I’ve switched my primary focus from design to marketing in recent weeks. A lot of hard work has gone into GNOME 3, and we have a great release coming up. For many, the success of that release will be defined by the reception it receives. That means we have to work to ensure that the users and commentators who are interested in our release get a positive impression. For GNOME 3.0 to be a success, we have to promote it. The question is: how can we do that?
Promoting GNOME 3 requires that we generate and circulate a steady stream of positive messages and stories about the release, right up until the appearance of the first distros carrying GNOME 3.0. That might seem like a difficult challenge: GNOME doesn’t have much in the way of marketing resources. We don’t have a paid marketing team or community managers, and we don’t have paid advertising. What we do have, however, are two things: first, we have a unique product which has a cutting-edge design. (Seeing the pieces of GNOME 3 come together, it is hard to deny what a compelling product it is.) And second, we have an awesome, passionate community. Combining these things is the key to promoting GNOME 3.
Anybody can help to promote GNOME 3.0; it doesn’t take much to make a contribution. Every positive tweet, dent or blog post has a part to play. If you’ve worked on a part of GNOME 3 that you’re particularly proud of, or if there’s something you like about the release, tell the world about it. And if you hear a positive message about GNOME 3, pass it on. As release day comes and goes, ask yourself: ‘what are the positive messages I can still send? What are the positive stories I can tell?’
Engaging with users is another useful way you can help. If you see negative or inaccurate comments about GNOME 3 on the web, just jump in: all you need to do is be friendly, positive, and show that GNOME cares about its users. We have a bunch of information you can point people to if necessary. We are also seeing an increase in the number of users joining our IRC channels and mailing lists at the moment. Welcoming and helping them is an excellent way to promote GNOME.
Finally, those of us who are directly working on marketing could definitely do with a hand, and there are plenty of things (both small and large) that you can do to help. We need web hackers, writers, and people to help with the microblogs, and we need people to give presentations and to organise release parties. If you want to get involved, join on the marketing list or join #marketing. We have a release to promote!