Fedora Insight history

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This is a historical document on the conversations and thought process that have led us to create Fedora Insight.

Contents

Background

For the F11 release cycle, Marketing switched from a task-based model to a schedule based model. This went well, allowing us to keep better in sync with what was going on and what types of information were needed to be created/put out at any given point in the cycle. However, there are still many kinks and areas for improvement as were defined in document: F11 Cycle Retrospect. Bottom line, complacency is not a formula for success and we must always be looking towards the future and improving it.

Looking forward, we have always floated the idea of having a Fedora Magazine and the going logic is that we may be able to model Fedora Marketing around such conventions which would not be dissimilar to a magazine. The focus would be not only on producing the content that is required for each release cycle but also on producing relevant and interesting content, in many forms, audio, video and text-based for the consumption of both the general Fedora community and the Open Source community at large.

below are the notes I took at the first Fedora Insight meeting I know of, which was in the red hat westford office at the start of june. Mel Chua 12:37, 25 July 2009 (UTC)

  • ja = themayor
  • md = mizmo
  • ss = smooge
  • mc = mchua
ja: explains task-based to milestone-based switch to stephen. we want more marketing metrics - let's do a magazine.
md: why not spruce up fwn? what audience are we trying to reach:
ss: what I'd like to do is bring (non-fedora-dev) people in to show what we're doing... are we reaching people who are not fedora devs?
md: how often are we trying to do this? what do we want to accomplish?
ja: let's break it down. fwn is more short-term oriented; we want more media stuff, fwn is very text-heavy. we have multiple sources creating content, and none of it is coordinated.
md: what are those sources?
ja: fwn, the beat...
md: the beat = docs? that's not really magazine-style content.
ss: these are summaries?
md: yes.
ss: we're looking at doing a full blog... like a post blog, edited.
ja: let me clarify what I mean by a magazine. more of an aggregate/feed, something like linuxjournal's website, this would be the standardized feed for getting interesting featurettes.
md: so this isn't about getting more people to write more content; it's that people are writing content but it's all over the place, so let's get it in one bucket.
ss: we have planet.fp.o, but this would be not your personal blog.
ja: at the same time, I don't want to make planet defunct. another reason this is important is that we want a steady list of stuff we (mktg) need to make - so that every month we know we need to do X. Right now, the list of stuff we make is scattered. But we need a regular cycle for marketing deliverables too.
mc: making sure I understand - examples?
md: gnome journal - it's published monthly
mc: planet sugar labs, planet laptop, and olpcnews, also full circle - similar?
ja: yes, more on the news than the tutorials front, so more gnome journal/olpcnews than full circle
md: sounds like the primary goal is to have a central edited place for this content.
ss: how would this fit into community-the-platform?
md: we could probably fit a module into community, with zikula...
ss: would this be a way to help with community villages? would communty be a good steppingstone?
md: audience = already in the community, not afraid of technical stuff, but who might want a good central content source and a routine for finding information
ja: that's pretty much it. also, from the design end of things, we want to have it fit with whatever design is doing, so it looks consistent. also, when i was up here a month ago and you showed me the apple.com tour, let's get sketches for that, b/c the more consistent we look the more professional we look as well.
md: a look for fedoramagazine.com?
ja: oh, we need a name
ss: "Rob"
md: we have some branding templates we can plug this into.
ss: let's stay away from "magazine" since we're not going there... "magazine" seems brand-y, flash-y... 
md: "journal" tends to be like a magazine but more technical... what existing publications are out there that we should model ourselves on?
ja: it's similar to lj but not... or lwn... 
ss: what would the licensing be on this, btw?
ja/md unision: CC
md: I'd prefer non-ND license, stuff should be modifiable. name: "fedora first"?
ss: what are the foundations?
md: freedom, first, features, friends. first is like "the first place you go to get news..."
ss: freedom is more a newspaper title...
md: 'first' has a contemporary edginess.
ss: let's ask the list
ja: yeah, I'm going to solicit feedback on everything
md: much of our media content comes from rh and it's not remixable
ss: if we point to it instead of republishing, the licensing problem goes away
mc: fedoraproject.org/first?
md: *starts making a mockup!*
mc: how about i18n, accessibility?
md: *adds a language drop-down chooser*
ja: are there transcription tools for podcasts?
mc: yep, OSS ones.
ss: I also want to make sure we don't overwork the transcribers.
ja: there will be a workflow.
mc: let's go through planet.fp.o and give a quick yes/no to headlines to figure out what sort of content everyone thinks should be in this
everyone: *triages real quick*
md: we should do quick profiles of contributors
ss: if you know someone, you don't flame them
(meeting ends)

