Marketing Team/Meetings/12-2-2008

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<walter> I am here.
<gregdek> A reminder of the agenda/task list:
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<walter> And I would love 5 minutes on the agenda to talk about my sales job tomorrow
<gregdek> Currently this task list is missing priorities, which I will add soon.
 Then let's lead with that, walter, if that's ok with you.
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<gregdek> The other stuff is mostly bookkeeping at this point.
<walter> OK. I am trying to put together one page with Sugar Advantages
 Here is what I have so far and I would love more ideas and feedback on the ones I have.
  Large & successful installed base
  Large and committed community base (developers and teachers)
  24/7 support
  Superior pedagogical framework
  Unique collaboration and journaling (evaluation) features
  Rapidly expanding of teacher-driven development
  Localizable and customizable
  No licensing fees; no single point of dependency or failure
  Great potential for local job creation
<gregdek> 24/7 support -- is that us?  :)
<caroline> who is the audiance for tomorrow?
<walter> that is the community
 magellen--the portuguese government's learning initiative
<gregdek> So what's the goal of the pitch?
 Just familiarizing them with Sugar?  Kicking off a pilot?
<walter> the goal is to get them to consider Sugar for their project
 every elementary student in Portugal (and Venuzuela)
<caroline> Do they know "What is Sugar?"
<walter> I have a whole stack about what is Sugar...
<gregdek> Do we know "what is Sugar?"  :)
<walter> Here is my first slide:
<gregdek> (One of the items on the agenda is to get that first draft of the mission statement finished.)
 (s/mission statement/elevator pitch)
<walter> Goal: To give every child the opportunity for learning to learn
 Means: A free software platform that facilitates exploring, expressing, reflection, and critique
 Pedagogy: Learning to learn: information is a noun; learning is a verb.
 Technology: Linux desktop supporting peer-to-peer collaboration and journal/portfolio
<gregdek> Right.
<walter> Mission: Support the Sugar community of users and developers and establish regional, autonomous "Sugar Labs" around the world
 To date: 750000+ children learn with Sugar
 More information:
<gregdek> That's a great lead-off slide, I think.
<walter> I guess I need a third slide between the first two that really nails Sugar itself
<caroline> I like the video for the MoMa
<jt4sugar> Please explain the difference between sugar for learner sure for developer
<walter> @jt4sugar: I don't understand the question
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<walter> @tomeueeeps: I hope you are using Sugar on your Asus
<jt4sugar> sugar for developer how they use how learner uses
<walter> ^eeeps^eeepc
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<walter> I am not trying to talk to developers tomorrow: this is a big government buyer
<tomeueeepc-def2> walter: of course
<jt4sugar> understand
<gregdek> walter: I'm satisfied with the high-level list of advantages, as you've enumerated them.  Useful to drill down on those in detail.
<mchua> (sorry I'm late)
<walter> I can drill down in conversation. Is there anything I left out?
 (I'll post both slides in the wiki too)
<caroline> we could also look at them from thier point of view, can we make it more personal?
<gregdek> Good point.
<walter> Yeah. But I don't have much insight into their specifics. Everything I have read is  pretty generic.
<gregdek> Ah well.
 I guess you'll have to listen for clues.  :)
 Anything else we have to say on Walter's pitch, other than "good luck"?
<walter> Well, it anyone has more ideas between now and 10PM EST (4PM in Paris), send me email.
<caroline> any other portegese or EU users?
<mchua> (Can someone shoot me a backlog, please?)
<jt4sugar> Emphasize portfolio benefits
<walter> Greg, thanks for the floor.
<gregdek> No problem.
<walter> @jt4sugar: will do!!
<gregdek> Portfolio looks like a crazy strong feature.  I've got a call scheduled with Evangeline tomorrow to learn more.
 All right...
 ...shall we move on to semi-official agenda?
 Reminder, it's here:
* gregdek starts going down the list.
<gregdek> "Make the Get Involved page amazing."
 Incidentally: I own all of these items, just because we hadn't had our first official meeting.
 I certainly do not intend to own all, or even most, of them.  :)
 This is our current "Getting Involved" page.
 Not great.  :)
 According to the task, I'll be working with Christian on this.  Unfortunately, I've already forgotten who this is.  Can someone remind me?  :)
<caroline> nod, it makes new people understand our organization rather then going from who they are.
