One thing we’ve been discussing for a while now and that we have as one of our targets for this release cycle in the Marketing Team is “better talking points”. Pretty much: we need better ways to know what the team’s been working on doing the release cycle so we can talk about whenever the release finally comes, so that even the less “eventful” (or even boring, in the words of some reviews) releases (like F39) can be hyped up. So here’s an idea which I’d love to know if it’d be possible, and would love even more feedback on how we’d do it:
A lot of FOSS projects do this already:
- Mozilla does this bi-weekly with These Weeks in Firefox;
- GNOME does it weekly with This Week in GNOME
- Matrix does it weekly with This Week in Matrix;
- Nate Graham from the KDE Plasma folks does it weekly as well with This Week in KDE.
You get the point. It’s a really nice way for contributors and non-contributors to get to know better what’s been going on in the project during a certain timeframe. We already have something akin to it in our Community Blog, but the posting frequency is all over the place, since those are separate efforts:
- Weekly Infra and RelEng Updates
- Friday Fedora Facts, now replaced by the Fedora Ops Architect Weekly
Quarterly (Every 3 Months)
We also have updates from a couple of contributors in their personal Mastodon accounts, with @adamwill being the main example that comes to mind (I really like those).
That said, most of the project’s teams don’t have such a thing.
It’d be nice to have those merged in a combined blogpost, which could be contributed by any team inside the project, so it’d be less intimidating for a single contributor to share that “they’ve been working with a small part of the project this week”, for example.
If we do it in a similar fashion to GNOME, it could be as simple for a contributor as going in a Matrix room and sharing what they been working with in a simple chat message and sharing a couple of screenshots of their work. This could have the potential to make the work of contributors that work in less visible areas of the project more easily discoverable and more valued.
- Setting up the infrastructure necessary to gather these reports;
- Gathering enough engagement from the contributors;
Simple, making release notes easier. In the end of a release cycle we could simply look back into those posts and select what we believe to be more relevant to share. This way, both us from the marketing team and whoever reviews any release of Fedora (bloggers, youtubers, news journalists, etc.) have a better insight on what is new in any particular release beyond “new *insert favorite desktop environment here* version”, whenever a release isn’t full of flashy changes like DNF5 or the Anaconda redesign.
It’s also a great potential point of entry into the project as a contributor, as knowing more about the work different teams are doing makes it easier for someone to know in what areas they can contribute with, as well as that making the act of sharing the work you’ve done less rigid makes it easier for newcomers to feel like they can contribute too.
Totally not relevant part of text that you should **NOT** look into
The real reason behind all of this is because I’m salty that I frequently end up finding a lot of what’s going on in the project through Phoronix articles instead of directly through the project’s channels, even though I’m an active contributor.
Which could even continue being in CommBlog instead of a separate website, like most of what the afforementioned projects do. ↩︎
GNOME is a great example of how to do this correctly, as they have really well defined rules and an FAQ for what constitutes a “valid” contribution and a nice bot that integrates with a Matrix room. It’s the one I follow the closest, at least ↩︎
Which is why I’m unsure on what would be the best posting frequency, since, if we go with weekly posts and those posts don’t have a lot of reports, it’d be best to go with bi-weekly or monthly, it’d depend on how well the teams in the project would engage with it. ↩︎
Since, if we limit who can report something for the blogpost, we risk making it inaccessible for beginners, but if we don’t, we risk dealing with spam. ↩︎
Making sure everything is formatted correctly, dealing with spelling errors, screenshots, etc. ↩︎