[SoaS] [Marketing] SoaS 3 (Mirabelle) release 5/25 & publicity/recruitment plans

Sean DALY sdaly.be at gmail.com
Tue May 25 05:18:55 EDT 2010


The incoherence I am talking about is marketing, not engineering. We
had identified e-book readers as key and promoted SoaS that way.
Dropping those six months later is incoherent. Credibility counts.

FOSS marketing (in the sense of targeted marketing, not contributor
recruitment) has a more than spotty record these past 15 years.
Mozilla is one of the very few exceptions; they had sharp marketers
from the start. Look at the enormous difficulty GNU/Linux distros have
had gaining desktop market share. Microsoft's monopoly has played a
key role in that, but so has the absence of effective desktop and
distro marketing. The past is not a guide I'm afraid.

The Fedora limitation I am referring to is: if it's not packaged in
Fedora, it doesn't exist. Sound engineering, but limits what we can do
to simplify trying Sugar for teachers. I agree that this approach will
work better for large deployments, but the issue is we have raised
rather than lowered the installation and unfamiliarity barriers.
Other, complementary approaches are possible; we've discussed an
online pseudo-Sugar interface, to attack the unfamiliarity barrier.

I fully agree that the Microsoft model where marketing hands over
tasks to engineering doesn't work. However, effective marketing is not
a list of tasks to be done with what engineering hands over, either.
It's a strategy, developed with the education mission in mind, with
input from all teams. This is the outside the box thinking that we
need to do.

We have a critical resources problem at SL (developers, packagers,
deployers, testers, marketers too) and spreading the word about Sugar
is one way to attract talent.


