The GNOME 3.0 launch theme

The morning began with a hammering out of the GNOME 3.0 launch theme and marketing approach; we brainstormed for two hours. This discussion largely built on the discussion that we had the day before but, this time, we came to some final conclusions.

First, we agreed upon the themes—the Shell, the search work, the new levels of cross-application integration—all substantially advance the release team's primary point of the 3.0 release: a better user experience. We enumerated several points that are critically important to cover in any marketing effort. I will return to those in a moment.

Second, working backwards from the list of final results that we wanted to achieve, we turned our attention to language that we might use to explain these concepts to end users (the target of this hackfest). We came up with a large, nebulous list of concepts that we felt would appeal to a potential slightly interested, slightly technical conference attendee (our litmus test).

Third, we stepped even further back from these concepts and tried to hammer them in to a single, coherent over-arching theme for the GNOME 3.0 release marketing effort.

We laughed; we cried. We bounced on giant bouncy balls in the Google color scheme (thanks for hosting Google!) and spun around staring at Chicago skyscrapers in three cardinal directions grasping for inspiration. We buried our heads in similarly multi-colored beanbag chairs in frustration. We stared at the white-board in quiet contemplation for long minutes in silence trying to coax out the essential answer to the giant, nebulous problem ahead of us. End the end, it just came to us—everyone immediately liked it and agreed. Suddenly, we had our theme.

In the coming weeks, the marketing team will write up a formal announcement and prepare some preliminary art. Vinicius already had some great looking artwork done before the end of the day. So, I'm excited about this marketing effort. Paul, in his excitement, already began scheming all kinds of way to use our theme. I think that GNOME 3.0 is be going to be fantastic and so is its marketing effort.

The 3.0 marketing end game

From here on in, GNOME 3.0 is all that we will talk about with regard to marketing. 2.30 will merely be passively marketed. We agreed on some major assets that we want to develop for the release of 3.0.

For distributions, production of high-quality, templated marketing assets begins in February, seven months before 3.0 is released. GNOME will provide video, artwork, flier, brochure and sticker templates that are optimized for a prominent distribution logo with a small “with GNOME 3” aside from the distributor's own trademark. In the case of the videos, the lead-in and lead-out will have a large area in the center for the distributor's logo.

In this way, we make it easy for distributors to help get the message out about why the user experience is better than it has ever been before.

For users and those whom interact with GNOME directly or via viral sources (YouTube, Facebook, review sites), the GNOME marketing assets will be the same as those provided to the distributors but with a distribution neutral lead-in and lead-out. We—after some serious thinking about how to deploy this correctly without nagging—will encourage that videos that describe useful new features be included in the default desktop installs (perhaps as documentation assets).

For conference speakers and attendees, we, in the later half of the day, worked on finishing up our conference assets by refreshing our presentation slides (we did the brochure, FAQ and talking points on Day 1). They are now small sets of 5-minute topics that can be plugged together to form an hour long talk. (We are finishing these up on the marketing list.)

The 3.0 videos for the attention deficit

The videos that begin being filmed in March are inspired by the Google Navigation feature videos: The rationale is that the videos on that page inspire trust—it's not an actor talking—and were deep-linked to widely on technical blogs.

The work to do

We have at least two more marketing hackfests planned because there is just so much more work left to get done. Especially in the video production and artwork side of things. Please volunteer.

If you code, you're marketing; take it one more step

When we listen to our users and we give people what they want, we are marketing. When we blog about our accomplishments, we are marketing. We ask that every module maintainer go one step further and help the 3.0 marketing effort. Tell us early what your visible new features are. Make a screen cast early; it might become a professionally produced video asset. Answer questions about 3.0 in a non-confrontational, informative manner on technical blogs.

Whether this release will experience the “KDE 4.0 effect” depends on you understanding the awesomeness that is the new user experience and articulating that wherever you can.

Friends of GNOME, the other awesome

Stormy lead the discussion about what to do about promoting Friends of GNOME. It has been a massively successful program and she thought that it could do so much more. In the short-term, we want approximately 50 new subscribers by the end of the year. A “thermometer goal” graphic has been developed and this will be deployed on Planet GNOME.

If you like hackfests, please give to and promote Friends of GNOME.

In the long term, after a hour of discussion, we devised a method by which we can help the release team achieve its goal of avoiding blessing modules as “The One Official GNOME Version of X”, form high-value cross-promotional relationships with distributors, and promote Friends of GNOME—all in the same GNOME Goal which we, the marketing team, shall be proposing first to the release team and then to the entire project. I need to write some proof of concept code first, though. Much, much more on this later.

Thank you to Google and Novell

Google, thank you for hosting us; the food was great and the facility was just what we needed. Novell, thank you for helping with travel costs. Meeting face-to-face rocks.

Friends of GNOME