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Jason D. Clinton

Jason D. Clinton -

Last Build Date: Fri, 02 Sep 2011 22:24:18 GMT


Joining Google

Fri, 02 Sep 2011 22:24:18 GMT

I haven't been around much since GNOME 3.0 launched because I've been working really (really!) hard by joining Zave Networks and working to make this happen: Google Acquires Digital Coupons/Incentives Platform Zave Networks To Bulk Up Commerce

I'm joining Google's ranks and am looking forward to many more wonderful things in the years to come!

GNOME 3.0 Released

Wed, 06 Apr 2011 21:10:53 GMT

I'm too exhausted to make a giant blog post about it right now, but I'm proud of what we, the GNOME community, have achieved. It's time to celebrate! Congratulations, everyone, and thank you for the amazing amount of hard work and can-do attitude that kept us on-track these past few weeks!

Find out more about GNOME 3!


GNOME 3 Marketing End-game

Fri, 01 Apr 2011 22:32:41 GMT

I have never been so proud to be a contributor to GNOME as I am right now. So many people are working so hard to deliver an awesome 3.0 release it would be impossible to name them all. In many cases people are taking time away from their families or personal lives to give our community the best launch experience—on schedule!—that we can possibly achieve. This is going to be the most user-focused release of GNOME, ever.

The past few weekends I've been skipping time away from friends and family to achieve the most visible contribution that I have made this cycle which has been to spin some marketing videos which we are going to use to promote GNOME 3.0 on launch day. The thinking is that short videos will increase the audience—especially among those who don't like reading release notes.

The first two videos are posted up on our YouTube account. We're using YouTube's HTML5 embedding mode to stream the videos in WebM on and work is underway to use Universal Subtitles for i18n and a11y purposes. That should be ready by launch day.

I'm going to use every last spare moment this weekend to finish as many as I possibly can in advance of our launch next week.

Let's get the word out about GNOME 3's better user experience!

On Long Island next week

Sun, 16 Jan 2011 04:30:05 GMT

I'll be in on Long Island, New York for a few days this coming week. Drop an email if you'd like to meet up on Monday or Tuesday night to talk about GNOME 3.0 or marketing!

GNOME Shell and Debian Menu

Fri, 19 Nov 2010 18:36:28 GMT

GNOME Shell (both master and the overview-relayout branch) present the list of launchable applications to us as a large, non-hierarchical, immediately searchable list. We can hit the logo key and start typing a few letters and immediately find what we're looking for. KDE has it. Windows Vista and 7 have it. OS X has it (via Spotlight). And now we have it.

On Debian this is a problem because menu and menu-xdg convert an ancient, Debian, unified menu system that predates the existence of the cross-desktop XDG menu specs in to XDG menus and stores them in /var/lib/menu-xdg duplicating everything that's already in the standard /usr/share/applications. This wasn't really a problem because all the duplication was crammed in to an easily avoidable "Debian" menu. The idea was that you'd get the same Debian menu in all desktops. Unfortunately, this isn't getting killed off fast enough. However, we can change it for our own systems.

sudo update-menus --remove
sudo apt-get purge menu

The first step is required because /var/lib/menu-xdg is not considered configuration and therefore the contents of this directory are not removed on package removal. It is necessary to the remove the menu package to prevent package installation from triggering the recreation of these menus via the dpkg triggers mechanism.


Tue, 09 Nov 2010 05:09:08 GMT

I spent most of the day doing content production, so no session blogs from me.

Last night's Beer Summit hosted by Collabora: photos

Prototype (must all be re-filmed in three months) GNOME 3 launch video: WebM OGV (music CC licensed under Sampling Plus 1.0 by Jonathan Yamoty but may ultimately be replaced by a new composition by Joey)

Beta Friends of GNOME appeals (14 filmed today, first 2): WebM 1 OGV 1 WebM 2 OGV 2

Criticism welcome.

