Marketing Team 2024 Targets (and Yearly Theme?)

Preface: This thread is primarily for Marketing Team members or people who want to join, though we welcome input from anyone. I’m presenting this on Fedora Discussion to promote the idea of a yearly theme in case others find it helpful.

As 2023 comes to a close, I want to send a big thank you to the Marketing Team that has formed this year. @steiner, @jflory7, @itguyeric, and @ekidney - great team members! @bcotton super helpful as we formed up at the start of the year.

Our work has led to:

  • The official Fedora Mastodon account becoming the most followed Linux distro account on the Fediverse
  • The reactivation of our Instagram, LinkedIn, YouTube Community, and Twitter accounts with dedicated social media managers
  • A framework for how to set up contributors to maintain social media channels at a level of commitment that works for them
  • The relaunch of the Fedora Podcast with a new live stream component
  • Growth in our YouTube presence by strategically using the video content we produce at talks
  • Improving important announcements with professional looking graphics
  • Collaborating with Slimbook, Lenovo, and Framework as we start an intentional initiative in Fedora to cheer-lead and support hardware vendors who choose to ship or support Fedora

I don’t think any of that was something we were aiming toward. Yet it’s awesome to see that our effort is having an impact on Fedora and open source more broadly. When I first started contributing I wasn’t sure how much benefit I could bring from a non-technical perspective. Now I am confident that marketing in open source has so much untapped potential. I’m excited to explore that with you guys!

Targets vs Goals

Why I am I calling these targets and not goals? In my mind, goals are actions that you want to achieve. If you don’t achieve the goal, you failed, and that can sting. Targets are bullseyes that sit far away for you to shoot at. It’s great if you hit them, but primarily you can use them to know where to shoot. You’re job isn’t to hit the target. It’s to shoot at the target. If you do that, you already succeeded.

I’m a fan of this because it relieves the pressure of commitment and failure. In life and in volunteer work, it can be demotivating to set a goal and come short. By focusing on movement and adjusting trend lines more than achieving something specific, you’re off the hook of responsibility. Any further action you take is all positive! At least that’s how it feels, which can be motivating because it feels like extra credit.

Is this semantics? Probably.

2024 Targets

Looking forward, I think it would be helpful to identify targets we want to aim for in 2024 and what time frames we want to work in. These are areas that I think make up the core of what the Marketing Team is offering to the rest of the Fedora community, as well as how to round that out. These are just my thoughts to kick off this discussion on what we want to shoot for.

  • Build up the independence of existing and new social media channels
  • Support the Fedora Podcast and draw more value from that content
  • Make the YouTube channel more consistent
  • Move the needle with Fedora-friendly vendors through the Fedora Ready Initiative
  • Grow relationship directly with content creators and media outlets
  • Develop a path for recruiting and mentorship to build trust
  • Document how our structure, responsibilities, and processes work

If you noticed, social media, the podcast, the YouTube channel, and the vendor collaborations are the main projects and services we own. Mentoring and documentation are meta targets meant to organize how people from outside of the project learn about us.

The way that I see it, we did a lot of exploring this year and found the specific things we do. Before that wasn’t a given. Now I think it’s time to dive deeper into those competencies, formalize how we work in these spaces, and think about how we keep this going we’re replaced by a new crop of contributors.

Regarding timelines, I think the main ones to keep in mind are the Fedora 40 release, Flock, and the Fedora 41 release. If we have big projects or important announcements that we want to save for something, those are the most important to keep in mind.

Like I said, these are just areas I’ve been thinking about. There’s not really a deadline for this, but I would like to land on a list we feel confident with by the end of winter. What do you think? Let’s put our ideas together!

Yearly Theme?

In my personal life I’ve been a fan of using a yearly theme instead of New Year’s resolutions. You basically set an intention for the year that is intentionally fluffy and vague so that it guides your year without being a goal you can fail and be demotivated by. I like this for the same reasons I like targets instead of goals.

