Friday, February 20, 2009

The NEW Fedora Marketing

Over the last few weeks we have been working to rejuvenate Fedora Marketing. A tremendous job, was and continues to be done by the folks on the team, in all areas and I just wanted to write a little about everything so that those not following closely could at least get the bigger picture of what's going on and also, maybe attract anyone else who might be interested.

Primarily, the focus of what has been going on is a restructuring of how marketing goes about establishing goals and splitting them up into tasks and then the time-frames for completing those tasks. Marketing has always been busy, except that some times, due to the nature of how tasks were assigned or randomly picked up, it was unclear what people what were working on what tasks lead to confusion. Additionally, there was up until the last few week a perceived fissure between marketing and the rest of Fedora. This was really more due to lack of communication than anything else, so we have been trying to address that problem as well.

After much discussion on IRC and on the list, we were able to identify three main barriers to efficiency and growth:

* First, we could adopt a better workflow, one which prioritizes tasks and puts them on some sort of schedule. The nature of Fedora is cyclical; a release-based cycle, we should try to align ourselves with that.

* Second, if things will be more fine grained with a new workflow, we can easily assign and clearly define who is responsible for what. Prior to this, many tasks were left by the way side because others were afraid of taking them and stepping on someone else's toes.

* Third, and most importantly, Marketing is a "sort of" function of 3 groups, Ambassadors, Docs and Art. We don't really communicate well with anyone in those groups. That being said, there are many tasks which cross over and can be worked on cooperatively. If only we had meetings scheduled, we would be able to identify those opportunities, and lighten the workload for everyone and be more efficient at completing it.

The proposed solution is to incorporate all these elements into a new process, with a new workflow for the team, which is schedule based. The insipiration for this was really drawn from the good work that John Poelstra does with his release schedules. That can be found here. Over the last 2-3 meetings of the Marketing team we have been working to put together a template schedule which we can use for every release and then use the template to put something together for each release. Right now, you can find the template here. We are still working on adding things to it, and please feel free to do so, if you can think of anything which we missed. Once all these core tasks are set in place, we can add to that all the other cool, non-release based things that we do, like the Fedora Picture Book.

What's up next and what you can do:

* Continue to add things to the schedule. This is vital, as over the next few releases we will be adhering strictly to this cycle.

* Cleaning up the Marketing space on the wiki. We should have a meeting about this at some point next week, but until then myself and a few others, and hopefully yet more volunteers will emerge to help us do this. All you wiki-masters out there, get your knives out...

* Start coming to the marketing meetings! The team relies on the energy and collaboration of the whole community and if you believe you can contribute some time, marketing is probably the most fun and easiest way to do that. Currently, we are trying to establish a new meeting time to accomodate more people. If you would like to start attending, please go to this page, and add your name to the list.

We are going to get marketing back on a more efficient track and get more heads in the mix to brainstorm cooler projects in the future. Are you in?