Moduleset reorganization

Mon, 08 Nov 2010 00:44:43 GMT

Vincent opened up the discussion by doing a long review of the proposal which was discussed on desktop-devel ( The only controversial part of the proposal was the division of Core and Featured Applications.

From GNOME Summit 2010

There were two major objections: translators were worried about quality of translations and having to create a new account to patch or contribute to projects that aren't hosted on To address translator objections, r-t is working with translation teams to come up with a more stringent quality guidelines and processes for Featured Applications.

Ted Gould brought up his proposal from the mailing list to define a core GNOME desktop moduleset that doesn't include Shell so that Ubuntu can continue to say that they embrace GNOME. There was some disagreement about this and the conversation was postponed until tomorrow.

What happened next was, in a nutshell, a one and half hour long disagreement about the definition of Featured Applications, whether it makes sense to expend the energy on the delineation at all, and whether the designation has any value for GNOME and for the application receiving it. It would be too difficult to cover all aspects of this discussion among the eight parties whom were principally involved. And, since I was one of those parties, it wouldn't be entirely objective. However, there was some agreement and some things left unresolved.

In the category of agreement the following aspects were clear: the definition of GNOME is the Core and Platform modulesets and the wider GNOME infrastructure hosted and supported modules are--regardless of whatever else they are designated--at the very least GNOME Project. There was also agreement that we, as a project, want to promote good applications in our ecosystem, in the short term, and, in the long term, go the direction of something like an app. store.

With regard to areas of disagreement, the session ended without much conclusions, however, a discussion afterward between a few parties sounded optimistic and so we may see a way forward announced in the coming weeks.


Sun, 07 Nov 2010 21:00:55 GMT

Ted Gould opened the session by introducing the stack and its relationship to the stack which is now based Compiz.

He introduced the Unity notification approach. In the next Unity release, it will allow libnotifier and only traditional status icon messages from Wine and Java (all other status icon clients will be rejected).

Ted gave an overview of some of the use cases in Ubuntu for libindicate: Evolution, Gwibber and Empathy. A critical point is that libindicate is a persistent: if an app crashes, the indicator is taken with it. Indicator also has MPRIS support and Ubuntu's patches GTK+ and Qt have AppMenu support.

To do application tracking, they developed a library called BAMF which talks to X11, DBUS, and desktop files.

Application menus are split in to offline and online division: offline derived from the .desktop file and online derived from the Ubuntu AppIndicator spec.

Ted surveyed Places which is a mechanism for defining search and browseable categories for click-able items: applications, Tracker file results, web history, application history.

There were questions about the decision to move to Compiz from Mutter; nothing new was said that hasn't been written elsewhere and so I will not rehash it here.

I asked about the long-term vision of Unity; Ted replied that they really isn't any huge long-term goals beyond what has already been announced for Natty. I asked if there was an extensibility plan; Ted replied that extensions should be done through AppIndicators.

Federico started a long side conversation about how to get one, unified Activity Journal interface shared between Shell and Unity. There was much discussion about technical feasibility of various approaches and the design philosophy of Shell. Because of the Compiz/Clutter split, the only lowest common denominator would be to XEmbed an alpha transparent window rendered by AJ. Owen said that this approach would have all kinds of problematic side effects like, for example, not working with the search results. There was a lot of desire to come up with some kind of solution so we may see something specifically for AJ.

Browsers in GNOME

Sun, 07 Nov 2010 20:01:00 GMT

Xan opened the session by surveying the history of browsers in GNOME: Netscape, Mozilla, Firefox, Chrome. The status of these browsers in GNOME has varying levels of integration but--of those remaining--they have vastly more resources than Epiphany currently does.

From GNOME Summit 2010

Xan proposed that we change our approach: browser as a service.


  • Integrated tab management
  • Web application integration (GMail), better Shell treatment, icons
  • Search results in the Shell
  • Direct results for unit conversion in search results

At this point Xan opened the floor to brainstorming for more ideas.