<walter> Christian is a designer from Pentagram.
 He won't write the content though
<gregdek> Does he know he's on the hook for the design?
<walter> Yes.
<gregdek> OK.  Can I have his contact info so I can help drive?
<walter> He is waiting on us for content
<gregdek> OK.  I will work on a draft of content and circulate to the list this week.
<gregdek> Thanks.
<mchua> I've been meaning to walk around with a measuring tape checking out the activation energy required to join each team, so I'll try to do a first quick pass of that in the next 3 days and send to list as well, if that might help.
<jt4sugar> should we have a fundraising  mechanism built into getting involved packet
<caroline> We could also look at this from the point of view of our wish list and put up what skills we are looking for.
<gregdek> Right.
<mchua> is someone going around to team leaders and check what they've got in place for welcoming newbies?
<gregdek> So I suspect I'll put together a draft and we'll be iterating over it for quite a while.
 mchua: That's actually where I'm planning to start.
<mchua> yay!
<gregdek> All right.  Well, I'm clearly on the hook to drive this, and not much to say until we have a first draft.
 So I'm ready to move on, unless anyone objects.
 All right.
 Next topic:
 "Create a sponsorship program".
 I had envisioned a high-level generic package that would allow us to solicit anyone fairly easily...
 ...but having proposed it, I'm frankly unsure of (a) its value, or (b) how to proceed.
<tomeueeepc-def2> who would sponsor who?
<mchua> Dumb question: what do we need funding for?
<caroline> Is this like Belkin sponsors us by giving us lots of USB Sticks?
<walter> I don't know what to ask for when I meet all these companies, other than engineering support.
 I already asked Belkin. Need to follow up on that one.
<tomeueeepc-def2> mchua: we need money for infrastructure and travel, I'd say
<gregdek> Servers and travel.
<walter> We definitely need money for travel...
<tomeueeepc-def2> some administrative costs, maybe
<gregdek> Travel is item #1, #2 and #3.
<jt4sugar> Ask for money to test drive Sugar with Professors and Students
<tomeueeepc-def2> like trademarks, etc
<caroline> the Gardner project needs computers, cords, money to feed teachers and volunteers, printers, etc.
 Money to run professional evaluations of our pilots?
<walter> I think we should separate the solicitations for individual projects from Sugar as a whole.
<mchua> walter + 1
<gregdek> The real question is: why would anyone give us money?  :)
<caroline> nod
<walter> Not that both don't need money
 We need clear value propositions for the doners
<gregdek> Right.
 I think that was my actual point.
<walter> Not just do-goodism
<gregdek> And beyond "logo on website", I'm not sure what we have to offer at this point.
<jt4sugar> Corporations will fund because were building their future workforce
<walter> We'll need to target different industries differently.
<gregdek> I almost think we need a czar of fundraising who understands these kinds of issues.
* gregdek looks at jt4sugar meaningfully.  :)
<walter> The netbook companies want to catch our wave (except that I learned this week that only a small percentage of their sales are edu related)
<jt4sugar> Connecting with STEM would be great start
 Find me some funding and I'll carry the baton
<caroline> Does Sugar Lab need money to pay developers?
<gregdek> Not yet, I don't think.
<tomeueeepc-def2> caroline: we hope other organizations will donate engineering resources
<gregdek> I think that we seek in-kind donations wherever possible -- labor, hardware -- and funding for travel.
 That seems simplest and most sensible to me.
<caroline> sounds good
<gregdek> But we've still got to articulate *why*, and what's in it for the donor.
<walter> Yeah.
<gregdek> And we've got to then drive people to that, almost in a sales-y role.
 So the question is, who's up for that?
 jt4sugar: is that you, chief?
<walter> The Linux companies can donate engineers and seem to be moving in that direction.
<mchua> Do we have specific things to fundraise for in the short term? ("we need $foo hosting, now; we need $X for planefare to FUDCON") I'm struggling to make this concrete for myself.
<walter> What other industries can we target?
<gregdek> We need hardware and travel for FUDCon.
<jt4sugar> The why for them is helping to solve the education crisis
<mchua> oh. Summer of Code - are we going for that?
<gregdek> Good question!
 That's actually a net GAIN of cash!
<walter> We can, as part of the SFC
 we just need to execute
<mchua> Yep?