Below is a video of a guy explaining the idea and here is a podcast episode where he and his co-host talk through their yearly themes for 2023 and 2024.

What do we think about having a yearly theme for 2024 for the Marketing Team? It would serve as a gentle reminder of what we’re trying to do this year that keeps us on task while being flexible enough for new interpretations of the theme.

Based on the targets I came up with, below are some ideas for a yearly theme we can adopt. So far Year of Refinement is my favorite because I think it matches the vibe.

  • Year of Refinement
  • Year of Foundation
  • Year of Approachability
  • Year of Establishment
  • Year of the SOP
  • Year of Crystallization
  • Year of Structure
  • Year of Sculpture

If the idea of a yearly theme seems like too much, it’s not a big deal. I think that targets are what I would like to solidify more than selling you on this idea. But I hope you think it’s helpful!

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Kudos to the team on this impressive list of accomplishments. 2023 was a tough year, but despite that, there are huge achievements to look back on and celebrate. :tada: You summarized them nicely here. I also love how we as individuals have pushed forward things that we individually care about, yet we remain connected and united as a single team.

I also want to give a kudos to you, @joseph, as the steadfast and consistent driver of the Marketing Team. I don’t think a title was ever conferred upon you, but you have done a great job of keeping our humble team connected and on the same page throughout the year. And also doing a good job of knowing when to say “no”, or at least “not right now”! Thank you for all your efforts. :muscle:

Looking at the list that you drafted, these two items spoke to me most. They are areas that I both want to help with and feel competent in helping with.

These are good. Quick thoughts:

  • Fedora 40 will likely get more attention and hubbub because Fedora 40 will be the branching point for CentOS Stream 10 (and therefore also RHEL 10, AlmaLinux 10, Rocky Linux 10… you get the idea). Expect the next release to be unusually busy and active.

  • Events are becoming more of a thing again, or at least, we are getting more organized with them again. I drafted a tentative list of 2024 events that I am hoping that Fedora can be a part of in 2024. This list is not final, but it gives an idea of where the commitments lie and approximately what month we can expect them. Support from the Marketing Team would go a long way for these events.

    • The talking points that I mentioned in the team Matrix room are a good example of what a deliverable could look like for this. There is room to experiment with a new format here though, but the basic need remains the same.

I love this idea! The logic is sound to me, and in a project as wide open as Fedora, not being too specific allows us to lean into the decentralization of how a community like Fedora operates at its best.

I am not picky here. I do like the idea of refinement though. I think many of the successes of 2023 were accidental, or at least, we were constantly improvising as we went. That is good, but the key point you mentioned about sustainability, growing the contributors, and welcoming in the next generation of contributors is key. Refinement seems supportive of those higher ideals for the team.

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I’m 100% in favor of having a yearly theme, specially the Year of Refinement one.

I also really like the Targets and would like to share a couple of my own:

  • Collaborate with our teams (mainly DEI and LATAM in my case) to better reach wider audiences and help our community grow[1];
  • Bring some new content formats to our social media channels and experiment with more formats (as the last year short-form video experiment brought some really interesting results);
  • Get more people into our Social Hours[2];
  • And as Justin mentioned, having better preparations and managing wider timeframes to create hype for our events, with my short-term focus for now being this year’s Creative Freedom Summit.

I’ll bookmark that list to make sure we can prepare at least some materials to share about those events in a less improvised manner this year :sweat_smile:.


  1. As we’ve talked about in our F39 release party talk, our current reach in our social media channels is pretty limited to 25-39 y.o men, mainly in the U.S. and Europe. It’s a pretty big goal of mine to help make our community friendlier to non-english speaking and queer people, specially as we look forwards to making Fedora more accessible, both as an OS and as a community ↩︎

  2. I believe the Social Hours can be a really good way to indirectly onboard people into becoming part of the community, but we (as in the Marketing team) do need to share those more and talk about them in different ways in order to make joining those more attractive to people ↩︎

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Thanks for your thoughts! Here’s how I’m picturing this.

