On Fri, Jul 30, 2010 at 3:38 AM, nmarques firstname.lastname@example.org wrote:
2010/7/29 Jos Poortvliet email@example.com
True, this is a strenght of openSUSE. However, from a marketing pov it is not very easy to sell. Ubuntu, as was said, has managed to position themselves as a Gnome based desktop leader. That is a strong and easy message. Saying you do everything will be perceived you do a lot but nothing particularly well. So there should be more focus. BTW this also benefits development - of course it should be open enough to let everyone do what they want but at the same time having a common goal, story, focus - it helps development.
The only lesson in my opinion that can be taken from Ubuntu is the fact they aim to answer directly to users needs. For example, the popularity system they use to provide default packages (I believe it's the same on Debian, not sure though). About GNOME, as I've seen today from a former Red Hat employee, the upstream for GNOME is still 16% from Red Hat and 1% for Ubuntu. (link is in http://planet.fedoraproject.org).
Yes, the difference between marketing and reality ;-) Ubuntu makes more noise than it does work. We all know that by now...
So that's why I think the strategic discussion going on is important, and we really need to finish it properly: there must be a clear message coming out of it. We must have a clear direction, and some of our wide focus will (and has to be) lost there. That is both good and bad - the bad is that some people might feel left out, but the good is that we will gain focus and new contributors.
My advice would be to identify your target audience (for example potential contributors with X and Y skills) and get to know what they give value and on how they perceive their value so that in future you can offer those 'features'. This should be the main work object of your Marketing, promote those 'features' and have a message that provides a 'hook' to those audiences.
Good point. You can/should bring this up in the strategy discussion going on... ?!?
We constantly innovate (obs,moblin->meego,susestudio,wiki rebirth) but we also have to finish those hype project, they are our marketing force, the brilliant thing we can show to the world of news,dig,rss,twit ...
Yep, these things must be advertised. And again - focus. We must create a common story, a 30 sec elevator pitch which explains how these hang together and what makes them so important to us.
And in adition you can run a focus group with participants from the target audience... From this point you can look around and get to know better you audience. Though there are tens of possible ways of running a focus group, I've wrote this in the past, I hope it's useful. Feel free to enter this information on your wiki if you feel it should belong there for future usage: http://fedoraproject.org/wiki/Marketing/Focus_group_SOP
Hmmm, I think our strategy should be defined by our current community - anyone who is, in one way or another, involved. Then yes, we can test this on users, but I'd rather focus on what WE want and where WE want to go. Users can then figure out if that direction is for them or not... Of course part of the "where WE want to go" is to get users, so in that sense you're right that we could ask some. But I think as a community which is so close to the end user we don't really need that stuff. Might be wrong, though :D
In the meantime, in the backyard, there's those "olds" hackers, administrators, developers who use openSUSE because it's rocks, can do all what they need. the way they need.
We should obviously keep catering to them at some level. Ubuntu does that by relying on their debian foundations, btw.
From my experience with old school people, in many ways my mentors and the people who made Linux visible in Portugal, they don't use Ubuntu. And there's two things that you should pay attention, this come from my own experience. When I worked on Portugal Telecom R&D unit (PT Inovação S.A., responsable for accolades like the first pre-paid GSM card in the world amongst the first operational GPRS Service Platform in service) there is something important in production environments: Support Contracts. This means that someone will take the decision on what to use. In our case IBM (our hardware sponsor) and Oracle punched in promoting Red Hat. Red Hat was used mainly because of IBM, since they had tremendous leverage power with the people taking some decisions (not linux minded people). Only distributions that could offer high support level that matched our clients (GSM Operators) support demands were considered, back then, SuSE Linux and Red Hat. Nowadays we can ignore as this is not our aimed target (our = openSUSE). In another perspective, I know people who run large datacenters and they use Debian... Usually people say the same, Ubuntu for Desktop, Debian for Servers. openSUSE has been loosing popularity in Portugal and it's enthusiast numbers have decreased.
On my own perspective, you need to conquer the Desktop so that when those users (around 15 year old) evolve and grow in skill and knowledge keep faithful to their distro. By allowing Ubuntu to fight in this field and get strength, within 10 years they will probably have an outstanding user base and contributor base. This just my interpretation. Ubuntu is heavilly used in high schools and universities. This is in my perspective where you will win or loose the battle for contributors. I can be wrong, time will either support or demote my claim.
Yes, it is one way to look at it. I'm simply not sure about this. Schools run Ubuntu, but the fastest growing Free Desktop community is KDE... That's where all the students go to. So apparently the fact Gnome comes on their computers doesn't make them play with that, or they try and consider it bad, I dunno. In the end I think it is important to have good technology and make clear what and where. Not sure if 'getting them early' makes such a huge difference.
Still I do want to get schools to use our stuff, as we want do to Good (TM) and supporting education falls squarely in the Right Thing area :D
I would never follow the trend about "all those people who need a desktop to communicate enjoy video on youtube" All of them are just consumers. You know what consumers just consume, and we don't sell openSUSE. We need real engaged people on it. Let that consumers consuming marketing,sales,support resources of our concurrents.
Dangerous move if you ask me. By allowing other distributions to fidelize your users you will loose potential contributors. Take the battle to high schools and universities, do not understimate popularity. On the short run you are correct, on the long run you might loose contributors... and that will justify your competitors investment. Remember, Marketing points software as a service and all services are based on fidelization! This is pure marketing. Not sure on what Novell's doing, but ask around their Marketing division what are their views about this! It might be enlightening.
It is true that we should make sure we have a good end user product, and market it. But we should find a focus of our own instead of following the competition ;-)
Having a lot of users doesn't always lead to more contributors. Again I can only bring up my own experience: KDE has a huge number of users on windows, but NONE of them have joined the development team. Those working on KDE-on-Windows are linux users or ex-linux users.
-- nelson marques firstname.lastname@example.org