[Marketing] Re: Marketing Digest, Vol 15, Issue 13

Hi All,

I again would like to highlight how important Chris’ comments are to the Marketing Committee. It is true that at this time OSGeo is quite successful for it has increased its visibility in an impressive way in such a small existence.

Thank you Chris and I am glad that this discussion is happening. The comments which it created are not only extremely important discussions but are themselves… marketing an idea.

The folowing areas which would be nice to be improved are (+1 for me there Chris) and a very positive thing is that at this last meeting there was quite some discussion going on about these communications issues:

" * Provide a clear, concise overview of OSGeo to first time visitors.
* Provide a clear description of each OSGeo project to potential
users considering using OSGeo software.
* Provide compelling evidence/information about OSGeo projects designed
for corporate consumption."

Another great thing was that the marketing committee did suggest to put another 20k (http://wiki.osgeo.org/wiki/Marketing_Budget_2009) for website redesign and optimization (should I suggest here some landing page optimization)

Hope it all works well.


On Fri, Dec 12, 2008 at 2:00 AM, <marketing-request@lists.osgeo.org> wrote:

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Today’s Topics:

  1. Feedback from Marketing Meeting (Christopher Schmidt)
  2. RE: Marketing Calendar on the Web (Jason Birch)

Message: 1
Date: Thu, 11 Dec 2008 10:38:22 -0500
From: Christopher Schmidt <crschmidt@metacarta.com>
Subject: [Marketing] Feedback from Marketing Meeting
To: marketing@lists.osgeo.org
Message-ID: <20081211153821.GG7946@metacarta.com>
Content-Type: text/plain; charset=us-ascii


Upon partial review of the marketing committee meeting on IRC last
night, I noticed a couple things that I’d like to comment on.

First, It seems that my email was seen as a negative comment on the
marketing committee. I apologize that it was seen that way.
Specifically, my original email was not sent to the marketing committee
for a reason: I don’t see that Marketing has – up until this point –
had a strong reason to consider the website ‘theirs’.

We have a “web committee” who is, as far as I understand it, tasked with
the maintenance of the website as it stands today. This committee is
primarily – at this time – involved in the upkeep of the current
website, and not with broad redesign movements. This is understandable.

The idea of significantly changing the website seems like it would be
outside the realm of any existing committee within OSGeo. WebCom is
primarily tasked with maintaining the existing website. Marketing is
working on branding, providing print materials, conference attendance,
etc. This is fine, and perfectly reasonable.

My email to the board was an effort to point out that perhaps some
effort needs to be taken outside the purposes typically set up by
these committees – that the Board should perhaps consider a seperate
task, that of a significant web presence redesign, as important to the
Foundation. This is not a criticism of existing efforts – the existing
website is a fine piece of work for what it is, adn the marketing
committee’s efforts are similarly successful at the tasks that are being
undertaken. Simply put, website redesign has not been proposed as a task
that belongs to either of these committees in the past – at least, not
that I’ve seen.

My email was designed to bring attention to this particular aspect of
OSGeo’s success at this time.

Another complaint was that I mentioned OpenGeo as doing a good job with
creating a corporate-friendly web presence, “without making a mention of
how much investment has gone into such branding.” Allow me to clarify:
If I thought this was a task we could snap our fingers at, then I
wouldn’t have bothered to send an email. The task of creating a
successful brand – successful insofar as it is recognized as completing
the goals that people are interested in – is one that is very hard, and
website redesign to support that goal is often expensive. Very few
people who are currently participating in OSGeo have the marketing
know how to do even a portion of what I suggested.

The fact that this effort is so significant is exactly why I suggested
that the item be considered before the board approves budgets for
2009: specifically, if the board considers my suggestions, and finds
them to have some merit, it may make some sense to address this by
keeping some funds available for the task.

I am sorry that my comments have upset people. I am not attempting to
belittle the efforts that the marketing committee has been putting
forward – it is clearly doing important work. Nor am I trying to say
that the marketing committee should be specifically taking on tasks like
website redesign. Instead, I’m simply trying to offer some
information/guidance, based on my own personal opinions and the feedback
that I have been receiving of late.

In my opinion, the OSGeo website does not, at this time, clearly achieve
the following goals:

  • Provide a clear, concise overview of OSGeo to first time visitors.
  • Provide a clear description of each OSGeo project to potential
    users considering using OSGeo software.
  • Provide compelling evidence/information about OSGeo projects designed
    for corporate consumption.

It does, on the other hand, achieve the following goals:

  • Provide a single stop to get access to a large quantity of
    information about OSGeo.
  • Provide an overview of recent news and upcoming events in the OSGeo
  • Provide a starting point for getting access to OSGeo projects,
    especially if you’re familiar with them already.

As a resource, these things are clearly important to the existing OSGeo
community. It’s just not as clear to me that the OSGeo homepage provides
a useful starting point for someone beginning to look at OSGeo – either
as a Foundation, or as a home of a project they might be interested in.

Perhaps the answer is “This is not what OSGeo needs.” In that case, I
am simply wrong: that’s an easy enough answer. I don’t know who is best
equipped to answer that question. I think that it comes from a variety
of sources: Marketing, WebCom, other groups within the project, perhaps.

Perhaps the answer is “This is interesting, but less important than
supporting events.” I would disagree with this based on what little
knowledge I have, but am willing to accept that it’s not worth the
time/energy of OSGeo to investigate improved website presence.

Perhaps the answer is simply “We can’t afford it.” This is also
obviously a reasonable response.

None of these responses would be out of line from the Marketing
committee, or OSGeo as a whole. However, I thought it would be
worthwhile to bring up the possibility that OSgeo’s current community
site is inefficient at turning first time visitors into people who walk
away not knowing what OSGeo is – in my opinion – for consideration of
some group of people larger than myself.

I apologize, again, for upsetting people with the tone of my email. I’ll
be honest and say that I don’t really understand why this would be
upsetting, but hopefully this better explains why I think that none of
what I said should be seen as a criticism/failure of any existing group
within OSGeo.

Best Regards,

Christopher Schmidt

Message: 2
Date: Thu, 11 Dec 2008 08:56:10 -0800
From: “Jason Birch” <Jason.Birch@nanaimo.ca>
Subject: RE: [Marketing] Marketing Calendar on the Web
To: “Tyler Mitchell (OSGeo)” <tmitchell@osgeo.org>
Cc: OSGeo Marketing <marketing@lists.osgeo.org>
Content-Type: text/plain; charset=“us-ascii”

Works fine in Outlook 2007.

Tyler, you’re a sturdy man to be awake for those meetings, especially
once we hit daylight savings time…


-----Original Message-----
From: Tyler Mitchell (OSGeo)
Subject: [Marketing] Marketing Calendar on the Web

Please don’t ask me to put it into some online google application,
but feel free to do so if that’s your preference. :slight_smile: You can also
read it with Mozilla Sunbird (free) or Apples iCal, plus numerous
other apps. Not sure how much Outlook likes it.


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End of Marketing Digest, Vol 15, Issue 13

Researcher @ Osaka City University
Graduate School for Creative Cities