Next, the discussion moved to how to more deeply integrate WebkitGTK in to the platform. There was clear agreement that there should be two embedding API's: one where you want a browser-like experience and the other where you don't need chrome, cookies, caches, etc.

Jon McCann said that a good tab-window manager integration will require a lot of work so I should probably be a little later. Search integration is a more short-term objective.

There was a lot of discussion about what kinds of results could be shown in the search window. For example what API's are out there, whether it makes sense allow the provider to show ads if their EULA requires it, etc.

Xan and the GNOME Shell developers had a long discussion about unifying GNOME around a single JavaScript implementation. They spoke about three critical JavaScript features which are needed from WebKit: let, const, and destructured returns which are three Mozilla-specific extensions to the language. Xan worried that ES6 which has these features will change the Mozilla-specific semantics. The discussion was highly technical: a lot of concern about GObject-introspection semantics with Seed, for example. There was wide agreement that it would be a good goal but that these language features are really important. They decided to have breakout session to try and work through more of the technical details.

Setting Goals for GNOME

Sun, 07 Nov 2010 18:00:27 GMT

Owen opened the session by saying that historically we have relied on the Board and Marketing Team to articulate our goals and that that hasn't been fair to either of them. The motivation for this session was to set goals as a community. He set some guidelines for goals: motivational, realistic, determinative. To start the conversation, he took a look back at some old GNOME goals: Build a Free Software replacement Windows Pretty good goal: motivational, effective Ten years later it turns out that Windows doesn't matter that much 10% Market Share by 2010 Bad goal Unrealistic Nebulous GNOME Online Desktop is to adapt is to adapt the desktop to become the perfect window to online service Realistic Not motivation because it makes the desktop irrelevant From GNOME Summit 2010 Owen tried to capture some major themes that we can all agree on, at the moment: GNOME is a community of people building Free Software for users Computing space is mind-boggling big: billions of users, markets, dollars We don't need to dominate the market to be a successful project But we do need to provide something great to our users We can't be "for users" unless we meaningfully control the user experience A desktop OS is only a small piece of the computing experience The question Owen proposed to stimulate the discussion: Giving all your data to Facebook or Google provides a great user experience. How do we provide an experience in the control of the user that is as good? Better? With that he opening the floor to brainstorming. Where should GNOME be going? Ideas thrown out: Work with devices better Sync contacts Work with all devices integrate with home media Don't have an agenda--support user's choice Concentrate on things that aren't natural web apps (content creating) Work with web apps Put user more in control of existing apps Extract/backup data Shotwell example Single setup of web services across desktop Proactively working with services to adapt to changes Proxy so we don't need SW update Provide long term support story Technology provider Align with Mozilla--consortium for user control Focus on offline experience Web apps as 1st class "apps" /Deep integration of web/desktop; create standard for web developers icons name toplevel URL i10n App menus, Jumplists A beautiful experience (revisit HIG, animations, polish) Run on other form factors App. development platform/developer experience Best environment for developers Not just desktop developers Work with hardware vendors (OEM's) A knowledge base with direct desktop apps. links Target an audience Owen brought the discussion back together and asked for any ideas on how to boil all of this down in to more coherent, articulable goals. An over-arching theme of the ensuing discussion was on how difficult it would be to boil this down but that--historically--people have come up with great ideas and sold it to the rest of the community. He hoped that would happen again. There was a lot of discussion about what the end result of all of this brainstorming would be. The session was closed without any conclusions and with a plan to get wider community participation. Owen will be sending out an email or a blog post on the topic, soon.[...]

Friends of GNOME

Sat, 06 Nov 2010 22:04:16 GMT

Stormy opened the session by giving an overview of the target: users who feel that they would like to contribute but don't know how because they aren't technical.

