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Revision as of 16:51, 6 January 2010 by Rbergero (talk | contribs) (Helping Fedora software project maintainers / participants do research specific to their projects)

This page has been created to foster discussion on the use of Market Research by the Fedora Marketing team. Please contribute to the discussion!


  • Develop and distribute meaningful, relevant market research materials that can be used to enhance Fedora quality and distribution.
  • Work with community projects to develop end-user surveys in the interest of helping those projects improve planning and quality.


Fedora Marketing is planning on using limesurvey as the surveying software. For our first survey, the FUDCon Toronto 2009 survey, we used limeservice in the interest of getting the survey out the door before people forgot what happened at FUDCon.

Infrastructure Status

  • bug 508817 - Review Request: Limesurvey - An open source survey application
  • bug 549590 - Review Request: pChart - A PHP class to build charts.
  • bug 549604 - Review Request: domxml-php4-php5 - XML transition from PHP4 domxml to PHP5 dom module
  • bug 544821 - Review Request: php-gettext - Gettext emulation in php
  • Current testing instructions - How_to_set_up_a_limesurvey_sandbox



Previous FUDCon Surveys


  • Marketing_surveys page has some other past (as in, wayyyy in the past) research results.

In Progress

FUDCon Toronto 2009 Survey

Upcoming Surveys

This section includes brainstorms on questions for upcoming surveys.

The next survey Fedora Marketing will be conducting will be a general Fedora Community Poll on general improvements. This will go out after we have limesurvey up and running on fp.o infrastructure.

General Improvements Survey - Fedora Community Poll

  1. Describe your primary role in the Fedora project. (Developer, Tester, Documentation Writer, End User/Fedora Deployment, Translation or other internationalization, Other/None of the above)
  2. If other, plz. describe
  3. How long have you been involved with Fedora?
  4. How many bugzillas have you entered? (None, 1-10, 11-25, 26-60, More than 50)
  5. Please sort the items in this list in priority order based on what you suggest is the most important area for Red Hat to focus on in order to make improvements in Fedora. Survey tool instructions: 1 is top priority, 12 is lowest. You can select each column only once. ie, you can only designate a single item as priority 1. Skip any items you think are not in need of improvement. (Provide free CDs, infrastructure enhancements to improve development of Fedora extras packages, infrastructure to enable non-RH people to directly check in changes to Fedora Core packages, Reduce the number of packages in FC by moving more to extras, focus on implementing new features in the core Fedora distro, increased visibility into FC development schedules and status, improve bugzilla responsiveness, single CD install, improve docs and release notes, improve overall stability of FC, internationalization - add more languages and improve input methods, increase participation as reviewers for Fedora extras.)
  6. Please rate your opinions on Fedora *Core's* (not Extras) performance in the following areas. For questions that you haven't had experience with, or do not have a strong opinion on, please do not specify a response. (Overall quality, system performance / responsiveness, timeliness / delivery on schedule, ease of use, documentation, download infrastructure, availability of free CDs, appropriate placement of packages in core vs. extras, development infrastructure - developers only pls, bug reporting infrastructure - bug reporters only pls, bug report responsiveness - bug reporters only pls)
  7. How frequently should Fedora Core releases occur? (More frequently than 6 months, every 6 months, every 9 months, once per year, less than once per year)
  8. Please rate your opinions on Fedora *Extras'* (NOT core) performance in the following areas. (Overall quality, completeness/diversity of packages, ease of obtaining developer sponsorship - contributing developers only pls, responsiveness of reviewer comments - contributing developers only pls)
  9. How do you think Fedora is doing overall - please rate your opinions in the following areas. (Fedora is a healthy and growing initiative, Fedora is doing better than other community distros at meeting the participant's needs, Red Hat is doing a good job of balancing the needs of the community, Redhat has been receptive to input on how to best conduct Fedora, Fedora is doing the right thing by not including packages with suspected legal issue - ie various audio and video decoders / players)

Developer-specific Survey

End-User Survey

The target for this survey will be to reach out to end-users beyond the scope of the Fedora community, with the end-goal of figuring out how to convert more users to Fedora.

