Fedora maintains a Twitter account for disseminating information to non-contributing users, potential users, and potential contributors with a goal to expand the community and keep said community informed. The Fedora Twitter account is not intended as a communications medium for contributors in the project.
Why should we use Twitter?
- Twitter is effective at reaching large audiences
- Twitter empowers Fedora to give brief, consistent and simultaneous updates to followers with links to more detailed information
- Twitter allows Fedora to reach an untapped, and perhaps even less-technically interested group of users and potential users
While this is not necessarily the target audience for the distribution, it is important to fit our messages to our perceived audience for the medium of Twitter. Thus for Twitter, we make the following assumption:
- audience member may or may not be a Fedora user
- audience member is within User base
- audience member is interested in learning more about Fedora and what is happening.
- audience member is NOT a Fedora contributor that receives contributor-relevant information through other mediums
It is important that the messaging from the Fedora Twitter account be consistent with both the principles of the Fedora Project, the standards of good community participation within the F/LOSS community, and the message from the Fedora Marketing project. When possible, it is good practice to have a call to action in any tweet not addressed to an individual user.
The following items shall generally be forbidden topics for the Fedora Twitter account:
- propietary software (regardless of reference)
- individuals outside of the Fedora community (i.e. Bill Gates and Richard Stallman should not be a part of our message)
- other distributions
- The exception to this is if the distribution is a downstream distribution (i.e. talking about the benefits accrued from OLPC using Fedora might be appropriate)
- anything denigrating another free software project.
While not an exhaustive list, the following examples show the type of information that should be sent from the Fedora Twitter account:
- Favorable news articles or publications about Fedora
- Releases of Beta and GA of Fedora.
- Features and details about features contained within upcoming releases of Fedora
- Announcements of upcoming Fedora events such as FUDCons and FADs.
- News items that hit the fedora-announce list.
- Test day information
- Re-tweets from users who say something successful or positive regarding Fedora.
- Replies to users with questions that can be reasonably answered within the character limit of a tweet.
- Information on how users can promote Fedora (i.e. Countdown banner )
Case Studies of Twitter success
NAKEDPizza The company, started in New Orleans, is attempting to make healthy pizza in an effort to battle obesity in the United States. When they were getting started in 2006, they decided that sending out the typical newsletters that other franchises send would be too costly, almost $3000 a year. They decided to use Twitter as a free alternative to the print advertising, Twitter has since become one of the biggest parts of the business, and is even used in their store allowing customers to sign up and begin following the company when they pick up pizza.
Etsy This online market place where users can sell handmade goods as grown immensely since its birth in 2005. They set up a Twitter account early in their existence however, it was underutilized. That all changed when the company began to watch what their followers were saying on their Twitter accounts, and how they were promoting the use of Etsy. The people at Etsy believed, "Our community always comes up with great ideas." This got their community more involved with the company, and thus led directly to their expansion.
Applications of the Case Studies
Like NAKEDPizza, Fedora is trying to provide change in a market already dominated by larger companies with different ideals. Using Twitter would allow Fedora to save money in marketing, while still getting their name out there and gaining more followers to the Fedora community. Etsy also directly applies to how Twitter can help Fedora. The Fedora community is always involved in the technical side of things but, what if there was a different type of follower on that could help with the less technical applications of Fedora. That is what Twitter can bring to Fedora. Like the Etsy community, the Fedora community can come up with great ideas that can help improve and advertise world wide.
Ways to Use Twitter
Get Feedback Twitter can be used to gain alternative ideas for the Fedora Project overall, our website assets, advertising, and products in general from from our followers. This connect Fedora more with their followers and can also help the Fedora Project work more effectively. Followers are able to respond back to tweets with questions, requests for clarification or constructive criticism.
Direct Traffic Twitter can also be used to direct people to the Fedora Project website. If a Twitter follower in unfamiliar with Fedora, they can be pointed to the website to find more information.
News Fedora can link news stories that are interesting to the Project and to Fedora followers on Twitter. This can raise awareness to how popular Fedora is becoming, and how it is being talked about in the public eye.
Events Finally, Twitter can be used to update followers on special events in the Fedora community. New product launch? Tweet it so people can get excited. Any special day or moment for the Fedora Project can instantly be shared with all of the people interested, and make the event even bigger, and more special. Getting people excited about special Fedora events can increase popularity of the product, because follower will feel involved.
Currently the Fedora project uses HootSuite to manage its twitter account. Both Twitter and Hootsuite are non-free software. Options are being evaluated to find a free alternative.
Individuals with current HootSuite access
How to gain access to post to Fedora's twitter account
Request access on the marketing list. A user with access should invite you.