Present

Currently, the state of project/community produced content is clearly scattered. We have many groups, such as Marketing, Ambassadors, Docs, Design, etc. all creating great content for a variety of different purposes. The amount of this content is effectively multiplied by how much we care to and/or use the services of the translation team to localize this content. Once this is done, there are various and sundry methods of distributing this content. We have Fedora Weekly News, Docs Beats, Fedora Planet, local ambassadors newsletters etc. There is not one central process or policy for creating content and distribution channel/plan. Also, much of our content is not clearly licensed.

Much of this content is also centered milestones and it may be possible to fit it into recurring schedule-based publication which would help overall management and tracking.

Future

There are many questions to ask. What do we want this to be? Who should the audience be? How well do we actually know our audience to make that assumption? What types of content? These questions are what we are trying to ask and answer now so we can get a solid picture of how we proceed further. We need to clearly answer these questions to clarify our goals. Goals are in the goals section below and they will and should be refined by the community as a whole.

We might want to strive for something akin to a journal style format for community created/relevant content and including Fedora Marketing content might work best. We should start by investigating sites with similar goals/audiences. We look at sites like https://wiki.ubuntu.com/UbuntuWeeklyNewsletter, http://fullcirclemagazine.org/, http://planet.laptop.org/, http://www.olpcnews.com/, http://planet.sugarlabs.org/ -- not to mention FWN/LatestIssue.

What we want might be a magazine, which is not really a magazine format, more journal-ish (technical, non-nephyte) but also not afraid to include some stuff for newbies, and mostly a platform where interesting content would show up for the community's consumption, which would act as a central hub.

Also, the goal should be to create something which is well laid out visually and consistent with the design teams work and general philosophy.

Content

Content categories

this is a draft, for discussion - please edit!

  • interviews with community members
  • feature focus/update (tour)
  • howto (for experienced users)
  • upcoming event announcement/reminder
  • past event report
  • neutral reporting on debates
  • rawhide report
  • meeting coverage - upcoming-meetings calendar, minutes
  • interviews with companies/people which use Fedora (aka. success stories)

Content examples

these are drafts, for discussion - they were taken mostly from Planet headlines on the day we looked (at the beginning of June). Please add/remove/edit/comment - what do you think should be here? Mel Chua 12:38, 25 July 2009 (UTC)

Yes

  • What's new in Fedora 11 from SELinux
  • Western Digital MyBook as a Backup System (Fedora-specific existing-user tutorial)
  • "you should vote; here are upcoming elections" posts
  • "people voted, here are election results" posts
  • Fedora 11 Release Party Wau Report
  • npov coverage of things like "there is a debate on dropping cd media, here are links to several views expressed"
  • Read All About the Fedora 11 Retrospective (past event coverage)

No

  • HAPPY BIRTHDAY SPACEWALK! (not Fedora-specific)
  • lolcats
  • "I voted!" posts
  • "Initial KMS support for radeons merged to Linus tree" (the blogpost-as-commit-message)
  • SoaS for the XO-1 uses Fedora
  • State of the Poulsbo Address
  • Chinese translation of [a book I wrote] is being worked on
  • So you’re looking for a hosting provider?
  • Social Desktop contest
  • Announcing kernelpodcast.org
  • The downfall of modern civilization... (on the 'drop cd media?' debate - we're not looking for editorials, but npov coverage)
  • Simplez! Simple Pairing support now in gnome-bluetooth. (more of a blog-as-commit-message than a feature report)


