So, it turns out that this hackfest is not as conducive to the blog-by-blog as the Summit is. There was a lot of meandering discussion and, generally, very little boundary between one topic and the next. We constantly jumped between discussion and working.
The conference materials session review digressed to what language and ideas to use when discussing GNOME and GNOME 3.0 with the press and users. The finalization of the conference materials would be finished after this discussion. In order to reach agreement, Paul showed everyone the presentation that he's been giving to conferences about what GNOME 3.0 will be; with everyone up to date, we moved on a discussion about what the over-arching themes are. We referred to the release team's announcement about what GNOME 3.0 would be from April:
In that email, Vincent listed:
- Revamp our User Experience
- Streamlining of the Platform
- Promotion of GNOME
So, we, the marketing team, are the third item on that list and it's our job to explain the first item. Earlier, we agreed that this two-day hackfest only focused on end users. With our primary objective set to marketing the "revamped user experience", we could make progress on the language of the conference materials: from this point forward all marketing effort is 100% on GNOME 3.0—GNOME 2.x is no longer a marketing focus. This synthesis unleashed a flood of productive idea-making.
The "talking points," "FAQ," and brochure content were completed with wide agreement on their content: a heavy emphasis on how GNOME is a vibrant community with information about what tangible results users can expect to receive when GNOME 3.0 is available.
There was wide ranging discussion about what GNOME 3.0 is and how much of a change it is. We talked with each other about what each of the proposed technologies will bring to the end user experience: tightly integrated search, application-oriented window management, dynamic workspace workflows, temporally oriented document location (Journal), interruption suppression (message tray), and user interface physicality (via window and Shell chrome animations). There was also agreement that aside from "3.0" technologies, there's a number of long-stewing features coming to fruition that can also be emphasized: Telepathy, for example.
There was an observation that we're achieving a new level of tight integration throughout the desktop environment. Think of IM notifications with rapid dismissal in the messaging tray in Shell. Or, think of Empathy sharing your Desktop with you friend via Telepathy without you needing to open a firewall port. Another example could be how both the Journal and Tracker technologies (potentially) tightly integrated with the Shell UI.
We pursued a long tangent about the UI change and how we need to sell that to our own community first and then end users. The menus-have-icons thread on d-d-l was discussed as an example of a way in which we can help. There's a feeling that this thread is only the tip of the iceberg and—that perhaps—showing people in a visual way—or at least explaining the decision on a marketing page—what the change achieves would be a good thing. This is an action item to be rapidly developed and put out up so that we can head-off the spatial Nautilus situation repeating itself.
We tabled the discussion of selling people on GNOME 3.0, specifically, until tomorrow.
We shifted our focus to improving our relationship with downstream marketing and branding. After much brainstorming, we all agreed that developing high quality, professional-looking, templated marketing assets would be a service that we could offer downstream to help us convey the message that GNOME is the upstream source of the UI experience. These templates (in the form of 30 second promo videos, release note snippets, brochures, and artwork) would have a place holder for the distro's logo with a smaller "with GNOME" logo beside it. In this way, we can provide manpower for downstream marketing effort and get our branding made more visible.
Continuing on the theme of distribution relationship building, we decided to explore a more informative About dialog policy. This policy was developed in length but must first be cleared by the release team. We will be proposing this idea to the release team and, if they don't think it's crazy, the wider GNOME community. If adopted, GNOME Marketing would establish robust branding and promotion cooperation with downstreams who are interested in having their distro's promoted in official GNOME press releases and marketing properties. More on this at a later time.
Over dinner, we focused on bringing more people in to the marketing team: pair with new members, how to talk to the press and write press releases, how to stay on message, raise funds, etc. We spoke at length about marketing videos for the GNOME 3.0 launch: production is to begin in May with preliminary work before that. (During dinner we also hammered out details of our upcoming proposal to the release team.)