<gregdek> LOL
 Running a SoC engagement is not for the faint of heart.  Fair warning.
<walter> @mchua: was that a yes, I'll organize SoC?
 or a yelp? for help?
<mchua> Uh... *blinks* Lemme check out what's involved real quick...
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<caroline> Maybe ask our univiersity contacts, usually a univesity prof does it right?
<gregdek> caroline: Almost never.
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<gregdek> Google designed SoC to be completely independent of the educational system.  :)
<walter> good decision on their part.
<mchua> All righty, sure. I'll do it.
<caroline> ah ok, the one I knew about was run by a comp-sci prof.
<mchua> not much to do until feb/march when mentor org apps seem to open, but I'll jump on them when they do.
<gregdek> mchua: Let's set up some time in the next couple of weeks to put together a plan.  That's a big job, and you will need help.
<caroline> are there sponsors/volunteers we want to solicit around activities?
<gregdek> And mchua: the hardest work is to make sure that we are actively articulating projects for kids to choose from, because most of the projects proposed by the kids themselves are either worthless or insanely hard.
<mchua> gregdek: that'll help a lot. thanks! will ping.
* mchua nods
<gregdek> Which is work we can and should do before feb/march anyway.
 But it's more of an engineering task.
<mchua> caroline: are we making it easy enough for them to develop activities? ;)
<caroline> Do we want to recruit people to create specific types of activities. do we want things that already exist to be sugarized?
<walter> we can maybe use the ideas from the Sugar Camp brainstorm as a seed.
<gregdek> Sugarizing current apps really should be good low-hanging fruit.
<walter> we should recruit as a mentor every activiy maintainer
<mchua> how do we make sure that the things we're asking people to create will have immediate, measurable value in /some/ kid's education?
<walter> We cannot ensure it, but we get to vet the applications and work with the mentors
<gregdek> +1.
<caroline> Sugarizing content/activities an organization has already created is a great way to get them involved.
<mchua> i guess that's my value proposition to sponsor orgs - look, *here* is how your donation had an influence. but maybe that's the domain of the edu team?
<walter> that is great, but it would be good to have less noble propositions too
<gregdek> All right, need to rein things in a bit...
<caroline> Support innovation in education - Sugar is doing something new and differnt.
<jt4sugar> Create menu of options for Sponsor Orgs
<walter> Belkin can make a business out of SoaS
<gregdek> ...for now, can we just assign someone to think about "value proposition for donors"?
<caroline> Bring the content you care about to 750,000 kids, sugarized your activities.
<gregdek> Who wants to come back with a strawman for a sponsor page in the next couple of weeks?  Anyone?
<walter> I think we need the community to pitch in ideas on this question
 I can field the ideas and aggregate them
<caroline> Foundations have missions, so we need to be able to align with their missions.
<gregdek> So to be clear: I'd like the goal to be a page to which we can direct potential sponsors.
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<walter> Yes.
<gregdek> All right.  i'll put walter on the hook for that.
* gregdek updates wiki, brb.
<walter> A Christian-designed page
<mchua> there'll be a lot of overlap between sponsors and contributors, if we're asking for in-kind donations. but I'll pepper walter with questions outside this meeting. ;)
<jt4sugar> Concentrate on how Sugar facilitates learning
<gregdek> walter: Think we can have a content mockup next week?  Week after?
<walter> end of next week...
<gregdek> We'll check in next week.
 Moving on:
 "Finish creation of the elevator pitch!"
<mchua> evelator pitch!
<gregdek> So we got a ton of good energy, and now we've got a wiki page.  :)
 Someone needs to turn that wiki page into a few tight sentences.
<walter> that doesn't do it for me :)
<gregdek> And then we all need to beat on those sentences with big sticks until we're mostly happy.  :)
 But first we need a strawman, and I'm happy to take that and have something for next week's meeting, if everyone's ok with that.
<mchua> Can I request 5 strawmen, for comparison purposes?
 or some kind of criteria of what makes a good pitch, so we don't get hung up on positions behind a single statement?
<gregdek> Sure.  Doesn't mean I'll give them to you.  ;)
* mchua trying to prevent bikeshedding and sacred cows
<jt4sugar> A twofold approach may be a winner. Sugar allows open ended learning for children while giving opportunities to High school and university students to do developer work
<mchua> *grin*
<gregdek> mchua: There will be both bikeshedding and sacred cows, I predict.
