Re: bad press in the G+ circles/press

On Fri, Aug 5, 2011 at 2:59 AM, Allan Day <allanpday gmail com> wrote:
Luc Pionchon <pionchon luc gmail com> wrote:
> What about?
> - be open
> - listen to the feedback,
> - don't give canned answers
> - engage in constructive discussion,
> - avoid derision
> - show interest in feedback
> - get to the facts;
> - go to the source, tackle rumors; what is it founded on?
> - if needed, go through a few levels of "why" to reach the point
> - use numbers
> - avoid vague quantities "so many", "a lot", "several", etc.
> - encourage people to report more formal feedback (mailing list, buzilla, wiki)
> - really, listen to the feedback

That's a really good list! (It would be awesome if you or anybody else
wanted to do a wiki page on dealing with feedback... ;) )

One thing I would say though - some of those things (constructive
discussion, get to the facts, go to the source) don't work so well on
public discussions in my experience. They're great things to do, but
they only tend to work when you're have a discussion with a small
group or even on a one to one basis.

The thing is, I want to also educate.  Designing a desktop is a completely different space than kernel development and a lot of these kernel guys are trying to apply principles they learned hacking on the kernel to a user facing software eco-system.  Not the same thing.  We have one high profile kernel developer after another standing up and publicly talking about switching to XFCE.  I don't particularly care, but it's creating a trend that will be hard to ignore for marketing.  I promised myself that I would not allow what happened from 1.x -> 2.x to re-occur because we botched it badly because we didn't engage with the community.

The other observations:  they use our own words against us.  For instance, someone said that extensions are not welcome and then posts a link to a post by Allan seemingly supporting that.  Or "GNOME is not inclusive" then a post by hadess seemingly supporting that conclusion.

It's a bit of a mess.  And the thing is, I cannot allow only one side of an argument to be present in high profile threads without challenge.  Because journalists are watching and they'll write some creed to generate page hits.  Linus's offhand remark has generated an article after article on a number of trade rags.  In the old days, we weren't as connected as we are now.  The twitter feed was constantly showing links.

What might be nice is to release some screenshots of new features or talk about the development platform, something to get the focus out of Linus.  If he's in a dunk tank somewhere I'm going to be first in line to throw a ball to dump him in there.

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