Mailinglist Archive: opensuse-project (252 mails)

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[opensuse-project] Marketing Definitions from oSC15
  • From: Home <anditosan1000@xxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Tue, 30 Jun 2015 23:44:25 -0600
  • Message-id: <etPan.55937e39.1a58e86f.2b8@Andress-iMac.local>
Dear community,

I wanted to come into the overarching discussion of defining out target
audience for the project after reviewing the board’s presentation at oSC15. At
this meeting the discussed a few key points with which they are making a
proposal to the team to work on a more targeted audience to build the strength
of the project.

While many of us can agree or disagree that the Board’s intention is correct,
incorrect, relevant or irrelevant. I believe there is great insight to be
gained from their proposal to think about for the very near future. I feel that
if we do not put cards on the table, we lose the ways in which we are strong
together and weak by ourselves.

For a very long time, even before the Board explained this improved aim, we
have had issues or deep thoughts about where the project is going; what the
project’s direction is. When will we be able to think of the project as a
driving force in Open Source? These are a few things that matter and are worth

It seems that every so often we work on doing an introspection to find the
strength within to continue with the project.

With this introduction in mind, I invite you to read on. This email will be
long, you have been warned!

The Board explained in our most recent conference that the current project
seems aimless, given that we tend to be the distribution of everyone doing
everything, and at the same time, being the distribution that does nothing and
belongs to no one. Our aim seems lost and we must find it to gain strength and

The openSUSE Board did an exercise where they placed different audiences
against a set of core features that are part of the distribution and project.
The clever arrangement showed the amount of connections that a target audience
could make with our current technologies, particular to openSUSE.

They noted that despite the lack of marketing done for this distribution for
13.2, we nonetheless had the highest download numbers ever for our
distribution. So, there is something to say about the distribution that works
itself as a popular choice underground; without much intervention, or that the
methods we were able to use last minute, were really good and strong.

They defined the openSUSE’s areas of strength. They are tools, packages, and
distributions. It should be noted that these are very technically centered,
where there could probably be room for other areas of strength in the project.
However, we can leave that discussion for later.

They considered ISVs but were quickly ruled it out because of their lack of
connections to the areas of strength. They also matched system administrators,
and developers. Again the list was short and oriented to the technical

Given these strengths the Board felt that our highest “match” would be a
developer audience looking to find a solid distribution where their development
environments would be stable and productive.

Throughout the discussion, I took a few notes and questions that I invite the
Board and all of us to try to answer. By “answer” I mean “answer.” Please shy
away from confrontational discussions on values, morals, personal attachment
and look at this discussion in the light of the evidence and what seems
rational, sensical, and forward-thinking.

Here are some questions that I think we should think about from a Marketing
standpoint. Some of them are more fundamental than others but for each of their
particular value, please take a minute to ponder and provide feedback.

1. The project looks for marketing strength in the light of the technologies
that the distribution currently ships with each distribution. Kiwi, OBS,
Tumbleweed, etc. Are the strengths of the project only based on technological
advancement? If yes or no, which ones do you think are a strength to the
project and which ones do you think are not valuable to the project? Should
they all be technical, should they not?

2. The Board feels that a Developer audience, and maybe a System Administrator
audience, is a strong focal point for our marketing. What are the strengths and
weaknesses of approaching, via marketing, to these two main audiences?

3. Given the lesser marketing push for 13.2, which resulted in increased
download numbers, should we think of a strong push for marketing through our
traditional channels? Making the counter, creating banners for online sites
such as Facebook, Google +, Twitter. Creating a page on our site to promote the
release, creating a release announcement to distribute, etc.

4. What are the thoughts around the strength of a developer community versus
other target audiences such as education, public service, finance, medicine,
research, general public, non-technical users, gamers, etc? What are the merits
of a developer community target as opposed to others?

5. If there is a marked marketing strategy resulting in practical application,
what the core activities that we should do for the project in marketing terms
to target a developer audience versus what we currently do?

6. The project is large and has a few diverse areas of focus. If we are
targeting developers, should we keep or remove initiatives that do not align
with the target audience in hopes that by concentrating efforts into one
audience will produce a better outcome in the end? For example, why work on
integrating so many desktop platforms when a developer might simply care to
have support for specific languages, a command line, a text editor and a
compiler? If a development environment is an aim, should we not remove efforts
that go into areas unrelated to a development environment?

There may be more questions that I could formulate as we move along the
subject, but I ask you to limit your answers to the ones above and we can lead
a separate discussion for derivative subjects on a different thread.

Thank you team

Andy (anditosan)

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