LibreOffice Marketing Workshop Milano 2013 – an overview

This year saw, among other conferences, the second marketing strategy workshop for the LibreOffice  project. While a workshop’s slides tend to be rather short and relatively unimportant, I intended to publlish some feedback that’s on the Marketing Pad as well as my own impressions about the state of marketing activities in the project. My slides emphasized what was going wrong more than what was right but it was nonetheless useful to start the workshop on that basis.

In a nutshell, what came out of our discussion was that, while there was an acknowledgement that the strategy was the right one, its execution was poor mostly because of the lack of resources and the time to structure a team. Another important part of the discussion was about the tools and the ways to contribute. On this chapter, we recognized two outstanding needs:

  • Tools that are better suited to the needs of marketing contributors: the wiki is a mess, and it’s not likely to change anytime soon, but then it’s not overly clear that we need the wiki on a daily basis. However, and as an example, a file repository would be very useful. I hear that Florian and Robinson stand ready with an OwnCloud Server. Let’s see…
  • Restart the marketing confcalls -if not conference calls, IRC chat- and create the social seed for an autonomous marketing team to emerge, documenting the various activities, big or small of everyone present.

Also useful were the presentation of Eliane Domingos about the LibreOffice magazine (I hope to have the slides soon!) as well as mine (ho-hum) about the use of social networks for the LibreOffice project. More importantly and on a quite positive note, we had several people signed up to join the marketing team on the spot. I look forward seeing them and working with them soon.

As a general remark, it’s fair to say that this  conference has taken place at a very interesting moment for the LibreOffice project. We stand at the crossroads where many of the initial promises of the project founders have been delivered; but it is precisely the moment when the project needs a broader and more ambitious vision with more ambitious needs. As such, the project sometimes seems to wiggle around its too small and old clothes and needs bigger ones. We’re not newborns anymore, we’re three years old 🙂

I wish the LibreOffice project a big success, and send my deep thanks to the conference organizers as well as the workshop members. See you in 2014!

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