 And at some point, someone will care more than anyone else, and they will win!
<walter> @jt4sugar: Actually, I like the direction that is heading.
<gregdek> I trust this highly imperfect process to give us something.
<caroline> the process and the result are both beneficial
<mchua> Well, I'd prefer the pitch selection process be based on some sort of "what's the best pitch" criteria beyond "who's the most excited about the pitch?" or "who has more stamina/time to pitch their pitch?"
<gregdek> The best pitch is the simple pitch that creates the most excitement among those who hear it.
 Which means iterating, over and over.
<caroline> I'd like a process that doesn't set it in stone in case we actually get a really good intern or an ad agency to volunteer in the future and they have ideas
<gregdek> Exactly.  :)
<caroline> but lets not wait for the experts.
<gregdek> The pitch is evolutionary in nature, but we must start.
 So I'll start, and let's let people beat it with sticks.
 And Mel, if you want to do research on the art of the elevator pitch, I will certainly be receptive.  ;)
* mchua nods
<gregdek> Moving on?
 "Aggregating blogs at"
 I've already made a shout-out here.
 ...and it looks like we've already doubled our number of aggregated bloggers.  Yay!
<mchua> can we put an explanation of what planet SL is at the top so newcomers know what they're looking at?
<gregdek> Good idea.
 Maybe the elevator pitch.  :)
<walter> (the link in the sidebar works now)
<gregdek> I'm happy to put a blurb together and send it to bernie for inclusion.
* mchua digs out sample text I sent gregdek earlier...
<gregdek> Or mchua, maybe you could send the blurb to bernie.
<mchua> "Planet Sugar Labs is a collection of personal blogs by Sugar Labs community contributors. We experiment, make guesses and predictions that sometimes don't work out, and we don't always agree on things. We trust that you'll be able to sort through the chaos and make up your own mind. By opening up our thoughts behind the work we do, we hope to show how Sugar Labs is a collective effort of a community of smart and passionat
 e people working (in very different ways) to solve the same problem: learning about learning."
 (from the question: What is the balance between "simplify and amplify" (a central/cohesive message, I'm assuming) and having the different voices and opinions of Sugar contributors come out as individuals - who might disagree, and be confusing in their disagreement for a viewer from the outside world?)
* mchua sends to bernie, cc's marketing
<mchua> ...well, before I do that, do people like this blurb? at least as a starting point.
<walter> I think that Mel's blurb is the right idea, but jumps into the negative too quickly. Maybe say we are often right and sometimes wrong...
 Or as Nicholas used to say about me: always certain, sometimes right
* mchua is unclear on who/what/how decisionmaking power on these things is usually implemented, but is happy to putter along in the meantime.
* gregdek looks for the blurb I wrote for
<caroline> maybe the media labs iterative design idea is a positive way to talk about not always being right.
<mchua> " Red Hat People is an aggregation of blogs kept by individual Red Hat employees. The opinions expressed are their own, and are not necessarily shared by Red Hat, Inc." ?
<gregdek> Yep.
 Not suitable, I guess.  :)
<caroline> Lets get the word "reflection" in there somehow its a good education word :)
<gregdek> So who's taking the blog blurb?
<mchua> Ok. I'll send this text to the marketing list, and let people reply with edits. After 24 hours, I'll forward whatever we have to Bernie. How's that sound?
<gregdek> Brilliant.
 Moving on!
<mchua> (I'll aggregate edits, and claim temporary benevolent dictatorship on the blurb, but after 24 hours anyone can take editorialship and beat it into the next-gen of cohesiveness with a stick if they want. ;)
<gregdek> Good!  :)
<jt4sugar> Mel all about action, nice to see!
<gregdek> OK, last item, and I'd like to keep it close to an hour:
 "Business Card Design."
 Walter, can we rip off your design pls?  :)
<walter> We have a design for moo cards...
 I can post the images on the wiki
 then people can roll their own
<gregdek> That would be perfect.  Just send us an email when you're done.
<walter> OK?
<gregdek> All right.
 Any other urgent business?
 Looks like a no.
 All right then.
 If you want the marketing team to do any work for you, please add it to the TODO and we will discuss it in the weekly meeting.
 And with that, we will adjourn in 5...
 BANG!  Meeting adjourned.