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

Neil Stevens neil at qualityassistant.com
Fri Apr 11 08:21:33 BST 2003

Hash: SHA1

On Thursday April 10, 2003 11:24, Andreas Pour wrote:
> 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

High-level business and investment decision makers, yes.  But KDE is not a 
business, so those decision makers don't do us any good.  Any company that 
has its IT policy changed on the whim of a CEO who read about some 
software in the newspaper isn't going to last long.

> [ ... ]
> > 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.

OK, now that's reasonable.  Make a test on KDE.  The basics of the history, 
the "organization," the licensing, the features, and the major policies.  
The answer sheet would double as a press guide.  But I'd still rather it 
stay informal.

> [ ... ]
> > > 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 ;-).

I've spent far more time on that than promotion or the web page or any of 
that, believe you me.  Defending aRts in the past didn't exclude me from 
hassling with it. :-)

> [ ... ]
> > > 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.

I'm not so sure.  I've seen some pretty dangerous proposals in KDE land 
involving tracking and information gathering.  As a CTO, I'd steer clear 
of software that aggressively tracks large installations.  I can't go 
through every line in KDE looking for call-home code that adds my IP 
address to a database of KDE users.

> [ ... ]
> > > 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 ;-).

With or without a test, just giving people a convenient summary of the 
highlights of KDE would be immensely useful to word-of-mouth, grass-roots 
PR, I think.

- -- 
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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