[Marketing] press release opportunity...

Sean DALY sdaly.be at gmail.com
Thu Jul 30 05:36:34 EDT 2009

OK but I will need to think a little bit about this (and for the
moment no internet access in the house, truck unloaded yesterday & we
are in boxes, internet will take a couple of weeks at least)

I have promised Tomeu to assist in recruitment but this is a tricky
one... the "magic" if I may say so is to find an "angle" that is
newsworthy... that will bubble to the top choices a journalist or
blogger will choose to write about. Unfortunately, "we need help" or
"we are succeeding an ambitious technical challenge", etc. are not
newsworthy in and of themselves. So we need to find a link, a "hook"
to generate newsworthiness. My instinct is to springboard from Sugar
on a Stick which has already captured the imagination of many writers
and bloggers.

Marketing, advertising, even recruitment springs first from emotional
response, then reasoned analysis. If you listen to Red Hat's CEO in
the BBC link I sent two days ago you will hear him try to motivate
potential recruits in terms of social responsibility and making the
world a better place. I think all of us are deeply motivated by the
desire to educate children.

Perhaps, Slashdot-style, we can announce a technical challenge with a
deadline (cf. JFK man on the moon). For example: "Sugar on a Stick is
a liveUSB system and is based on liveCD solutions which impose certain
limitations on writable media; one of the consequences is a higher
failure rate for USB sticks than optical media. We want Sugar on a
Stick to be absolutely reliable for children and their teachers; who
can help us design and implement an improved liveUSB architecture by
May 2010, to prepare Sugar on a Stick for wide deployment by the
beginning of the school year?"

This is only an idea, but the brainstorming aspect of it - we want to
do something which has never been done before - could raise awareness
among sharp geeks who could bring their experience to the project. It
would position ourselves as being at the leading edge of innovation,
bringing high tech on a $5 stick to kids. We could imagine a "contest"
with the only prize being the implementation of the best idea; but a
wiki page where we invite geeks to propose their best take on the
subject could build traffic amongst prequalified developers.

This is a double-edged sword, because there are some pundits who love
to diss Sugar and OLPC by implying that Python is a silly choice, or
OLPC "failed" by doing X and not doing Y or Z. But we could maybe
minimize mindless trashing by asking the community for the best ideas.

This might work best as a blog post not a press release... although if
we raise the bar of the challenge high enough, some tech writers might
want to write about it if it is a press release too.

We absolutely have to improve the Getting Involved page as part of our
recruitment too, I had had some suggestions a couple of months back
but no time for me to find those today :-(

I will think about this some more, feedback appreciated thanks


On Wed, Jul 29, 2009 at 4:01 AM, Walter Bender<walter.bender at gmail.com> wrote:
> I will spare you the discussion details, but an idea that emerged from
> IRC would be PR around our technical challenges in order to recruit
> more interest. We could get Tomeu, et al. to draft some descriptive
> text and you could work your magic???
> -walter

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