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From Ian Lynch <>
Subject Re: [DISCUSS] Marketing Team
Date Mon, 17 Oct 2011 14:33:51 GMT
On 17 October 2011 14:28, Shane Curcuru <> wrote:

> On 10/17/2011 4:04 AM, Ian Lynch wrote:
>> On 17 October 2011 00:17, Shane Curcuru<>  wrote:
>>  This is a specific issue that is important to understand:
>>> On 10/16/2011 5:25 PM, Ian Lynch wrote:
> ...snip...
>   Projects are certainly welcome to get the word out about the ASF and
>>> about
>>> their work - we love our projects that do the extra work to clearly
>>> articulate their software and their ideas to the world.  But any
>>> fundraising
>>> activities by projects need to be for the ASF overall, and cannot be just
>>> for the project.
>> I fully understand this which is why I'm not proposing making the
>> fundraising bit part of Apache. However, I don't see any legal reason why
>> marketing volunteers in the PPMC could not voluntarily take part in
>> something outside Apache while still taking an interest in Apache. Keep
>> the
>> finance outside but transparent. If there is a mechanism preferred for
>> keeping funding in the general Apache pot then do it that way.
> The Apache way is for projects to come up with specific needs in a
> consensus-based way within the (P)PMC, and then petition infra@ or the
> board@ for a way to meet those needs.

Ok, I reckon AOO would benefit from a $100 million marketing budget to raise
the profile globally. I doubt I'll get much support on that as the task
seems impossible. Ok, maybe $100 might make a small difference in the right
direction ;-) Eat the elephant a bite at a time. But you have to be prepared
to take the first bite.

> There's certainly no prohibitions on committers doing activities outside of
> Apache!  We certainly understand that a large part of the work in our
> projects comes from employees at their $dayjob, from consultants who have
> outside companies, from trainers who run classes based on our products.
>  Many of those activities are indeed a happy conjunction of contributing
> freely to Apache projects and using that experience/expertise to make money
> for yourself/your company elsewhere.
> However any outside activities must be clearly branded to be your own, and
> not endorsed or affiliated with the ASF or AOOo.

No need for any endorsement but it would be useful for people in any
marketing capacity to know what things are going on and how they are
related. I cite again the many You Tube videos that are not endorsed by
anyone except the originators. here
is an example of a video that promotes several FOSS projects in schools. It
is not endorsed by anyone, not even the EU even though it carries an EU logo
- legally and with their encouragement. All that is needed is a mailing list
so there is a focus to discuss marketing activities. There is no need for
detailed bureaucracy but I do think there is a need for communication,
transfer of ideas and some reduction in duplication of effort.

 Thinking about it another way: why does the AOOo project need to make
>>> money?   Really - what needs does the AOOo project have that the ASF is
>>> not
>>> / does not appear to be handling?
>> Why does anyone need money? Marketing costs money to even seed things like
>> T-shirts, travel to conferences etc. In the past we have even struggled to
>> take CDs to shows for the sake of small amounts of money. If you are
>> saying
>> Apache is awash with funds and can finance all these things directly.....
>>  The mechanism for getting the money into the project is not so important,
>> but money is a resource, just like volunteers so the more of it we have
>> the
>> better.
> Conference travel is something we have covered, although the guidelines may
> be a little different from what you're talking about:
> T-shirts are often provided (for other projects that have them) by third
> party corporations coming to our conferences, or by PMC members printing
> shirts individually for fellow committers (at cost or free).

> Why do we need so many CDs?  That is an area I could see being
> fundamentally different because of being an end user product, however I
> still don't understand the specific reasons they are so important here.

These are a simple examples. All I can say is that for the sake of what are
very marginal amounts of money, the project was often unable
to get its message across as well as it could have done. I think it is
probably very different for a desktop end user application like OOo and some
of the other projects here.

Note: IMO, this is definitely a different kind of attitude than any other
> Apache project.  In many cases, the projects do not do anywhere near this
> level of active marketing.  In the rest of the cases, these kinds of
> activities are effectively handled by third parties - i.e. other companies
> who ship versions of our software.

Snag is that many of the people that would be good candidates to ship volume
OOo don't. The reasons why are complex but probably most end users get OOo
from downloads or CDs. CDs often produced by volunteers but probably less so
now. Even 10+ years on there are plenty of people who have never heard of
OpenOffice that would be good candidates to use it. Just because something
hasn't been done before is not necessarily a reason not to do it in future.
Do what you always did get what you always got. While in some ways OOo was
successful, it has not had the impact I think it could have done over the
last 10 years and at least a good deal of that is not having marketing

They usually want to show an association to our brands, and thus end up
> promoting our brands along with their own (at least to most of the target
> markets they deal with - which is probably different than end user
> products).

In any case, I can make some AOO videos without really involving anyone
else. I'm thinking probably I'll wait and see if I can get some EU money to
fund it since I don't have a lot of time right now and it would be better to
focus such resources in the context of a wider education strategy. Market
strategy is important because resources are scarce and so it is important to
make what there is impact in the best way possible.

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