It’s Sunday afternoon in FOSDEM, and I’m just adding one or two slides to compliment the presentation I’m giving this afternoon – which gives me a minute to sit down and think on everything that’s happened since we got here.
I travelled to FOSDEM with Mathieu Stute of OpenWengo on the surprisingly fast Thalys, which gave me a chance to write my presentation on “Developing GNOME through marketing and outreach” (shortened to “Marketing GNOME” on the title slide).
Thanks to Bader for proving one of my early points after the talk – he said “you know you didn’t talk about marketing, you talked about promotion”. We spend too much time talking about metaphysical questions like “what is GNOME” and “what is marketing”, and not enough time actually making the easy wins in outreach. The main point I wanted to get through with this presentation are that there are lots of ways that grass-roots movements can do outreach, but that we have now got most of the useful infrastructure in place to allow the project as a whole to benefit from that outreach, and create the feedback loop which will improve GNOME over time.
Some simple things that you can do as an individual:
- Talk to your local council and get in contact with their CTO to see if there are plans to use free software
- Talk to the college professor you know asking if he’d like to have students do a free-software related project next year
- Offer to do a talk to the local LUG/college computer club on free software and GNOME
- Write articles for the local paper/magazines
- Ask local magazine editors if they’d like to include a GNOME LiveCD or OpenCD on their cover
All of these things come from the same principle – people aren’t aware that there are free software community members everywhere – a local counsil would like to use some stuff, but they don’t know about the local LUG, and no-one’s thought to go and talk to them. Magazine editors are looking for content, but don’t know who to ask. Trade stands are being organised, and people ask the GNOME Foundation if we can run a stand, the answer is almost always “I don’t know”.
I also gave a lightning talk on OpenWengo which was well received, I think – and I’ve had lots of chats at various stages with Yannick from Nokia and Simon and Daff from Collabora about Telepathy and its relationship to OpenWengo.
Yesterday evening, had a good dinner (expensive, and not very copious, but nice) with a bunch of people from the FLOSSFoundations group – I don’t remember all the names, but Gerv from MoFo, Allison Randall from TPF, Cornelius and Sebastien from KDE eV, Greg Stein, Sander Striker, colmmacc and others from the Apache Foundation, and Leslie from the Google Summer of Code were there – we had a good & varied chat which went from energy through to hacking, accountants, trademarks (as usual) and governance. Oh – and Belgian beer.
Today is chill-out day in FOSDEM – everyone’s a little dehydrated, a little hung over and a little tired – which makes for a nice chilled atmosphere. I am still getting over people walking around at 10 in the morning with a bottle of Orval in their hand…
For those wondering, I didn’t manage to get up and get running at 7am on Saturday. I finally got on the road about 7.45 – and planned on running a little over an hour just to tread water for the week. In the end, I got lost in the outskirts of Brussels (running South on the East side of the park, rather than North on the West side), and ended up running about 11 miles, which is close enough to keep me on schedule for the marathon.