On Mon, May 24, 2010 at 11:02 PM, Peter Robinson <pbrobinson at gmail.com> wrote:
> Sean,
> On Mon, May 24, 2010 at 7:56 PM, Sean DALY <sdaly.be at gmail.com> wrote:
>> Sebastian,
>> Our problem is the incoherence between the two previous versions of
>> SoaS and this one, and the incoherence with our marketing strategy
>> which is to promote a rich ecosystem of Activities for which Sugar is
>> the support.
> I'm sorry, I didn't see much coherence between version 1 and version
> 2.... so not sure how we can continue that with version 3. Its a young
> project that is growing and maturing. I remember v2 as being massively
> unstable and needing 12 different respin versions of it to get
> something that was stable. Sebastian did a absolutely brilliant job
> but I remember him respinning it momentarily before it was announced
> at FUDCon due to some app breakage. SoaS 1 and 2 were rebuilt
> endlessly because so much was broken..... and if you look back to
> Fedora 1 to 2 to 3 there was massive churn..... and I've used "Fedora"
> since RHL 4.0 in 1995 so I do know what I'm talking about there!
>> We can't talk about new SoaS features or large
>> deployments, so there isn't news. Trying to get journalists interested
>> in helping us with recruitment will be an uphill climb. We need to
>> reach developers where they are, which is why I've suggested we
>> advertise for volunteer developers as we are quite more likely to
>> obtain recruitment results that way.
> So..... there's a couple of points above. One word... evolution....
> Large deployments aren't the fault of SoaS v3 .... funnily enough it
> actually needs to be actually released before it can be deployed....
> you seem to miss that point, and the fact that the lack of mass
> deployments doesn't reflect on the upcoming release but the past
> ones.... see point above about stability..... also note the Microsoft
> Windows 7 vs Vista issues.... I know you've referenced that before!
> Sebastian and I personally believe that v3 will be better for large
> deployments because its more stable. That is a feature!
> But to address further your point "We can't talk about new SoaS
> features" ...... there are new features..... LOTS..... but not in
> Sugar.... but that's not because of SoaS...... its because of upstream
> Sugar..... We have 3G support... that's a feature. There's massive
> underlying new features we get from Fedora 13.... native IPv6
> anyone???
>> And we need to reach educators. The installation and unfamiliarity
>> barriers of Sugar remain too formidable. That's why it's so important
>> to have a SoaS Creation Kit. But, we're bumping up against Fedora
>> limitations there. I am sure it has been a positive tradeoff from an
>> engineering point of view, but I am not at all sure from a wider
>> education-mission point of view.
> So where is this famed "SoaS Creation Kit" ???? And its not fricken
> well Fedora limitations.... they reach millions of people and then
> they use the same tools that RHEL and Centos and Oracle unbreakable
> whatever uses..... and what's more they don't need some half arsed
> boot CD thing which I've never been able to make work let alone
> use....
>> Why don't we discuss this tomorrow in the marketing meeting? Hopefully
>> we can improve cooperation between the SoaS and Marketing teams, which
>> has been abysmal lately.
> No! lets not discuss it tomorrow. This release has been in this state
> for months and you leave it to the Fedora release date to ask for
> discussion about it..... I'm sorry you've missed the boat. Lets
> discuss it for the next release after this one comes out in a couple
> of weeks so we can try and work with you for SOAS-4. You keep
> mentioning that "I've disagreed with this and that" but on the SoaS
> list I've not seen any of the discussion..... and that is what we're
> talking about here.....
>> (By the way: I've mentioned previously that there are several reasons
>> why it's not a good idea to cite journalists by name on public lists;
>> it's better to cite their publications. In particular, some
>> journalists are curious about what is said about them, and on most
>> lists someone manages to have something nasty to say about a given
>> article, which doesn't help.)
> So this is documented in a wiki article with regards to marketing
> somewhere? I've lived with marketing people for 5 years.... I worked
> for a leading edge marketing company for half of that. But people
> forget things and things get lost in mailing lists.... you as the
> current marketing lead person should document the strategy somewhere
> (like the Fedora guys do) just in case for some reason suddenly your
> no longer here (my boss asked me today whether I had an urge to jump
> in front of a tube train....... life happens).
> Sean.... the problem that I have with Sugar marketing (is that just
> you?) is that you go "I've spoken about this" "i've mentioned this
> isn't good" but having watched open source VERY closely for 15 years
> and lived with marketing people for 5 years I've never met anyone
> that's just said "No I won't deal with this". GNOME desktop hasn't
> changed massively in the last god knows how many years and they manage
> to market "evolution over revolution" very well, and get all the press
> reviews even if its "the default theme looks nicer than the last" (and
> no that's not a quote).... they manage to use 3G support and stability
> as good features..... upstream Fedora support is a great feature....
> one of the features of SOAS-4 will be a smaller foot print due to
> upstream GNOME.... that should be a good feature due to the 1.5
> million XO-1s.....
> Think outside the box.... please don't stick your head in the sand....
> Sugar is evolving.... Soas is evolving... we are barely a toddler....
> Marketing should be dynamic and run with what we have....
> To finish.... I've never before been in a situation in my 15 years in
> the tech industry where marketing has refused point blankly to market
> a product that is put in front of them while seeing what is going on
> in front of them and not speak out in the channels to do with that
> product (I've only recently subscribed to the marketing list as SoaS
> talk happens on the SoaS list.... what ever it is). Normally tech has
> to implement the shit that marketing has sold. So if marketing is
> going to dictate without input what SoaS technically should deliver
> you can count me out... I have a lot of stuff on my plate and enough
> to argue about with having to deal with people that are blinkered.
> There are a lot of massive improvements to SOAS-3..... be creative....
> that is (apparently) what your suppose to do.
> Peter
> BTW I will be at POSSE and RH summit in June and FUDCon in Zurich in
> September if we want to have a SoaS marketing discussion.. and would
> be open to another option.... similar to the Fedora FADs if that helps
> us to articulate and be on the same page.
> _______________________________________________
> Marketing mailing list
> Marketing at lists.sugarlabs.org
> http://lists.sugarlabs.org/listinfo/marketing

More information about the SoaS mailing list