[kde-promo] Re: Re: WSJ Strikeout and TypeHeads [LONG]

Neil Stevens neil at qualityassistant.com
Fri Apr 11 07:23:44 BST 2003

Hash: SHA1

On Thursday April 10, 2003 03:11, Mark Bucciarelli wrote:
> On Thursday 10 April 2003 5:29 pm, Neil Stevens wrote:
> > On Wednesday April 09, 2003 08:32, Mark Bucciarelli wrote:
> [...]
> > > A total strike out for KDE.
> >
> > Either that, or the "big story" was done by a reporter who'd only
> > gone as far as Ximian and AOL to research free software.
> Why did you put big story in quotes?  The story was on the front page
> of the Technology section and was entitled "Ten Technologies You Need
> to Know About Now."  Irregardless of the reporter's skill, I consider
> this a big scoop for free software.

I put it in quotes becuase it's one non-technical newspaper in one country.  
If your goal is to increase active participation and contribution to KDE, 
articles like that aren't going to get you much.  You need to get the 
attention of and sway the decision makers, not the general public.

> > He didn't
> > even get as far as finding a single OS vendor.  Compare "Linux"
> > with "Ximian Desktop." If this reporter had done a halfway decent
> > job, surely that'd have said "Red Hat Linux."  Perhaps a Ximian
> > contact led this reporter around, convinced him that "All linux can
> > use Ximian," or stuff like that.
> Actually, MySql stuff had the biggest play.  (OT - Did you know five
> Cisco products use mysql inside them for recording traffic?)

MySql.  So this article used the inferior desktop *and* the inferior DB!

> > > I would like to suggest that KDE adopt the approach that the
> > > folks at typo3 (www.typo3.com) have taken; in particular, their
> > > consultant registry and their "Typeheads" program
> > > (http://typo3.com/Contribute.1226.0.html).
> > >
> > > Here are the duties of a typo3 TypeHead:
> >
> > Please, no.
> Someone addressing my proposal specifically!  (Thank you.)
> > We don't need to start handing out titles.  That splits the
> > community needlessly, reducing your potential volunteer pool.
> I don't agree that this would split the community.  I think it would
> encourage more participation.  I count two already from this thread.
> I think the pool is bigger than you think.  And it is going to grow.

By definition, it splits the community into at least two groups: those 
deemed qualified for the title, and those not.  I think we have enough 
trouble in the actual KDE development work reminding people that there's 
more than programming that qualifies one for improving KDE.  I'd rather 
not have the same kind of struggle reminding people that anyone can spread 
the word about KDE.

All it takes is someone with the ear of a decision maker to get a company 
to contribute to KDE.  You don't need any qualifications for that.

All it takes is a fair amount of knowledge of KDE's use to demonstrate KDE, 
with in-advance preparation making it easier still.  Again, little 
qualification for that.

> > We don't need to start assigning duties.  KDE is a volunteer
> > effort.  Take or leave what efforts you are offered.
> A lot of volunteer effors are well organized and have some structure.
> Look at Debian.  (I'm not advocating that extreme, just giving an
> example ...)

What benefit do you see from excluding participants though?

> > In fact, if you combine the two, you will get shoddy efforts by
> > people looking to win the silly title.  The result: inadequately
> > interested individuals doing halfway jobs while claiming to be
> > official KDE representatives.  In other words, disaster.
> I don't agree.  I would expect that the people who are interested in
> such a role would have more integrity.  Also, I just don't see that
> people will clamor to have this title.  It is not that glamorous.

Think of resume padders. That's the only conceivable reason I can think 
that anyone would jump through hoops for a trumped-up title with 
trumped-up duties.  It's hard enough finding people to take *real* 
positions, like release coordinator, translator, or application 

> > So let's not create yet another clique of insiders, please.
> Actually, after Tink's post I read up on KDE e.V.  This looks like the
> right instrument to me.  They publish minutes and it's all very clear
> that it is a membership organization.  Their primary purpose is
> "promotion," so it fits with their charter.  It is not affiliated
> with any corporate entities, and is purely a membership organization.
> Looks good to me.  As I understand it, we all can become members of
> e.V. you just need to be approved by the board, which currently
> consists of:
> Matthias Kalle Dalheimer
> Mirko Böhm
> Eva Brucherseifer
> Ralf Nolden

KDE e.V. does help pay for stuff, sure.  But don't look to the e.V. to 
start creating a suffocating, anti-volunteer Debian-esque hierarchy.

