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Hi Charles, *

Here are my few and humble thought...

First of I think we should define our target. Who are we aiming at.
Secondly we should define our preferred available channels.
Third is to define our mission (didn't we actually do that already?)

The target:
We have already convinced the free software environment that we are not only the best product, but also has the best "heart and soul". So we should move on and find new targets: The "free as in free beer" market. Sorry, but on the Windows platform users can't distinguish between open source and freeware. We need Windows (and mac) users too.

In stead of spending our time and effort on Apache Open Office and IBM (hey - we have already beaten them) we should emphasize all the different efforts for the enterprise market: Easier installation on large scale Windows, Certification program, higher stability, huge documentation etc. I'm a little bit tired of all the internal discussions about Rob Weir and his FUD. Forget about him for a while and concentrate on our primary competitor: Microsoft! (please). This is where our future users are to be found.

And Rob? We can tackle him. His project can't deliver - we can[1]!

By the way: about a year ago i made an open source evaluation of some of the most prominent open source project including The Document Foundation. The evaluation was done by the use of a objective (mathematical) method but also about 50 interviews. One of the results was that we need two things:

 * A clear roadmap. Perhaps we have one, but it must be more clear and
   have a prominent place on our website. A roadmap is one of the first
   things enterprise CIOs are looking for.
 * A more clear decision flow within our own organization.Who is
   actually deciding what? One of the cases has been the new design
   project (the old renaissance project from OO.o). A lot of mock-ups
   and sketches has been seen but nobody has picked it up and made a
   corporate decision. But the problem is that users can't find out who
   that in fact should be.

The channels:
Where are all the local marketeers? I see some around but not many. I for my self is running my own game here in my sweet little country but I can't see there is a coordinated effort. Okay we share information but not enough. Italo has done a great job on the international (English speaking areas), but what suits everybody doesn't really suit anybody.

The mission:
What story do we want to tell? Is our goal to convince that our product is the best? the cheapest? Are we trying to convince users to download and use LibreOffice or to become engaged and participating?

Michael Meeks has had a few nice posts about large organizations using LibreOffice (and open source software in general) and not giving anything back. I believe that this is one of the stories we want to tell. The question is how.

Another story I personally would like to hear is about "mother tongue". I'm native speaker of a very small language and in *my* marketplace this is a big issue. I don't fear Apache Open Office in Denmark because Apache don't have a localization project for Danish. Lately I have been involved in setting up the Kalaallisut (Greenlandish) localization process and you can believe that the issue is important in a country with only 56.749 citizens. LibreOffice might be the FIRST computer program in Kalaallisut ever published.

Lets look back and enjoy the first two years here in the summer vacation. But when we get back we should look ahead. I'm sure we have made a lot of mistakes during these two years but not much we should regret. I'm proud to be a part of The Document Foundation ;-)


Leif Lodahl

On 05-07-2012 16:37, Charles-H.Schulz wrote:
Hello everyone,

This might be a long thread and I wish we will all stay on topic, as it
is an important subject.

The Document Foundation and the LibreOffice project will soon be two
years old. Well, not TDF the entity of course, but the LibreOffice
project. Needless to say, from my perspective at least, it's been two
years that have changed me, taught me a lot and brought a lot of
happiness and good moment. We have arrived in many ways at the end of a
chapter of our story, and by that I don't mean that it's time to go to
bed and sleep :-).

The Foundation, as an entity, is properly established, although certain
processes have yet to be fully set. Some pieces are somewhat lacking,
but otherwise it's running well. The project is doing well, we have an
ever increasing flow of volunteers and developers.

What is missing, at this stage, is some blocks that  are needed to take
the project to the next step. We have achieved an important thing in
less than two years: we have proved that a community-led project can be
strong, sustainable, and is able to turn around situations that were
previously deemed to difficult to change. We have stopped being seen as
the young and foolish dreamers that refuse the reality. We are now seen
as mature, and we have given the world the best free and open source
software office suite. We can be proud of that. But it's time to move on
to something bigger.

We have seen that the transition from to LibreOffice has
generated quite a lot of "creative destruction". We kept much content
from the former infrastructure, and most of the community
moved happily to LibreOffice. But in several places, processes that got
disrupted never quite came back to what they were. And in others, broken
things or unreached goals have not been reached (yet). Today, on this
list, I would like to focus on something that took a long time to
achieve in, if it ever was achieved. I'm talking about
the need to define a marketing strategy. Mind you, we have marketing
material on the wiki. We have presentation slides, we have visual and
graphical elements, we have the calendar (thanks Marc!) , the web
clippings, etc. But that does not make a marketing strategy. What we
need is higher level goals most of us agree with, and we need a way to
structure the marketing team, who should not just be marketing contacts
for this or that region/country, but actual volunteers actively working
on marketing. Also, we need a way to ackowledge their contribution, or
rather we need to make their contribution rewarding and pleasant. But
that's another part of the discussion.

As I said, we need a marketing strategy. Right now everytime LibreOffice
gets released we have release notes. These notes are interesting pages
to be sure, but we need to think and decide how we position ourselves;
how we communicate our brand in order to raise its awareness, whether we
push forward a product or a community (or both). We need some higher
level churn up.

As for myself -but that's me- I am very interested in how we position
the brand positioning. I'm not so interested -marketing wise- in product
strategy, first of all because such a thing does not work in an open
source project (since you can't really tell a volunteer what to do
unless you find one that will work things out with you) and second
because LibreOffice is a complete and full featured office suite
catering to pretty much any existing and potential market out there. But
again, it's time to define this strategy and help grow the adoption of

Apologies for the long message,

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