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Re: [Fedora-marketing-list] Poll: Do you agree to merge Marketing List with Ambassador List ?

On Thu, 2007-02-15 at 16:21 +0100, Francesco Ugolini wrote:
> This is an official poll, please reply only with your vote (+1 = yes, -1
>  = no and 0 = prefer not to say).

I'm not sure I have the 'right' to vote in this poll, since I've
effectively ignored both lists in question for a while.  What is
interesting are the reasons why I abandoned the lists are directly
related to this discussion.  And then I want to give you all a warning,
because you are suddenly in dangerous territory, and I wonder if you
know it.

Fedora *must* have a list where pure, strategic marketing discussions
can occur.  This is a place where people who are otherwise very busy
making other parts of Fedora succeed, can come to discuss some important
ideas related to growing Fedora.  Where people who are marketing
professionals and who want to work with open marketing can come to be
involved.  This should be fedora-marketing-list.

OTOH, there *must* be a list where tactical, day-to-day activities that
enhance and grow Fedora can be discussed.  This is where the various
people who are active in promoting Fedora discuss specifics of events,
activities, and other marketing programs.  This should be

The reasons I am mostly absent from these lists are:

1. The discussions on the strategic marketing list were being taken over
with tactical discussions that belonged elsewhere.  My desire as a
Fedora leader who is busy elsewhere is to contribute to the strategic
marketing of Fedora, and occasionally be involved in an event.  Having
to sort through the tactical ambassadors discussions on the strategic
marketing list is a pain.

2. Because I had to sort content visually all the time, the
[Fedora-subject-line-noise] made it impossible to see the actual Subject
of the threads.  I couldn't visually sort by Subject because it wouldn't
fit on my standard screen.  This meant having to check at least the
first message in every thread, and hope someone didn't switch topics in
the middle.

3. So, I'm sorting visually and have to crack each message to check if
it is on topic for me, and then in f-ambassadors-l, only a portion of
the messages are of interest to me.  Because of the
[Subject-line-noise], I cannot sort my interest from the others without
reading nearly every post.  Not able to get the [Subject-line-noise]
removed, I abandoned reading these lists regularly.

So, because of this history, I vote -1 against the merger of the lists.
I don't think the solution is to merge them, but to *enforce the topics
on these lists*.  Then invite more the strategic thinkers and tactical
doers to the lists, making it clear which discussions belong where.

Now, what is my dire warning?  It is this:

Look at the poll results so far.  The vote is nearly split evenly.
Worse than that, *you are having to take a vote*.  It is a tenant of our
Fedora meritocracy that if you have to take a vote, you are in serious
trouble already.  Now that you see that the community is split 50/50,
that is a bigger warning sign.

Proceeding with a decision when you have such a split in the community
is dangerous.  It is likely to only drive the wedge even further.

When you find yourself in this situation, the best things to do are:

1. Stop, take a step back, reassess.

2. Seek outside assistance, more than one set of eyes that can offer a
fresh perspective

3. Look back at _what_ each group needs accomplished, without focusing
on _how_ to accomplish it.
  - Keep the focus on what you want accomplished
  - Do not drift into how to accomplish it, which can be very hard for
technical people to avoid

Usually these steps are enough to offer a fresh direction that (nearly)
everyone can agree upon.

Now I've provided some of step 2., the outside perspective.  What do you
think about the rest?

- Karsten
Karsten Wade, RHCE, 108 Editor    ^     Fedora Documentation Project 
 Sr. Developer Relations Mgr.     |  fedoraproject.org/wiki/DocsProject
   quaid.108.redhat.com           |          gpg key: AD0E0C41
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