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Re: two questions: fund raising money and publicity

Hello Francesca,

On Wed, 19 Mar 2014, Francesca Ciceri wrote:
> Lack of coordination among the different sources: that's a first
> problem, indeed.
> Debian-publicity (the ML) should act as a node for all the publicity/promoting
> people in Debian, but it doesn't.

How so? I have the feeling that all the relevant people are on the list?

Maybe there's too much things going out of band without feedback to
debian-publicity but I have the feeling that mailing debian-publicity
with news to relay seems to work okayish right now.

> This means that sometimes a piece of news is published twice on two
> different media (and I agree this is not all bad)
> and sometimes it's ignored by all of them (and, yes, as you may guess *this* is
> extremely bad).

Yes, it would be better if everybody who contributed news ideas got some

> I'd like to add also that the existence of different media is not
> about redundancy, but about choosing the most appropriate medium for
> each kind of news (which should be the responsibility of an editorial
> team, and not done on a whim).
> You cannot publish an entire interview on DPN, nor announce a big
> donation via identi.ca, nor link a blogpost on a press release.

This is not really a problem currently, is it?

> Do you know that since the transition status.net → pump.io, the
> automatic publishing of rss feeds for news and planet on identi.ca is
> broken?

I blame identi.ca upstream for this... that switch was really a huge step
backwards in terms of features. It might be better in the long term but
we can't really be blamed when there was simply no good tool for the task.

> Laura Arjona did a fantastic analysis of the situation [1] many months
> ago and asked for help on fixing it: she is not a coder, and she cannot package
> Spigot [2], which would solve our issue.

It's not really difficult to find volunteers to package new software. But
it requires a post to debian-mentors or on planet Debian at least. The publicity
team could even put this task in the Debian france event running now:

Paul, are you willing to mentor a project related to this?

If you don't have packagers on debian-publicity, someone needs to reach
out where packagers are... and here we come back to your point about lack
of vision/leadership within the team.

It also reminds me of your conversation with Enrico:

The publicity team badly needs a project manager. Due to the delegated
nature of press officers, almost everybody expect the press officers to
act like coordinators/managers but that's just not (or no longer) the case...

> sources (press, identi.ca, dpn, bits) are all basically a one (wo)man team:
> sooner of later if all the weight is on the same shoulder, the person
> behind it will burn out.
> For teams like DPN and bits, especially, we don't have a fallback.

At least for DPN, it survided quite well even though you went away and even though
David Prévot reduced his involvment as well.

So everything is not as black as you're depicting the situation :) but I
agree that we could do much better.

> Lack of vision.
> That's the one to top all of this.
> There is no plan.
> There has not been - at least in the last 4 years - any kind of
> collective debate on what to do about publicity in Debian, what kind of
> style and editorial choices do, how to organize the work and make it
> more efficient. Or who we want to reach, really, with our news.

That's the kind of discussion that a project manager ought to animate...
and then build a plan ouf of the result.

> I dearly love publicity in Debian: it is where I started to contribute,
> I hold in high esteem many of the people working there, and I have many
> idea and enthusiasm for it.
> But I learnt my lesson and I'm not willing to fix any of these problems
> if there aren't at least 3-5 people willing to working on them as well.
> Because otherwise it wouldn't be sustainable on long term.

In my experience, it works in the opposite direction, you have to put
some initial work in order to attract supplementary contributors.

And in this case, it seems to me that you could leverage the fact that
we're a community of techies that love to build tools... because IMO if
you want to attract (enough) non-technical contributors we should strive
to use some web application to manage the workflow from news collection to
news publication (this doesn't preclude having an underlying VCS for
the people who prefer to use vim in a git repository).

So the plan would be:
1/ discuss the ideal workflow
2/ write some description of a web application that implements this
3/ find someone to create this application (either a volunteer up-front,
   or a mentor for a GSOC student, etc.)

In any case, welcome back in the publicity team! :-)

Raphaël Hertzog ◈ Debian Developer

Discover the Debian Administrator's Handbook:
→ http://debian-handbook.info/get/

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