From GNOME Summit 2010


  • 400 new subscribers
  • Use a progress bar on the web site similar to the sysadmin campaign
  • Any dollar value
  • New t-shirt
  • Videos of developers talking about how funding helps hackfests
  • Track referrals from people
  • Track referrals from online advertising

Someone asked if there were any demographics about donors from the past year. Stormy replied that the data is there--based on country--but someone would need to compile the data.

There was a discussion about getting academic communications departments involved in this and other marketing departments. Everyone loved this idea but it was decided that we're too close to the end of the year (the target for this campaign) to specifically try to involve an academic project.

The floor was opened to a discussion of rewards for contribution in addition to a T-Shirt: foam GNOME foot trinkets, stickers, a membership card.

We discussed implementing referral tracking by integrating our PayPal data with our CiviCRM installation. The action items out of this discussion were:

  • Text for ruler (Paul)
  • Clean up Friends of GNOME landing page (Og)
    • Fix subscriptions
    • One time
    • Ask for location
  • Annual subscription (Og)
  • Merchandise
    • New t-shirt (Joey)
    • Community assistance for distribution (Vincent)
    • Collectible doodad with year on it, 300 qty (Joey) (maybe Andreas?)
    • Membership cards with member number (Og)
  • Map mash-up of contributors
  • Getting the word out
    • Design 2 ads (Joey)
    • Social networking (Og)
    • Radio jingle (Joey)
    • Google
    • LWN (Stormy)
  • Email current subscribers (Paul)
  • Videos of developers talking about hack-fest funding via Friends of GNOME (Jason/Joey)


  • Launch new Friends of GNOME site - Nov. 16th
  • Annual item per year (doodad) - Nov. 18th
  • Map mash-up - Nov. 21st
  • Launch promotional avenues - Nov 22nd
  • Membership cards - Nov 22nd
  • T-Shirts - Dec. 31st

GTK+ Animation Framework and Clutter 2.0

Sat, 06 Nov 2010 19:57:11 GMT

Emmanuele Bassi lead this session. He opened the quick recap that the last GTK+ hackfest discussed adding an animation framework to GTK+ inspired by Clutter's. (This topic has been covered in blog posts on Planet GNOME.) He quickly, also, recapped his effort to port Clutter to the new GPeriodic clock so that GTK+ and Clutter share a single paint clock implementation. At minimum two features would be needed: the paint clock and a timeline.

From GNOME Summit 2010

Clutter has an animation framework. Emmanuele covered its features for the audience whom were mostly unfamiliar with it including a demo for audience members whom had questions about the difference between the Animator and new State engines. Owen wondered why they both exist; Emmanuele replied that they are not completely equivalent--in particular Animator is designed to use JSON to describe the animation.

From GNOME Summit 2010

Ryan Lortie, Owen Taylor, Benjamin Otte and Emmanuele had a *long* side discussion about the value of using JSON as an animation description language and, further, whether it makes sense to make full-blown JavaScript expressions to allow animation description to evaluate the scene to compute the final values. This branched out in to a discussion of what level of theme-based control makes sense: CSS? Expressions?

This side conversation turned out to be the crux of the entire path going forward: what level of control make sense for theme authors?

There were no conclusions from this session, at all. Only questions and questions wrapped in questions.

What's Left for 3.0 (Owen)