Helping Fedora software project maintainers / participants do research specific to their projects

Goal: Assist project maintainers / participants out with market sizing, developing user / developer surveys specific to their projects, helping them tie results to benchmarking, project planning, etc.

We're looking for projects who want to do end-user research! Please send an email to the Fedora Marketing mailing list, and let us know how we can help you out.

Next Steps

Not necessarily in order of importance...

  • Get feedback from the various subgroups in Fedora as to whether market research would be useful to them, and if so, what kinds of research they would like to see, and open the floor for suggestions on types of research, specific questions people would like answered, etc.
  • Prioritize what types of research would get the biggest bang for the effort in the near term.
  • Develop a schedule, most likely in sync with the wider Fedora development cycle, for delivering research in a timely manner so that it can be used by various groups for development, distribution, etc.
  • Determine the best way to educate research "consumers" on how to best apply it to what they are doing.
  • Determine if research can / should be used to provide benchmarks, or show improvements made in accordance with survey feedback (ie: "80% of top requested improvements were made!"). Customer satisfaction, if you will.

Questions to Answer

  1. What questions do we want answered by market research - and how will we incorporate the feedback we get back into the development cycle?
    • Good questions; I don't have a good short answer right now, and think this will take some time to discuss with both the marketing and development teams - is this something we can ramp up on slowly between now and the end of November, and kick off for real during the F13 cycle? What do other people think? Mel Chua 21:53, 10 September 2009 (UTC)
  2. Is there a budget for market research?
    • Not from the Fedora coffers. I could imagine getting groups (classes, companies, etc) with budget to do this kind of work for themselves to make their work available and useful to us, though. Mel Chua 21:53, 10 September 2009 (UTC)
  3. Is there a simple open-source tool for developing surveys to be posted and aggregating the answers?
  4. Could we get companies to donate free swag (tee-shirts, netbooks, mp3 players, messenger bags, etc.) to provide as an incentive for completing surveys?
    • Possibly, but I'd rather have non-swag incentives when possible, since research has shown that swag is actually demotivating in the long term. We should brainstorm ways to make these surveys give value back to the people who fill them out. Or I may be overly idealistic and we really do just need some swag. Mel Chua 21:53, 10 September 2009 (UTC)
    • I prefer that we use digital swags such as wallpapers and screen savers. For example we create a new wallpaper every other day, once the user finishes the survey he gets his wallpaper. I don't know if we can do that with a program, but we will need the Fedora programmers to help us here. Tareq Al Jurf 19:29, 14 September 2009 (UTC)
  5. It would be awesome to have a Master List of conferences / Events where a laptop could be set up for on-site surveys. (Linuxcon, Linuxworld, Linuxwhatever, RH Summit, Linux Symposium, etc.)
    • Great idea! Maybe something to ask the Ambassadors team about. Mel Chua 21:53, 10 September 2009 (UTC)
  6. Does Red Hat have any research that could legally be shared with Fedora (maybe a small group of people, or have one person be a gateway - ie: The Gateway person collects questions, and then asks RH market research folks (are there any??) if they can provide answers).
    • I will ask. Mel Chua 21:53, 10 September 2009 (UTC)
    • Update: Not at this time. Also, the research that Red Hat has is not likely to be as relevant to Fedora - the users they focus on are big enterprise customers, rather than individual users, so this may not be a fruitful tree to bark up... however, an upstream open source marketing community may be of interest, in terms of getting RH support. Something else to look into. Mel Chua 03:14, 1 October 2009 (UTC)
  7. Does anyone have any contacts at any major PC / Server vendors (the usual suspects - Dell, HP, IBM, Sun, and the like) that would be a good starting point to see if they would participate in surveys about shipments? We would need a good blurb about why it would be important to participate and what they would get out of it (ie, they are good community participants, it helps them develop a broader market, they get access and input to free research, etc.)
    • I will also ask. Mel Chua 21:53, 10 September 2009 (UTC)

