication & promotion without addressing the needs of specific market segments.

People should feel free to exert pressure, but I think the marketing-list
would fail utterly if it expected to get this involved in the little
details of development. There's enough pressure to get these things right
from within the development community anyway, and telling people that you
_really_ want them to do something doesn't really make it happen.

I see all of this more as an organic, person to person thing.

Here's a scenario.

1. Article gets published by someone giving out about GNOME.
2. Someone mails author asking him about specifics for a given problem
3. The someone creates a few Bugzilla entries, or adds comments in relevant bugzillas 4. The someone gets on to a developer in the project being given out about, perhaps on IRC, perhaps by mail. Just to say hi, tell him about the comments, maybe point to the bugzilla, and ask him what he thinks. 5. The developer thinks the concerns are irrelevant, and explains why -> Mail author back 6. The developer agrees that thing X is a pain -> Ask if it's planned during the next devel cycle. 7. If it is, tell author. If it isn't, ask for it to be. Or maybe contact the board & ask them to put up a bounty for feature X. Or maybe try it yourself.

8. A month later, another article gives out about the same thing. Mail the author, add comments to bugzilla, touch base with the dev eloper ("Hi, thought you might be interested in this article: the guy really wants the frobniz fixed - same complaint we got from (previous author) - has anyone shown interest in fixing it?")

We can be the guys who help remove obstacles, make sure people know what feedback is circulating, and create a positive cycle wherte people writing articles about GNOME feel like the project is listening & heeding them.

Again, a simple campaign with a simple theme can help rally people
together to make all these details happen.

I forgot (although I think we should choose another name). A community promotion site is essential for all this.

Yet both fall under improving the end user's experience. They are details
of that. I think we are being techy when we focus on the details instead
of the real vague gut emotional impact of most marketing materials, or on
the benefit of mere name recognition.

I think focussing on the details, and ensuring we have answers to those questions, is an important part of what we do.

And let's review it periodically. Like the release team handles
development, we should improve our marketing strategy when we have the
means to do that, instead of holding out for the by-the-book


I have zero way to get the information that people seem to be asking for
before they'll get moving on marketing

What information do people seem to be asking for? And who is the "they"?

I'll hold off for another month in case people suddenly come up with some
strategy for getting this information or moving on without it. If not,
I'll try again to get things moving anyway.

No, don't hold off, carry on. Bring the slogan idea to a head, though - we should pick some, and be done with it.


David Neary
bolsh gimp org

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