2024: Year of Refinement

Last year we did a lot of cobbling together of content, structures, and systems. This year we want to refine what we put together. That means:

  • Build up the independence of existing and new social media channels
  • Support the Fedora Podcast and draw more value from that content
  • Make the YouTube channel more consistent
  • Move the needle with Fedora-friendly vendors through the Fedora Ready Initiative
  • Grow relationship directly with content creators and media outlets

While there are many things that we started doing that make up the core of our value to the project, there are other things that we should start doing. Before you take something to get laminated, you have to make sure everything on the paper is right. Before you put a clay sculpture in an oven to harden, you need to be happy with it or making changes will be hard. For us to consider the team to be refined, it means we also have to pick up new things that belong in the ‘finished product.’

To that end we have to:

  • Develop a path for recruiting and mentorship to build trust
  • Document how our structure, responsibilities, and processes work
  • Support in-person and virtual events
  • Produce talking points for each release
  • Collaborate with our teams (mainly DEI and LATAM in my case) to better reach wider audiences and help our community grow

If you refine something, almost by definition it’s going to be pretty and extra. You did more than you needed to for a polished result. That means keeping an eye on new tactics or initiatives that need our attention so that we can help even more than we’re helping now. For this we have:

  • Bring some new content formats to our social media channels and experiment with more formats
  • Get more people into our Social Hours

I know I’m stretching the yearly theme a little, but that’s part of the flexibility of a yearly theme. Many times there is a way of looking at the intention of a yearly theme that includes other things you want to do. Other times interpreting a yearly theme in a different ways helps to integrate some intentions into the theme so that you’re thinking about everything you mean to hit when you think of the theme. You’re not leaving targets behind or tacking them on to the side of your theme.

In summary, Year of Refinement means refining what we already built, finishing the parts that need to be in our refined product, and providing extra polish.

I’ve been thinking about this a lot and these two in particular are really important, specially since we could potentially take part in Outreachy one day, right?

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We could. I didn’t think about Outreachy at all - that’s a great call out! It would take some effort on our end because we have to mentor the intern, but on the plus side we could have someone working part time specifically on what we need!

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This is my own personal opinion, but the unstructured format of the social hours is not my preferred format. @rwright had a great idea for doing some games and activities together with Fedorans, like how we did Among Us at the Release Party. I thought that was fun, and we could even use the Minetest server hosted in Fedora Infrastructure for either a social hour or a gaming hour.

This ties in well with the focus on events with the Community Operations team:

Also, we are gradually building more structure and planning into our events. It is slow progress, but we are getting there. GNOME Asia in December and FOSDEM in February are better examples. SCaLE 21x soon in March as well.

Oops, sorry for the multi-post, I missed the next reply. :sweat_smile:

I have been thinking about this more, and I would like to contribute to this one by focusing more of my time on LinkedIn than X/Twitter. Unless someone else is willing to step in and give more love to X/Twitter, I am thinking to keep it on life support or the most critical announcements only, especially since I added the Mastodon handle into the profile.

I wonder, could we simplify this into vision and mission statements? I think if we can concisely articulate what we want to focus on (whether for all time or just for 2024), it will be easier to bring others on board. Or, the scope of what the team does will be clear and we can prioritize the things that fit in the vision/mission.

WDYT?

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For Twitter I think that putting it on life support is totally fair!

For building up vision and mission statements, I think we can do that too! Maybe it feels like the yearly theme is pulling too much weight because those statements are missing. If a yearly theme starts feeling restricting then I don’t think it’s a good fit.

Mission statement - what we’re here for
Vision statement - where we want to see ourselves in the long-run
Yearly theme - what we’re focused on this year

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I’m in full support of that! I might hate LinkedIn and the culture that social media has, but it’s still better than the neonazi cult that Twitter became, and with the increased effort on that front we could more successfully reach into potential parterships.

+1 on that, it’ll help be a clear statement to have on our Docs when it’s ready.