Platform specs/requirements

Marketing Requirements

  • Allow multiple editors
  • Allow multiple contributors
  • Separate feeds for different media - podcast, written, video etc
  • Easy integration of rich media - see above
  • Tags/Categories
  • "Push" capabilities. From kanarip: if i have to look it up, as in, actively, it's a fail; it needs to be pushed in my direction somehow; rss feeds will suffice for that purpose

News Requirements

(Extrapolated from the [this fedora-news-list thread] - please correct me if I've misinterpreted. Mel Chua 18:44, 14 July 2009 (UTC))

  • graphical branded presence
  • syndication
  • potentially retaining the FWN name? (has name recognition... open question for discussion.)
  • keep current FWN sections. "Certainly Ambassadors, Planet, Art/Design, Translation, Development. Dale's virtualization beat is a creation unto itself, covering several different areas."
  • easy workflow - currently, FWN is edited as one block of text, which is easier on editors than working on many separate posts.

Design requirements

  • mizmo: lets you add custom CSS across the whole site design. i think its just going to be one blog (or maybe one per feed - text / audio /video ) so i dont think user level css would come into play.
  • mizmo: lets you modify html output
  • mizmo: tagging - to support the way we laid the mockup up, you either need multiblogs or better tagging, and tag based feeds. so like we were talking about, having a developer of the month interview, would be good to tag it with 'interview' and 'dotw', and then for each tag to have its own feed. it could be accomplished with separate blogs too, but that would then split related content, like if you had a dotw blog and an interview blog, when you do an interview for dotw it won't be in the interview blog feed
  • Ability to easily pull archives, by month and year and list out (see footer of mockup)
    • Same for latest posts per category, in footer of mockup
  • Rawhide Weather report ability?
  • live Identi.ca feed?
  • allows for the pulling-in of external feeds/items or the super-easy creation of plugins to add special features - for instance, Mo's idea of the "rawhide weather report" (or Jeff Spaleta's variant of forest fire levels) may be automatically generated from buildbot logs (or something) - how can that get implemented? Mel Chua 23:34, 14 July 2009 (UTC)

General Requirements

  • FAS_Auth integration
  • Themable (presumably by Design Team)
  • Software *and* required plugins packaged - including theme?
    • software + plugins packaged, theme isn't necessarily a strict requires but it's kind of nice --Ian Weller 16:13, 8 July 2009 (UTC)
    • Why is it not a strict requires? (JonRob - who doesn't know how to do ianweller's funky signature)
    • Regardless, the theme was packaged for Docs, IIRC an adapted skin from the existing Fedora websites look --Quaid 20:03, 18 August 2009 (UTC)

This is a brainstorm list - what would you want a Fedora Insight platform to have and do? Please add to the list below.

Why Zikula

  • stickster: there's a great deal of crossover between what Fedora Insight proposes, and what the new CMS (Zikula) can/will accomplish. Fedora Insight sets out a lot of Marketing-specific goals, and I think most or all of them can be achieved through an implementation via the CMS.
  • ke4qqq (Dave Nalley) summarizes Zikua: After a long period of input, eval, and testing by multiple groups (primarily Docs, but also Infrastructure and others), Zikula has been chosen as a CMS. It has a responsive upstream that's developing new modules for our needs and has even joined fp lists to help us collaborate on getting this up. It wil first be used for docs.fp.o, which currently has no CMS; FPC and F-Legal are also interested in using it - but we haven't mapped out that really well thus far - but it's after docs.fp.o makes the move. polecat (John Poelstra) has stepped up to coordinate teams for a production schedule and some meetings.
  • If zikula fits all of our requirements, or can/will be modified to do so, I would be strongly in favor of going with this and working with the existing cross-team effort - it just makes sense to Work Together. I think sitting down with someone who knows Zikula's feature set well, and going through our requirements list (once that is more solidified) with them, would enable us to make a final yes/no decision. Mel Chua 14:45, 13 July 2009 (UTC)

Sketches

Here's a mockup by mizmo of what this might look like. (Click for full size.)

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