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On 4/23/11 6:41 PM, Riemer Thalen wrote:

OK, here is the technical side of the marketing issue.

Hi Riemer, apart from the fact that inside TDF there are already several people with a decent marketing background, not only in the general marketplace but specifically in the free software ecosystem, your email shows little or no knowledge of the BROffice community.

Communities behave in a different - and sometimes weird - way, in comparison with the commercial marketplace. Also marketing is very different, and looking at technical manuals - something I would not suggest before having at least some "hands on" experience - might be misleading, when you have to deal with free software.

Your enthusiasm is fantastic, but - believe me, as I have been in marketing of technology products for the last 30 years, and of free software for the last eight - the community needs a helping hand and not a marketing lesson (I am teaching marketing and communications at several Italian universities, and in the past I have been a visiting professor in a couple of US universities).

I refer also to your previous message about running a survey to ask about features to people not using LibreOffice. Some past experiences show that these surveys are of little or no help (and sometimes they might even be misleading).

Apart from a very small group of people, software users do not have a clear idea of the development process, and therefore they do not know what to ask. The same applies to hardware users. Unfortunately, those who know which features to ask are the so called "power users", i.e. those who already know and use the product on a regular basis.

In any case, not even Apple - I remember your example - is using user surveys to determine new features (I have been a consultant to Apple for nine years, and I know several people they contract for testing prototypes). Sometimes they use focus groups.

Sorry for the lengthy answer. Best regards, Italo

Italo Vignoli
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