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

Andreas Pour pour at mieterra.com
Fri Apr 11 07:40:10 BST 2003

Neil Stevens wrote:

> > 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.

Wall Street Journal != General Public
Wall Street Journal ~= Decision Makers

[ ... ]

> 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
> maintainer.

Resume-padders are a big motivator though - otherwise we would all be spared
bands at halftime ;-).

Actually I think more useful then titles as such would be some qualification
test.  Then you can say "I passed the KDE test", and that could serve also as a
resume stuffer.  It removes the problem of having people speak on behalf of KDE,
and puts them squarely in the camp of being at some level competent to talk
about KDE.
[ ... ]

> > 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 suggest you spend more time worrying about kde multimedia, that actually hurts
KDE at the moment ;-).

[ ... ]

> > 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
> databases.

Let's not dilute the meaning of this term, OK :-) ?  There are extremely serious
issues involving this going on right now, and what he is proposing has
absolutely nothing to do with those.
[ ... ]

> > 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?

A big problem with volunteers, from my experience, it that you can spend quite a
bit of time working with them and at the end the only thing that has happened is
that I have wasted my time.  Some "hurdle" to prove that the person is not just
in a "feel-good-moment" is definitely important.

Having to study and pass a test IMHO would probably be a good mechanism to weed
out the ones with serious (i.e., willing to do work) interest.  That, after all,
is pretty much the point of college ;-).
[ ... ]


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