Summary of the publicity BOF
during DebConf we had a publicity BOF. I think it was quite successful
with a couple really nice ideas coming out of it. Here's my summary of it,
I hope it's complete. If not please amend.
* Times.debian.net is basically a prototype implementation. The service is
basically up an running but in order to be moved to a proper debian.org
location the code has to be rewritten by someone. (Andreas Barth might do
it but would welcome help.)
* There are still concerns with times.d.n, mostly since there are only few
contributors and the general workflow is not easily understandable for
potential new contributors.
* There was a general agreement that the Debian Project News and
times.debian.net had a high degree of redundancy and, given the low
traffic on/contribution to both media, they could very well be put
together to achieve a broader and more regular news stream.
* There was then some discussion about what software/framework to use for
this. The DPN's current wiki approach has not proven successful. Editing
the whole news issue in one page is very inefficient and prone to editing
conflicts. We discussed a few direct wiki alternatives such as
fridge.ubuntu.com and whiteboard.debian.net. We then went on to discussing
other, more different software alternatives: one proposal was using a blog
software such as wordpress, which would also allow the inclusion of
comments, another was to pick up on the proposal by Martin Krafft about a
year ago .
* There was no final conclusion on this question, the general consensus
was that the respective people would try their respective solutions and
we'll see how they work out.
* We should aggregate debian-announce on planet.debian.org. Many people
seem to take it as a general information source on Debian.
* Many people post information about newsworthy things in their blogs,
because they don't know where else to put it. A better news aggregation
service (see above) should help this. Some also just don't want the extra
work, it would be worthwhile to pick their news off planet and add them to
the aggregation ourselves.
* To this end there was a proposal to add a feature to planet.d.o and
maybe also the mailing lists that provides a link that can be clicked in
order to suggest a post to the news aggregation service.
* There seemed to be a general agreement that there are more thing worthy
of press coverage than are currently being covered.
* We also discussed that many people put interesting and/or newsworth
stuff only on the debian-devel-announce list and do not contact the press
team about it. As a result many news services by now rely on
debian-devel-announce as a source for Debian news, although this is
actually not a fitting source since the news posted there are mostly aimed
at fellow developers and thus pretty full of technical details and often
quite heavy on the Debian-slang. This often results in misunderstandings
und suboptimal news coverage and once the news is out it is usually too
late for the press team, since subsequently sending out a press release
usually doesn't work out.
* As a result of this Steve McIntyre proposed to implement a 6 hour delay
into the debian-devel-announce list, that would give the press team a
chance to pick up on newsworthy stories, contact the authors and have a
coordinated news release to debian-devel-annouce and debian-announce.
* We talked about this with Don, he said that such a delay would be
implementable but there would have to be a way to bypass it for urgent
messages concerning for instance security-relevant information, machine
downtimes etc. We passed the idea on to the listmasters and are currently
in the process of discussing an appropriate solution. Such a solution
would of course be an intermediate one and be removed again once the
people have gotten into the habit on generally integrating the press team
in news releases.
PS: There will not be any further e-mails from me (or tolimar) in the next
one to two days. We'll be travelling most of tomorrow (Friday) and then be
visiting family on the way home.