If you want to create your own hierarchy, go right ahead.  Just don't call 
it official KDE anything.

> I meant a wake up call to look at how promo is done and to discuss
> alternatives.

Alternatives to what, exactly?  I don't see much evidence of promotion*. We 
work on improving KDE, GNOME improves on promoting GNOME.  Which desktop 
is better? :-)

* Some promotion may have been stalled because people waited for the KDE 
League to do anything, and things might not get going well until the KDE 
League gets killed and buried.  But that's another matter.

> > > I would like to help, but I don't even qualify according the the
> > > typehead criteria--I have not installed KDE on any companies
> > > machine. Actually, have you?  Do you know if any companies are
> > > running KDE in your area?  This would be valuable information to
> > > collect.
> >
> > This is exactly why the title system would be such a mistake.  It
> > shuts out a willing volunteer, and it distracts volunteer effort
> > from the real goals like getting attention from lazy (aren't we
> > all? :-) reporters.
> I think there needs to be some criteria.  I liked the one about
> installing KDE in other businesses.  Although I wouldn't qualify for
> that at the moment!!  :D

Criteria for what?  Are you going to deny access to resources to anyone you 
deem unworthy?  Drop them off of kde-promo?  Sue them for mentioning KDE 
in public?  Help me out, here. :-)

> >> I could help set up such a local registry on the promo web site.
> >
> > Wasted effort at best, and a privacy thrat at worst.  Stay focused.
> Not wasted for me.  I don't have enough time to dig into coding KDE
> right now, so this is an area I can contribute to.  My impression of
> promo work is that it is a slower pace, but requires persistence and
> long-term committement.

Well, I'd rather you worked on promoting KDE than creating big brother 

> Why a threat on privacy?  You would have to indicate interest and know
> that along with the role you get your name and contact info plastered
> on the web site.

Well, if the only way to get access to KDE promotional materials (see above 
questions) is to get your private information made public, that's 

> > > But
> > > more discussion must come first.  George Staikos started some
> > > last January, albeit on a different tact, getting people out to
> > > do talks and attend conferences.  I think this, combined with the
> > > TypeHead grass-roots approach, would be extremely effective.
> >
> > Handing out titles isn't a grass-roots approach.  Let's stick with
> > the dissemination of information, and avoid splitting the community
> > by creating insiders and outsiders.
> Again, I don't see the conflict between grass-roots community-based
> organizations and defining some structure.  Done properly, it would
> build community.

Again, what is the *benefit* of the structure?  What do we gain from 
excluding people?

> > > Now, try the same query but substitute gnome for kde.  Click on
> > > the first link.  What a difference.
> >
> > Do you have a point, or better, a proposal to address your point?
> As I previously posted, I think the KDE press contact page is really
> good.  I somehow missed it when I was doing my test.
> As far as improving the hit rate on google, I believe if a page has
> lots of links then it gets rated higher.  So I would make sure that
> every electronic press release has a link to this page.  This counts
> for emails that get archived as well, I believe.

Contacts do get mentioned in the press releases.  Does anyone actually send 
those press releases to the press, though?  :-)

> The other criteria is that words in the meta-keywords appear in
> headers on the page.  But that's stretching my knowledge and may no
> longer be true.  There are probably others that know far better.

Those won't do you really any good with Google.  Google is smarter than 
those tricks.

> > Tou *are* aware that Google's database is a secret property of
> > theirs, right?  And that they don't like it when people try to
> > manipulate it? Let's not make an enemy of Google and get removed
> > from the DB completely.
> I don't understand this.  People sell services to increase your
> ranking on search engines.

People sell lots of things.  Those services aren't all honest, though.
- -- 
Neil Stevens - neil at qualityassistant.com
"The shepherd drives the wolf from the sheep's throat, for which the
sheep thanks the shepherd as a liberator, while the wolf denounces him
for the same act as the destroyer of liberty." -- Abraham Lincoln
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