Sat, 06 Nov 2010 18:29:47 GMT

Owen started the session by showing off what recent changes have landed and are about to land: the Shell UI integrated system status icons (audio volume slider, a11y feature enabler), the new window theme, the rewrite the shadow engine (with support of shaped window shadows). From GNOME Summit 2010 Returning to the theme of the system tray and notifications, he discussed the designers' philosophy of only having hardware related icons in the upper-right and not--for example--system update notifications. Florian's overlay re-layout branch which reflects the work of the design team is "hopefully landing extremely soon." He built this branch and showed it separately as he was talking. This includes a new stream-lined left-hand bar for your favorite apps, file manager and mounted file-systems. I asked where the Documents view has moved in the new design. Owen said that it will go in the re-layout but may not make it in time for 3.0. If that's the case, Nautilus will be in the default favorite apps list. Ryan asked that we go over the change from the current design to one that doesn't zoom out as much. Jon McCann took that topic and said that the original design was too cluttered and the effect of zooming out was too jarring. In the new design, the windows still do the Exposé-style effect. From GNOME Summit 2010 Owen presented a list of major items remaining for 3.0 and those that are not achievable in time for the release: Remaining: Tracker integration Network manager Shell UI App menu Jump lists Keyboard indicator applet Fallback Multi-monitor (polish) Postponed: Contacts integration Extensions ecosystem Accessibility On-screen keyboard Screen-reading End user testing Canonical offered to do user testing of Shell at the same time that they were testing Unity. That offer was neither rejected nor accepted. Owen was adamant that we all dog-food GNOME 3 as much as possible. Someone asked about the new control center. Dan showed it off and there was a lot of discussion about the jarring resize of the window. Animated window resize turns out to be a very difficult problem to solve in X11 but a couple of ideas were floated including using an XSync communication with the window manager to animate the window and the contents resizing or waiting until client side windows are ready.[...]

GNOME Summit 2010: Opening Session

Sat, 06 Nov 2010 14:55:16 GMT

John Palmieri opened the summit by saying that this is our most important summit: the summit in preparation of GNOME 3.0. He reminded volunteers that this--as opposed to GUADEC--is more of a summit to get things done.

From GNOME Summit 2010

Jon McCann was invited up to give an overview of the status of GNOME Shell and 3.0.

From GNOME Summit 2010

He started by thanking Stormy for her service to the GNOME family.

He surveyed the list of TODO's up on the wiki. The control center is a particular point which needs attention and he was hoping to focus on that this weekend. Additionally, a couple of new themes and GTK+-related theme changes, and preliminary newly designed font.

One of the action items for the release team is to get the new "Core" jhbuild module set defined so that everyone can develop against a complete core GNOME 3 stack, easily.

He handed back to John saying, "Let's get shit done."

John invited everyone whom was interested up to pitch a session and to write it on the board. After this was done, sessions were scheduled to the room grid with as little overlap as possible using a show of hands to measure interest.

Boston Summit 2010 Blogs, Pictures; Marketing Video Session

Fri, 05 Nov 2010 18:06:09 GMT

I'll be frantically typing up the Boston Summit sessions that I attend, as I did last year, so watch this space to keep abreast if you can't make it--or even if you can make it and prefer to spend the whole time in the "Hallway Track." People seemed to appreciate the blog posts last year. The style was to hurriedly type up each session and post it immediately at the conclusion of that session.

I'm armed with a new Sony a55 camera with good low-light performance this year, so much gorilla photography will be happening, as well. Might want to think about that before you leave the hotel room in your pajamas in the morning ;-).

One session I will not be typing up will be the one that I'm tentatively planning on leading about the marketing team's GNOME 3 launch video project. As I write this, the first two video's green screen, human segments and accompanying audio files are uploading to my web space. The screen cast segments, artwork, and kdenlive project files will follow.

They came out pretty well for being done on a budget of only $150; the target of 720P will be easily achievable. I borrowed the green screen from a friend and I already had the camera. I originally tried filming on a little point-and-shoot Sony HX5V with 720P capability. The colors were washed out and there was some terrible interlacing artifacts. The newest attempt with the new, aforementioned camera looks fantastic, by comparison.

Audio-wise, I already had a PCM-D50 stereo recorder and so the in-camera audio is going to be replaced by the audio files recorded by this device. I placed it on a table in front of me during recording and--while the room wasn't ideal (there's some reverb)--I think the end result that I've uploaded is workable especially given that there will be some faint music in the background.

As luck would have it, I am sharing a room with Joey whom has expressed an interest in composing an original piece of music for our videos. With a little more luck and some help from the GNOME Shell team on building Florian's re-layout branch, we could have the prototype video 1 and 2's posted by the end of the Summit.