Activities in the same spectrum - Related to Market Research

  1. Benchmarking / ensuring the community is recognizing that someone is taking notice of market research results and doing something with it. ie: "Based on user feedback, Fedora 13 has developed / improved 90% of requested features in the following areas...."
  2. Educating Fedora/Other distro developers on (a) what market research is and (b) how to use it or incorporate it into their planning / development. This could be a class, presentation given at conferences, guide, or <insert clever idea here>.
  3. Develop a weekly/bi-weekly/monthly/quarterly newsletter dedicated to highlighting other market research resources that are available. (This information could also be tracked / disseminated / portal-ized on Fedora_Insight. This includes things like:
    • Reports done by the Linux Foundation
    • Reports done by anyone else that are free
    • Reports that aren't free but have really nice press releases that give out tidbits of information that could be useful.
    • Research / Survey information done by Fedora project marketing. :)

Proposed Market Research Categories / Projects / Surveys


  1. Fedora-Centric Market Research. This research would answer questions like:
    • How is Fedora doing?
    • Feedback from Fedora-centric events (ie: FUDCon)
    • developer feedback
    • etc.
  1. Fedora-Competitive Market Research. (This category could possibly be combined with #3.) This research would answer questions like:
    • (Of end-users): What distro are you using, please rank distros according to your preference, etc.
    • (Of developers): What distros do you make an effort to add your project to, why, please rank distros by their ease of contributions, etc.)
  2. Community-Shared Market Research. This category is probably a little more ambitious; the goal here would be to provide market research to the greater Linux community in general, with the overall goal of helping to foster better decision-making, pointing out strength and weaknesses or market gaps with the goal of bringing new solutions / projects to Linux that meet end-user needs. Theoretically this not only brings new projects to Fedora - but helps to improve quality and/or availability of projects in general in the Wider Community. Most start-ups and/or projects do NOT have the benefit of having a boatload of money to spend on market research.

Additionally, and this goes without saying, I suppose, that this information would be published under some sort of open/ CC license. Working with other community distros to find out what questions THEY would like answered would certainly be encouraged and their contributions / analysis of both questions and results should be welcomed.

Helping Fedora software project maintainers / participants do research specific to their projects

Assist project maintainers / participants out with market sizing, developing user / developer surveys specific to their projects, helping them tie results to benchmarking, project planning, etc.

Fedora - Competitive Analysis Market Research

Community-Shared Market Research

(Please note that the lists of questions for these categories are not comprehensive, they are just used to give a general idea of what would be asked if it was decided that this was a Good Idea. )

PC / Server Market Sizing. This can be split out by ALL PCs / Servers sold, or by just PCs and Servers sold which shipped with Linux as the primary OS.

  • Shipments - total
  • Shipments by Region
  • Shipments by pricing
  • Shipments by Form Factor (ie: PCs would be split out by Desktops, Notebooks and Netbooks, Servers would be split by Traditional vs. Bladed, or whatever.)
  • Shipments by OS
  • Shipments by channel - business vs. consumer

End-User Surveys - Operating Systems

Linux Developer Surveys

  • What category does your development work fall under
  • Preferred development environments
  • What distros do you strive to have your project added to, which are easiest
  • Demographics (where are you, how long have you been a developer, etc)
  • What OS
  • What processors
  • Languages used
  • Source control methods used, preferred, familiarity, ease of use, etc.

Purchaser / Business decision maker Surveys.

  • Spending plans, OS plans, etc. Are they aware of open-source solutions, what are their opinions, etc. Budgets for servers, PCs, software, support, etc.


Archive:Marketing surveys contains some (extremely old and out of date) historical references on prior Fedora surveys.