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

Sean DALY sdaly.be at gmail.com
Sat Mar 7 14:48:39 EST 2009

Josh - reaching hundreds of thousands of teachers and parents is
different from talking with half a dozen distributions (and OEMs too),
and of course we need to do both - and we are. That said, I am
convinced the more Sugar succeeds,the more distributions will be
encouraged to include and promote it. They are aware of a key
differentiator, that Sugar is free software and lives best on

Jonas - what I want is to reach teachers and parents with the message
that Sugar is a good choice for children. A key way to do that is to
spread the news that Sugar works on other classroom-friendly hardware
platforms. Teacher buy-in is essential for Sugar's success on non-OLPC
platforms. Although some educators have likely heard of OLPC, it's
likely very few have heard of Sugar Labs. Of those who have, like it
or not, we are facing perception problems today: that OLPC/Sugar is
floundering, that Sugar only works on the XO-1, that the restructuring
has sounded the death knell for Sugar and active development is
winding down, etc. Marketing is about perceptions and it's not stinky
to combat false perceptions with a key fact, that Sugar runs on
netbooks. perhaps it's a better idea to call out that Sugar runs well
on older desktop PCs, which are more likely to be in the back of
classrooms; it's a choice. I just think talking up netbooks better
advances Sugar's image of modernity and innovation.

We are hampered by a numbering system that implies work-in-progress
status. However, we can use that to our advantage by stressing that
Sugar on a Stick will be our big product 1.0 launch, and therefore not
overselling it at this time. I'm sorry, but I don't see how obscure
marketing will help us reach the goal of communicating that Sugar runs
on lots of other machines now.


On Sat, Mar 7, 2009 at 10:56 AM, Jonas Smedegaard <dr at jones.dk> wrote:
> Hash: SHA1
> [sent again - to the marketing team too this time]
> On Sat, Mar 07, 2009 at 01:36:37AM +0100, Sean DALY wrote:
>>Bert made a very astute observation: we need to be Googlable. Luke is
>>quite right, Sugar by itself is ungooglable and Sugar "needs" Labs
>>close by in this context.
> Searching just for the single word "sugar" in Google have Sugar Labs
> rank 6th in my experience, and OLPC Sugar page ranks 4th.
>>Jonas makes the excellent suggestion to baptise the version with a
>>name. It's a good way to reduce the importance of the version number
>>in communicating. I fear that unfortunately, honoring chocolate barons
>>may not be the best path... the biggest names were part and parcel of
>>the colonial era :-( and some names including Van Houten are
>>registered trademarks which will be zealously protected so off-limits
> Do you say that Chocolate companies have registering their trademarks not
> only in the context of Chocolate but also in the context of computing?
> Even if so, we can then use first name (like Debian does): Coenraad.
> I see no problem in picking names of "evil" people - quite the contrary:
> Colonialism is an integral part of the history of World society - and
> here is an excuse to tell one of the stories about it.
> Coenraad did not "invent" chocolate, but industrialized it. Brought it
> to the masses. Just like Sugar draws from inventions of others but have
> real power in what is done on its own. With industrialism also is evil
> powers - just as OLPC is challenged by "the dark side" of the computing.
> And I am not only thinking financially here, but also the dilemma of
> pursuing novel ideas of human interface design contra pleasing the
> expectations of the masses by reusing classic concepts. With the
> industrialization of chocolate, Coenraad also have a small part in the
> destruction of the rain forests, in that naturally growing cocoa trees
> might produce the richest flavoured beans but not the largest produce -
> so they were systematically cut down and replaced with more effective
> breeds of cocoa trees - to the extend that today most of the original
> sorts of cocoa is distinct.
> By picking Coenraad we do not make him a saint. We acknowledge his
> importance in the world of Sugar. Both the parallel world of that thing
> to put in your mouth, and our world of bringing back balance in
> knowledge among kids globally - a balance skewed by people like
> Coenraad.
>>I propose a different approach... a roadmap approach, meant to
>>reinforce SoaS. Netbooks are the fastest growing category in the
>>industry; they are the cheapest; there is already a wide number of
>>them; after the XO, the Classmate etc. are the likeliest candidates for
>>school deployments. Journalists are on the lookout for netbook-related
>>stories; they know netbooks are Microsoft's weakest point. So maybe we
>>should baptise 0.84 "Sugar Netbook Version".
> You want to ride on the tide of netbooks? Then emphasize in press texts
> that Sugar was *born* in netbooks, several years before that word was
> coined in the media. I don't think there is a single changelog entry
> specifically targeted netbooks in the new release, so emphasizing it as
> such stinks. And I fear journalists will smell that.
> Aren't we the educational guys? Shouldn't we then be more powerful and
> base even our marketing on facts?
> One fact is that Sugar is unique in the computing industry in its
> targeting kids globally - and especially poor ones (some of which is
> suffering from the consequences of people and mindset like that of
> Coenraad)!
>   - Jonas
> - --
> * Jonas Smedegaard - idealist og Internet-arkitekt
> * Tlf.: +45 40843136  Website: http://dr.jones.dk/
>   [x] quote me freely  [ ] ask before reusing  [ ] keep private
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