If things go fantastically well, maybe we can record some short clips of attendees thanking the Friends of GNOME donors for helping finance travel. Something in the format of: Sponsored by GNOME banner, fade to thank-you from attendee, fade to Sponsored by GNOME banner. Monday is in the Media Lab building so perhaps there will be some ideal shooting conditions, there. I already emailed some people about this but haven't gotten a response--it's up-in-the-air, at the moment.


Going to Boston Summit 2010

Tue, 19 Oct 2010 03:52:00 GMT

I am confirmed for the Boston Summit 2010; going to run a session on the GNOME 3 Launch Videos.

If you are looking for someone to share a room with, I am too. Let me know if you'd like to share: me AT jasonclinton period com.

Help Needed: GNOME 3 Launch Videos

Mon, 26 Jul 2010 23:28:11 GMT

I have finished filming the first GNOME 3 launch video. In the coming days I'll post the video for review to the marketing-list so that I can get some feedback. And then, it will go on to the translators for subtitle translation (a11y and i18n are important to the GNOME community!) And then, with a little luck, the video should be up somewhere public shortly thereafter with all the "source" files so that the videos can be re-mixed and branded by downstream distros. But that's not what this post is about.

I hope that you all agree that it would be pretty lame if I'm the only guy in all the launch videos so I hope we can get good diversity of speakers in our videos representing the different nationalities and different ablednesses of our community. From my own experiences, I updated some "best practices" on the HOWTO here: I did it all for less than $150. (I only had to buy the work lamps from a hardware store.) However, if you're a student at a university or if you ask around, you may be able to do this with no budget at all.

I filmed the first idea on this page: so there's plenty more ideas.

If you are interested, please join the marketing-list and coordinate there. Looking forward to seeing the creativity of the GNOME community!

In Boston next week; Portland the following

Fri, 28 May 2010 21:43:02 GMT

I'm in downtown Boston next week; let me know if you would like to meet up and talk GNOME over dinner on either Tuesday (1st) or Wednesday (2nd) evening.

The following week I'm in Portland and will be available for dinner on Wednesday (9th) and Thursday (10th).

In Houston for the entire next week!

Sun, 16 May 2010 20:14:49 GMT

I'll be in Houston, Texas on business for the entire coming week through Friday night (the 21st). Hit me up if you want to meet up for dinner some evening between Tuesday and Thursday and talk about GNOME or FOSS!

