[IAEP] Topics & deliverables from Marketing IRC meeting 03-03-2009: Sugar 8.4 launch date set!

Sean DALY sdaly.be at gmail.com
Thu Mar 5 19:53:41 EST 2009

(note: I messed up with "#start-meeting" instead of "#startmeeting" so
the meetbot did not log, many thanks to Tomeu and Mel for getting that
transcript online at above link)

Hi everyone -

Monday, March 16th, 9:00AM EST is the date & time when we will
announce Sugar 8.4 to the world!

Tuesday's Marketing Team meeting was very dense, lots of fruitful
discussion to prepare for the media launch. These minutes also reflect
work done in the two days since the meeting.

Excitement is building among the marketers with the code completed,
congratulations to those who worked so hard on it.

We discussed 7 topics:

1. Make SL press-contactable: phone number
2. Sugar 8.4 Marketing press release
3. PR Media Launch Date
4. Press release draft process / workflow
5. Printable PDF brochure
6. First 100 SoaS Sugar Labs branded USB sticks
7. Sugar Stories


1. Make SL press-contactable - frontline phone number(s) for journalists to call

Briefly, the idea is that (in a perfect world) a single phone number
can forward to whomever is "on duty" for rapid response for
journalists, and otherwise land on a voicemail box which could
generate an e-mail alert for rapid callback. Goal: cheap, no single
point of failure. Forwarding or "follow me" is complicated by the fact
that I live in Europe. The Asterisk on sunjammer possibility is not
ready. I had looked at a voicemail service for under $10/month
(http://www.efls.com/voicemail.html, reliable supplier in business for
decades), capable of scaling to call forwarding from $50/month +
charges etc. Caroline feels sure that Google's beta GrandCentral can
at least match the paying service's voicemail functionality, for free.
However GC is no longer issuing phone numbers at this time and is
unavailable from Europe. David has a SL-dedicated cellphone which
could be used for call forwarding. Caroline mentioned another service
provider, Kall8 which offers local numbers in Boston and very low
international per-minute rates. John mentioned a couple more
(transcript). I will research these providers and propose a choice as
soon as possible, ideally we will not be changing numbers later.
Alerts will be forwarded to pr at sugarlabs.org and/or
marketing-phone at sugarlabs.org.

2. Sugar 8.4 Marketing talking points for press release - how is Sugar
new improved in this version?

The heart of the press release. Must be worked on this week! So the
translators can have it done by launch date (goal: en and fr which I
will do, plus es, de, pt). Simon will shortly send URL listing

Key messages of press release:
* New version of Sugar is fabulous, here's why
* Sugar Labs is alive & kicking following restructuring
* Sugar on a Stick under active development & looks very promising
* "Challenge to educate"; funding and volunteers welcome

Suggested list for marketing fabulosity of Sugar 8.4 (final list and
order to be worked on, suggestions / more info please):
* Sugar runs on lots of other machines now
* Lots of new Activity features
* Journal interface simpler, cleaner; Portfolio
* Universal view source
* Activities resume by default
* Infoslicer as a tool for teachers and content creators

The suggestion was made for a second press release for developers to
follow later this month (perhaps to coincide with 8.4.1 or 8.4.2
* Addons
* Lots of bugs fixed

3. PR Media Launch Date

*** Monday, March 16th, at 9:00 AM EST (1400 UTC) ***

At that time, the press release e-mails will go out. *That* will be
the moment for Slashdot/Digg/Freshmeat/LWN &c. submissions - not
before please! We want to manage the media wave (if we are fortunate
enough to have one, that is). We will (mostly) all be awake at that
moment and the phone number will be operational.

Note: some journalists may be briefed beforehand under embargo so as
to be among the first to report the story, please contact me offlist
if you have comments or suggestions.

Please add the name and URL (but not e-mail, which I maintain offline)
of any publications of interest to:
(and let me know too.)

This date gives us time to complete needed marketing materials:
* Press release translations in fr, es, de, pt (other languages?)
* Press contact telephone voicemail and/or forwarding with e-mail alert
* The Sugar Labs static site which will very clearly explain Sugar and
our mission (great work by Christian)
* a PDF brochure suitable for printing and handing out (point 5 below)
* Detailed release notes, documentation, ergonomic "Try Sugar" pages
* Sugar Stories as volunteer recruitment aid (point 7 below)
* SoaS which will not be complete, but further along :-) (first batch
of 100 sticks in early April for FOSS VT http://www.ncose.org/) (point
6 below)

4. Press release draft process / workflow

Starting from the principle that the press release won't be a surprise
to anyone if we send drafts back and forth for a week on a web-facing
list, the idea is to organize a confidential workflow. Ideas:
GoogleDocs, Write in Sugar. Walter and I will attempt dogfooding and
use Write, if I manage to get SoaS booting on anything I have - not
yet the case :-( otherwise one of my XOs ;-)

5. Printable PDF brochure

I will work on this after the static site goes live; most of the
brochure will be inspired by the static site.

6. Sugar on a Stick: first batch of 100 Sugar Labs branded USB sticks,
for FOSS VT and Boston classroom visits

Discussions continue re: shape, color, logo color vs. background stick
color. Order to be placed this Monday the 9th at the latest to meet
deadline of April 1st (so there will be time to load sticks with
latest SoaS image before FOSS VT). Possibility of suppliers in Asia
under $8 barrier including print setup and shipping, but need to avoid
unnecessary customs expense/delay. Walter will contact OLPC people who
may have advice/assistance about customs (there may be an exclusion
for trade-show promotional merchandise). Shipment destination:
Caroline who will attend FOSS VT. Possibility of preloading sticks
(going rate $1), but most suppliers do Windows software loading only
so not this time. Sticks are expensive (I'm footing bill ;-) and will
therefore not be randomly handed out. Ideally, Boston classroom
sessions can be filmed and edited for YouTube SoaS marketing later.
Idea: change stick/logo colors (but not shape) for next batch!

7. Sugar Stories

Mel will start compiling stories of Sugar contributors, what brought
this "varied array of people" to join Sugar Labs. Deadline March 13th
so best / ready Sugar Stories can go online. See

Next week's meeting will be Tuesday, March 10th, at 1600 UTC on
irc.freenode.net, channel #sugar-meeting. Last scheduled meeting
before launch, although we may feel the need to do one more just
before launch ;-)

Thank you all very much!!

Marketing Coordinator

More information about the IAEP mailing list