[ubuntu-marketing] Reviving the Marketing Team (yet again!) with a focus on simple activism

Craig A. Eddy tyche at ubuntu.com
Wed Oct 21 17:17:41 BST 2009

I remember the last time that the resurrection of the Marketing Team was
attempted.  I remember the ongoing battle over who's direction would
flourish, and who would be on what committee.  I remember the
degeneration of those "committees" that did result into talking about
nit-picking details rather than focusing on the job at hand.

The problem isn't so much a lack of leadership as it is an overabundance
of "leadership" that has absolutely NO idea what marketing actually
means, and how it is accomplished.  Instead, the concerns were with who
would be in charge and what power structure that person could develop
(otherwise called "Empire Building"), including adding elements outside
the actual scope of the Marketing Team.

I see no reason to repeat that fiasco.  It is my opinion that, if the
Marketing Team is  to be resurrected, it will happen by one person with
a clear purpose simply going ahead and doing things, joined by others of
like mind who are willing to work.  The leadership would sort itself
out, shortly, without any campaigning necessary.  One alternative is to
have the leadership imposed from the top, as in a competent person hired
by Canonical to lead the effort.  I see neither of these possibilities
forthcoming at the present time.

That some sort of marketing needs to be done is obvious.  That such
marketing needs to be dictated by managers is not obvious:  in fact, it
is obvious that attempting to dictate marketing tactics is the wrong way
to go.  Even within one country, different tactics are needed due to the
makeup of the communities involved:  the amount and type of industry in
the area, and the amount and type of support such industry can supply to
an FLOSS (or even just an Ubuntu) effort.  Between countries as a whole
the dynamic is vastly different due, in part, to cultural differences. 
The only thing that they all have in common is the need for marketing
supplies:  tools to use to get the word out, such as flier suggestions
and possible ways of approaching industry and media.  The rest can only
be achieved on a LoCo level.


John Vilsack wrote:
> This is largely a problem that exists not only with Ubuntu, but with
> the Open Source Movement in general.
> Last time this conversation came up, there was a large contingent of
> people we wished to see a core group of a marketing team come to
> fruition. �Unfortunately, several of the more active members of the
> community tended to be the most vocal opponents, and threatened to
> abandon the project altogether if such a "tyranny" were created. �I
> opted to back down because the moderators in IRC proclaimed that they
> could lead such a charge without any sort of core marketing group.
> �The lack of results are more than enough evidence of their progress.
> The marketing community for Ubuntu is a reflection of what the
> Development cycle would look like if there wasn't a Core Development
> Team. �Without direction, there can be no progress. �Marketing from a
> community standpoint will continue to be dominated by the few who
> object to any sort of structure and the message will continue to be
> lost because the message itself has no clear delineation. �
> It saddens me because Ubuntu is a dominant product that could be so
> much more if the grassroots movement would allow itself to have
> direction. �But after years of infighting in politics and other open
> source products, I didn't have the constitution to go toe to toe with
> the embedded members of our community here who were putting up a fight.
> My feeling is that the only way this will ever change is with the
> direction of Canonical. �Until that time, we will continue to get our
> collective rears handed to us by companies that have the discipline
> and cohesive message necessary to establish any sort of mainstream
> market awareness or saturation.
> Good Luck,
> John
> On Wed, Oct 21, 2009 at 12:45 AM, Martin Owens <doctormo at gmail.com
> <mailto:doctormo at gmail.com>> wrote:
>     Hey Danny,
>     On Wed, 2009-10-21 at 01:30 -0400, Danny Piccirillo wrote:
>     > Cross-posting just to get the word out.
>     I've added the Ubuntu LoCo Contacts lists, a group very pertinent to
>     this topic.
>     > Many lengthy and interesting discussions have come up about what
>     to do
>     > with the Marketing Team. Ultimately, it comes down to how motivated
>     > people are to create their own projects under the team. Just
>     like any
>     > other LoCo, this depends on individual involvement, but i don't want
>     > to start yet another discussion on this.
>     Well, what might be needed is someone to head up the team. Some artist
>     or designer (not developer) who stands like a poised like a hero
>     against
>     the backdrop of the Ubuntu Community landscape and to whome we can all
>     look up and say: "I bet if I ask him, he'll know where I can get a
>     poster for my event"
>     As the moment I produce content, I don't tend to produce it under the
>     banner of the marketing team. The website for spread ubuntu isn't
>     linked
>     very well with the marketing team and the marketing team has no grand
>     vision or responsibilities.
>     > I merely wanted to propose changing or adding to the scope of
>     the team
>     > to include general activism. Dropping all focus on marketing
>     probably
>     > isn't going to be any better, not to mention that just like
>     marketing,
>     > activism is also something done by local community teams, BUT adding
>     > simple activism to the scope of this team, might give the team more
>     > purpose and drive up activity in other areas. Yes, marketing Ubuntu
>     > *is* activism, but i'm talking about officially recognizing general
>     > FOSS activism as one of the functions of the team.
>     I'd advise against including activism. You don't need to widen the
>     scope. You just need to find someone or some people willing and
>     able to
>     drop their own LoCo's work and come higher into the world community. A
>     leader perhaps?
>     > The mailing list can be used to share ideas for activism and pass on
>     > things like this open letter to Obama in support of FOSS (reddit
>     > link: http://www.reddit.com/tb/9w23y/ original
>     > link:
>     http://www.consortiuminfo.org/standardsblog/article.php?story=20091020050110241).
>     If you're in support of this idea, just pass on any simple actions
>     you come across to the list. There's also this nifty activism
>     guide: https://wiki.ubuntu.com/ActivismGuide
>     Interesting, thanks for posting Dan.
>     Best Regards, Martin Owens
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