GNOME Marketing Hackfest Spring 2010

Sun, 16 May 2010 00:04:12 GMT

We got so much done marketing work done last week in Zaragoza, Aragón, Spain. The city was beautiful and I'm more energized and optimistic about the GNOME 3.0 launch than ever before! There were so many smart people with the right skills that came to this hackfest and we achieved so much! But first, a huge thanks to the hosts of our hackfest, the GNOME Foundation, ASOLIF, CESLA, the municipality of Zaragoza (pronounced like Saragossa), Technological Institute of Aragon (ITA) and the regional government of Aragón: Also, a few people helped us immensely planning the logistics and in feeling welcome in what, for many of us, was not a language and culture we were familiar with. Alberto Capella, Technological Institute of Aragón, made sure that we had a great hacking space and organized our meetings with the local communities and governments. Agustín Benito Bethencourt, ASOLIF, worked his magic and made sure that everything happened on time; he also made sure we had some great food while we were here. Ignacio Correas, CESLA, also made sure we had a great experience; I enjoyed sharing some beers with him in the local night-life. Daniel Baeyens from the local GNOME community helped with our interfacing with the local community and finding the resources we needed to do video work. Also, thank you to Paul Cutler and Stormy Peters from GNOME for coordinating the hackfest with the local teams. Everywhere we went we saw GNOME running on computers! This region is serious about free software! We began with a recap of the November 2009 Marketing Hackfest which brought all participants up to speed with where the marketing effort was at: what work had already been done. For the most part this was the launch theme, "Made of Easy;" where all of our energy would be spent, on current users of GNOME 2.x; and what materials, broadly, would be produced for the launch: GNOME Ambassador materials, a launch landing page, videos, talking points. Stormy added that GNOME, generally, is messaged as a desktop that's accessible to anyone, regardless of money or ability. Thank you! to my co-participants for making it easy to start from there. We could have gotten bogged down in revisiting the November hackfest but everyone accepted the givens and we got right to work. By the time that the hackfest began, we knew a lot more about what will be in GNOME 3.0 than we did 6 months ago. Additionally, Vincent Untz, of the release team, was able to give us a much more informed view than we've had before. Taken together, we were able to nail down the major features we are going to talk about to the public: the improved user experience (GNOME Shell + search), topic-based help, performance improvements, improved art (symbolic icons) and a new theme, all the great GNOME apps we have now plus great new applications (the details that the release team will decide and then release in the coming weeks). An important central theme is that, for current users of GNOME 2.x, the experience is a huge improvement over the Windows 95 tyranny that everyone has been living under for the past fifteen years. We have feature parity with GNOME 2.x desktops, but we are taking bold new design decisions in the desktop chrome; taking two steps forward, and no steps backward. GNOME 3 is that new, improved experience with all the great apps you already use and love, continuing to work as that always have. For those who don't want to change, the old panel is scheduled to be maintained for at least another five years for the RHEL 6 release. On the "no[...]

In Las Vegas for the next two days.

Tue, 30 Mar 2010 19:24:11 GMT

In Las Vegas for the next two days. Hit me up if you'd like to talk about GNOME 3 over dinner.

Friends of GNOME Sysadmin Goal is Close!

Tue, 30 Mar 2010 16:39:46 GMT

Hey GNOME fans!

We are so close to reaching our Friends of GNOME Sysadmin Goal! Only about $3,700 left to go!

If you've been waiting for the perfect feel-good opportunity to give, now's the time!

In Albuquerque rest of week

Wed, 02 Dec 2009 23:29:33 GMT

I am going to be in Albuquerque, NM starting tonight and lasting through Saturday with business on Thursday and Friday. If you want to meetup for some green chillies and GNOME, just let me know at the email link on my blog.

GNOME Marketing Hackfest: Day 2

Tue, 17 Nov 2009 05:54:26 GMT

The GNOME 3.0 launch theme The morning began with a hammering out of the GNOME 3.0 launch theme and marketing approach; we brainstormed for two hours. This discussion largely built on the discussion that we had the day before but, this time, we came to some final conclusions. First, we agreed upon the themes--the Shell, the search work, the new levels of cross-application integration--all substantially advance the release team's primary point of the 3.0 release: a better user experience. We enumerated several points that are critically important to cover in any marketing effort. I will return to those in a moment. Second, working backwards from the list of final results that we wanted to achieve, we turned our attention to language that we might use to explain these concepts to end users (the target of this hackfest). We came up with a large, nebulous list of concepts that we felt would appeal to a potential slightly interested, slightly technical conference attendee (our litmus test). Third, we stepped even further back from these concepts and tried to hammer them in to a single, coherent over-arching theme for the GNOME 3.0 release marketing effort. We laughed; we cried. We bounced on giant bouncy balls in the Google color scheme (thanks for hosting Google!) and spun around staring at Chicago skyscrapers in three cardinal directions grasping for inspiration. We buried our heads in similarly multi-colored beanbag chairs in frustration. We stared at the white-board in quiet contemplation for long minutes in silence trying to coax out the essential answer to the giant, nebulous problem ahead of us. End the end, it just came to us--everyone immediately liked it and agreed. Suddenly, we had our theme. In the coming weeks, the marketing team will write up a formal announcement and prepare some preliminary art. Vinicius already had some great looking artwork done before the end of the day. So, I'm excited about this marketing effort. Paul, in his excitement, already began scheming all kinds of way to use our theme. I think that GNOME 3.0 is be going to be fantastic and so is its marketing effort. The 3.0 marketing end game From here on in, GNOME 3.0 is all that we will talk about with regard to marketing. 2.30 will merely be passively marketed. We agreed on some major assets that we want to develop for the release of 3.0. For distributions, production of high-quality, templated marketing assets begins in February, seven months before 3.0 is released. GNOME will provide video, artwork, flier, brochure and sticker templates that are optimized for a prominent distribution logo with a small with GNOME 3 aside from the distributor's own trademark. In the case of the videos, the lead-in and lead-out will have a large area in the center for the distributor's logo. In this way, we make it easy for distributors to help get the message out about why the user experience is better than it has ever been before. For users and those whom interact with GNOME directly or via viral sources (YouTube, Facebook, review sites), the GNOME marketing assets will be the same as those provided to the distributors but with a distribution neutral lead-in and lead-out. We--after some serious thinking about how to deploy this correctly without nagging--will encourage that videos that describe useful new features be included in the default desktop installs (perhaps as documentation assets). For conference speakers and attende[...]

Marketing Hackfest Day 1 Summary

Wed, 11 Nov 2009 06:05:45 GMT

So it turns out that this hackfest is not as conducive to the blog-by-blog as the Summit is. There was a lot of meandering discussion and, generally, very little boundary between one topic and the next. We constantly jumped between discussion and working.The conference materials session review digressed to what language and ideas to use when discussing GNOME and GNOME 3.0 with the press and users. The finalization of the conference materials would be finished after this discussion. In order to reach agreement, Paul showed everyone the presentation that he's been giving to conferences about what GNOME 3.0 will be; with everyone up to date, we moved on a discussion about what the over-arching themes are. We referred to the release team's announcement about what GNOME 3.0 would be from April: that email, Vincent listed:Revamp our User ExperienceStreamlining of the PlatformPromotion of GNOMESo, we the marketing team, are the third item on that list and it's our job to explain the first item. Earlier, we agreed that this two-day hackfest only focused on end users. With our primary objective set to marketing the "revamped user experience", we could make progress on the language of the conference materials: from this point forward all marketing effort is 100% on GNOME 3.0--GNOME 2.x is no longer a marketing focus. This synthesis unleashed a flood of productive idea-making.The "talking points," "FAQ," and brochure content were completed with wide agreement on their content: a heavy emphasis on how GNOME is a vibrant community with information about what tangible results users can expect to receive when GNOME 3.0 is available.There was wide ranging discussion about what GNOME 3.0 is and how much of a change it is. We talked with each other about what each of the proposed technologies will bring to the end user experience: tightly integrated search, application-oriented window management, dynamic workspace workflows, temporally oriented document location (Journal), interruption suppression (message tray), and user interface physicality (via window and Shell chrome animations). There was also agreement that aside from "3.0" technologies, there's a number of long-stewing features coming to fruition that can also be emphasized: Telepathy, for example.There was an observation that we're achieving a new level of tight integration throughout the desktop environment. Think of IM notifications with rapid dismissal in the messaging tray in Shell. Or, think of Empathy sharing your Desktop with you friend via Telepathy without you needing to open a firewall port. Another example could be how both the Journal and Tracker technologies (potentially) tightly integrated with the Shell UI.We pursued a long tangent about the UI change and how we need to sell that to our own community first and then end users. The menus-have-icons thread on d-d-l was discussed as an example of a way in which we can help. There's a feeling that this thread is only the tip of the iceberg and--that perhaps--showing people in a visual way--or at least explaining the decision on a marketing page--what the change achieves would be a good thing. This is an action item to be rapidly developed and put out up so that we can head-off the spatial Nautilus situation repeating itself.We tabled the discussion of selling people on GNOME 3.0, specifically, until to[...]